Everyone who works for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. We will only provide information to those who are authorised to receive it and who will keep it confidential. Whenever possible any information passed on will be anonymised.
In line with the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation Act) which comes into force on 25th May 2018 you will be asked by a member of staff/clinician for your consent before sending any referral/information to other medical professionals in looking after your clinical needs.
We hold your patient records in the strictest confidence, regardless of whether they are electronic or on paper. We take all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorised access to your records, however they are stored. Any information that may identify you is only shared with the practice team, or, if you are referred to hospital, to the clinician who will be treating you. We will only share information about you with anyone else if you give your permission in writing.
Use of your contact details
We may try to contact you using the mailing address, land line telephone number, mobile telephone number (including text messaging) or email address that you provide. This may be for, amongst other things, appointment reminders, information about special clinics or to request information from you. If you prefer not to be contacted by one or more of these means then please let us know so that we can record your preferences.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the practice has your current contact details to ensure that there is no possible delay to your treatment.
Data Protection Notice
We ask you for information about yourself so that you can receive proper care and treatment. All personal information (updated as appropriate), together with details of your care, is stored in your medical record which is held on paper and computer. All members of the practice are contractually and ethically obliged to maintain the confidentiality of your medical record at all times, even after leaving the practice. Just because we hold the data does not give every member of staff the right to look at it. Anyone viewing your medical record must have a valid reason to do so in the course of performing their job. All computer held records have an audit trail of activity by all users.
Officially, your medical record is the property of the Secretary of State for Health. However, we are considered to be the Data Controller and therefore responsible for the confidentiality of your medical record whilst you are registered as a patient with us.
We are required to share certain identifiable data about you with other parts of the NHS in relation to financial claims. This will ordinarily just be your NHS number. We also share demographic and relevant clinical details within the NHS for the purpose of operating recall systems, eg childhood immunisations, cancer screening and diabetic retinopathy programmes.
If you require care from another healthcare provider, eg a referral to see a specialist, then we will need to share relevant information about you and your care. We will obtain consent to this sharing if you are in agreement with the need for the referral.
The information we hold about you may be used for secondary purposes. This includes planning health services, clinical audit, monitoring the spread of disease (epidemiology) etc. Your personal details are never disclosed for secondary purposes, only relevant clinical data is provided, for example the total number of people registered with us who have diabetes.
We will never disclose any information about you to a third party without your consent, unless required to do so by law.
Access to Records
If you wish to request access to your medical records under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 to be updated by the GDPR Act which comes into force 25th May 2018, then you should apply in writing to the Data Controller. You should include your name, date of birth and the address that we will have on your file. Such requests must be accompanied by a signature and you are therefore advised to write or come in person to issue your request. Please note that as of the 25th May 2018, you will no longer be required to pay a fee although depending on the request e.g. a written medical report a fee will be applied. If you request copies of your medical records on more than one occasion we are able to provide apply an administration fee. As we are no longer able to charge for our time and consumables for providing copies of your records you may be required to attend the practice to collect them for onward transmission as the postage can be quite costly dependent on the size of your records. Further information about your rights under this Act are available from the Information Commissioner’s website.