We aim to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients. To do this we keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
This Privacy Notice does not provide exhaustive details of all aspect of the collection and use of personal information by us. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. If you wish to request further information please contact a Manager at the practice.
Our Data Protection officer is Liane Cotterill
Senior Governance Manager & Data Protection Officer is Janice Turner
How We Use Your Information
In order to provide for your care, we need to collect and keep information about you and your health on our records. Your information is used to:
Provide a basis for all health decisions made by care professionals with and for you;
- Make sure your care is safe and effective;
- Work effectively with others providing you with care;
- Send you text notifications to you about appointment reminders, flu clinics, health promotion information, cancellation of clinics and changes in service provision. (You can opt out of the text notification service at any time by contacting the practice.)
We may also use, or share, your information for the following purposes:
- Looking after the health of the general public;
- Making sure that our services can meet patient needs in the future;
- Auditing – Using patient health information to review and improve the quality of healthcare (you can request that your health information is not included in audits at any time by contacting the practice);
- Patient identifiable information is only used within the practice;
- Preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity (where steps will be taken to ensure you cannot be identified);
- Investigating concerns, complaints or legal claims;
- Helping staff to review the care they provide to make sure it is of the highest standards;
- Training and educating staff;
- Research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee. (If anything to do with the research would involve you personally, you will be contacted to provide consent).
Disclosure of Information to Other Health and Social Professionals
We work with a number of other NHS and partner agencies to provide healthcare services to you. Below is a list of organisations that we may share your information with:
- Other NHS hospitals
- Relevant GP Practices
- Dentists, Opticians and Pharmacies
- Private Sector Providers (private hospitals, care homes, hospices, contractors providing services to the NHS)
- Voluntary Sector Providers who are directly involved in your care
- Ambulance Service
- Specialist Services
- Health and Social Care Clusters
- Out of Hours Medical Service
- NHS England
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- National Screening Programmes
We may also share your information, with your consent and subject to strict sharing protocols about how it will be used, with:
- Health and Social Care
- Police and Fire Services
Emergency Care Summary (ECS)
Emergency care information such as your name, date of birth, the name of your GP, any medicines which your GP has prescribed, any medicines you are allergic to or react badly to, is shared with Out of Hours as this might be important if you need urgent medical care when the GP surgery is closed.
NHS staff (Doctors, Nurses, Accident and Emergency, Ambulance control and crews) can look at your ECS if they need to treat you when the surgery is closed. They will ask for your consent before they look at your records.
In an emergency and if you are unconscious, staff may look at your ECS without your agreement to let them give you the best possible care.
Whenever NHS staff looks at your ECS, a record will be kept so we can always check who has looked at your information.
Online Registration for Booking Appointments and Ordering Repeat Prescriptions
This service allows you to book a routine GP appointment 24 hours a day, cancel appointments no longer needed, check your repeat medication, order repeat prescriptions and make changes to your email and mobile contact number where appropriate.
You will need to register to use this service and can de-register at any time.
Mail to Patients
We use a printing company to send letters to our patients. Data sent is encrypted and the Company puts it in a format to print the letter, despatch via Royal Mail, and then delete the information we send.
The Practice may conduct Medicines Management Reviews of medications prescribed to its patients. This service performs a review of prescribed medications to ensure patients receive the most appropriate, up to date and cost effective treatments. This service is provided by our clinicians, our employed Pharmacist and Pharmacists provided by NECS.
This Practice operates a Clinical Computer System on which Staff record information securely. This information can then be shared with other Clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your relevant medical history.
To provide around the clock safe care, unless you have asked us not to, we will make information available to trusted organisations. Wherever possible, their staff will ask your consent before information is viewed.
We consider patient consent as being the key factor in dealing with your health information.
Shared Care Records
To support your care, and improve the sharing of relevant information to our partner organisations when they are involved in looking after you, we will share information to other NHS systems e.g. medication details for out of hours care. The general principle is that information is passed to these systems unless you request this does not happen, but that system users should ask for your consent before viewing your record.
How We Keep Your Information Confidential and Secure
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the Common Law of Confidentiality, The General Data Protection Regulation and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. Everyone working in, or for, the NHS must use personal information in a secure and confidential way.
We will only ever use or pass on your information if there is a genuine need to do so. We will not disclose information about you to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the law requires.
To protect your confidentiality, we will not normally disclose any medical information about you over the telephone, or by fax, unless we are sure that we are talking to you. This means that we will not disclose information to your family, friends, and colleagues about any medical matters at all, unless we know that we have your consent to do so.
Anyone Who Receives Information From Us Is Also Under A Legal Duty to Keep It Confidential and Secure
All persons in the Practice sign a confidentiality agreement that explicitly makes clear their duties in relation to personal health information and the consequences of breaching that duty.
Please be aware that your information will be accessed by non-clinical Practice staff in order to perform tasks enabling the functioning of the Practice. These are, but not limited to:
- Typing referral letters to Hospital Consultants or allied Health Professionals
- Opening letters from hospitals and Consultants
- Scanning clinical letters, radiology reports and any other documents not available in electronic format
- Photocopying or printing documents for referral to Consultants
- Handling, printing, photocopying and postage of medico legal and life assurance reports and other associated documents
Right of Access to Your Health Information
The General Data Protection Regulation allows you to find out what information about you is held on computer and in manual records. This is known as “right of subject access” and applies to personal information held about you. If you want to see or receive information that the Practice holds about you:
- You will need to make a written request to the practice
- There may be a charge for excessive requests for information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within one month
- You will need to give us adequate information (e.g. full name, address, date of birth, NHS Number etc. two forms of identification) to enable us to identify you and provide the correct information.
For more information – https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/personal-information/
Who Else May Ask to Access Your Information
The Court can insist that we disclose medical records to them;
- Solicitors often ask for medical reports. We will require your signed consent for us to disclose information. We will not normally release details about other people that are contained in your records (e.g. wife, children parents etc.) unless we also have their consent;
- Social Services – The Benefits Agency and others may require medical reports on you from time to time. We will need your signed consent to provide information to them.
- Life Assurance Companies/Employers/Occupational Health Doctors frequently ask for records.
We will only disclose the relevant medical information as per your consent. You have the right, should you request it, to see reports prepared for Insurance Companies, employers or occupational Health doctors before they are sent.
Sharing Your Information without Consent
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example:
- Where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people
- Where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented
- Where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not sensitive information such as HIV/AIDS)
- Where a formal Court Order has been issued
- Where there is a legal requirement, e.g. if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:
- The Practice is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using our website, you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
- Information you supply using any electronic form(s) on the practice website will only be use for the purpose(s) stated on the form.
- Whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing.
Changes to This Privacy Notice
We keep our Privacy Notice under regular review. This Privacy Notice will be reviewed again in December 2018.
Concerns about Sharing Your Information
If you have any concerns about how we use or share your information, or you do not wish us to share your information, please contact a Manager at the practice.
If you have a complaint about how your information is managed at the practice, please contact the Practice Manager. If you remain unhappy with the Practice’s response, you can complain to the Information Commissioner Office www.ico.gov.uk. For more information on our complaints procedure click here.
Change of Details
It is important that you tell us if any of your details such as your name, address or telephone number has changed or if any of your details such as date of birth is incorrect in order for this to be amended. You have a responsibility to inform us of any changes so our records are kept accurate and up to date at all times.