Protecting your Confidentiality
Your information, what you need to know
This privacy notice explains why we collect information about you, how that information may be used and how we keep it safe and confidential.
Why we collect information about you
Health care professionals who provide you with care are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within any NHS organisation. We collect and hold data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients.
These records are used to help support your care and treatment.
In carrying out this role we may collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We may keep your information in written form and/or in digital form. The records may include basic details about you, such as your name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and also information such as outcomes of needs assessments.
By registering with the practice your existing records will be transferred to us from your previous practice so that they can be kept up to date while you are our patient.
Details we collect about you
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
Records which this GP Practice may hold about you may include the following:
- Details about you, such as your name, address, carers and next of kin
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits,
emergency appointments, etc.
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about your treatment and care
- Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you
How we keep your information confidential and safe
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised with consent given by the patient, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law. The NHS Digital Code of Practice on Confidential Information applies to all our staff and they are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared. All our staff are expected to ensure information is kept confidential and receive annual training on how to do this.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. We ensure that the information we hold is kept in secure locations, is protected by appropriate security and access is restricted to authorised personnel.
We also ensure that external data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 2018
- Human Rights Act
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
- Health and Social Care Act 2015
We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on and / or in accordance with the new information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (information to share or not to share) where “The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality”. This means that health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients within the framework set out be the Caldicott principles.
Within the surgery, Dr Brian Rambihar is the Caldicott Guardian and Information Governance Lead. Mrs Debbie Sands, Deputy Practice Manager is the Management Information Governance Lead. The Data Protection Officer is yet to be appointed.
How we use your information
To ensure you receive the best possible care your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Your records are used and shared for the purpose of direct patient care (Article 6 (1)(e) and 9 (2)(h) of the GDPR. Information held about you may also be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used within the practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided. Some of this information may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified e.g. the National Diabetes Audit.
For example your information may be shared in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services
- To help you get support from other services e.g. from social care or voluntary organisations.
- When we have a duty to others e.g in child protection cases
- Where we are required by law to share certain information such as the birth of a new baby, infectious diseases that may put you or others at risk or where a court has decided we must.
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes. The surgery will always gain your consent before releasing information for this purpose.
National Registries (such as the Learning Disabilities Register) have statutory permission under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006, to collect and hold service user identifiable information without the need to seek informed consent from each individual service user.
Risk stratification tools are increasingly being used in the NHS help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition and enable us to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information using software managed by our CCG and provided back to this practice. If necessary we may be able to offer you additional services.
Please note that you have the right to opt out of your data being used in this way.
Supporting Medicines Management
CCGs support local GP practices with prescribing queries which generally don’t require identifiable information. CCG pharmacists work with your practice to provide advice on medicines and prescribing queries and review prescribing of medicines to ensure that it is safe and cost-effective.
To ensure that adult and children’s safeguarding matters are managed appropriately, access to identifiable information will be shared in some limited circumstances where it’s legally required for the safety of the individuals concerned.
Summary Care Record (SCR)
The NHS in England uses a national electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR) to support patient care. It contains key information from your GP record. Your SCR provides authorised healthcare staff with faster, secure access to essential information about you in an emergency or when you need unplanned care, where such information would otherwise be unavailable.
Summary Care Records are there to improve the safety and quality of your care. SCR core information comprises your allergies, adverse reactions and medications. An SCR with additional information can also include reason for medication, vaccinations, significant diagnoses / problems, significant procedures, anticipatory care information and end of life care information. Additional information can only be added to your SCR with your agreement.
Please be aware that if you choose to opt-out of SCR, NHS healthcare staff caring for you outside of this surgery may not be aware of your current medications, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had, in order to treat you safely in an emergency.
If you wish to opt-out of having an SCR please return a completed opt-out form to the practice.
We will approach the management of patient records in line with the Records Management NHS Code of Practice for Health and Social Care which sets the required standards of practice in the management of records for those who work within or under contract to NHS organisations in England, based on current legal requirements and professional best practice.
Who are our partner organisations?
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:
- NHS Trusts
- Specialist Trusts
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Local surgeries working collaboratively to see patients outside normal working hours
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Care Services
- Health and Social care Information centre (HSCIC)
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Police and Judicial services
- Other ‘data processors’
We will never share your information outside of health partner organisations without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when the health or safety of others is at risk, where the law requires it or to carry out a statutory function.
Your right to withdraw consent for us to share your personal information (Opt-Out)
If you are happy for your data to be extracted and used for the purposes described in this fair processing notice then you do not need to do anything. If you do not want your information to be used for any purpose beyond providing your care you can choose to opt-out. If you wish to do so, please let us know so we can code your record appropriately. We will respect your
decision if you do not wish your information to be used for any purpose other than your care but in some circumstances we may still be legally required to disclose your data.
If you wish to discuss or change your opt-out preferences at any time please contact the Practice IT Administrator
Access to your information
You have to right under the Data Protection Act 2018 to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and have it amended should it be inaccurate. In order to request this, you need to do the following:
- Your request must be made in writing to the GP ( please contact the surgery and speak to the secretarial team) – for information from the hospital you should write direct to them
- We are required to respond to you within 21 days
- You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number and details of your request) so that your identity can be verified and your records located
You also have the right to have inaccurate data amended. Please contact the practice should you feel that any of your data is inaccurate.
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the person treating you if any of your details such as your name or address have changed or if any of your details, such as date of birth, are incorrect in order for this to be amended. You have a responsibility to inform us of any changes so our records are accurate and up to date for you.
Mobile telephone number
If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about your appointments or other health screening information. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive reminders on your mobile.
The Data Protection Act 2018 requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purpose for which they process personal and sensitive information. The practice is registered with the information commissioner’s office (ICO).
This information is publicly available on the information commissioner’s office website www.ico.org.uk
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed by the Practice please contact a member of the practice team and we will work with you to try to resolve the matter. If we are unable to resolve any issues or you wish to make a complaint about the way your information is managed please contact the Practice Manager at the following address:
Sandy Lane Surgery
Lancashire, PR25 2EB
If you are still unhappy following a review by the Practice you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). www.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745.
Further information NHS England