This Privacy notice explains why GP Practices collect information about you, how that information may be used and which organisations the information will be shared with to ensure you receive the best possible care.
What Information Do We Collect?
Health care professionals maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within the NHS (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper, or a mixture of both, and a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records held by this GP Practice may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as address 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.
Why Do We Collect This Information?
The Practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that information is kept confidential. We can disclose personal information if:
- It is required by law
- You consent – either implicitly for the sake of your own care or explicitly for other purposes
- It is justified in the public interest
How Do We Use This Information?
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and help us manage the NHS. Information may also be used for clinical Audit to monitor the quality of the service provided. In addition your information will be used to identify whether you are at risk of a future unplanned hospital Admission and/or require support to effectively manage a long term condition.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we hold data centrally, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Sometimes information about you may be requested to be used for research purposes. The Practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.
Your information may be used to help assess the needs of the general population and make informed decisions about the provision of future services. Information can also be used to conduct health research and development, monitor NHS performance, to help NHS plan for the future and to investigate complaints in respect of the services we commission.
We will not publish any information that identifies you or routinely disclose any information about you without your express permission. At any time you have the right to refuse/withdraw consent to information sharing. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you, such as potential delays in receiving care.
There may be circumstances where we are bound to share information about you owing to legal obligation, such as for benefit of public health in the event of a pandemic.
If you have received treatment within the NHS, access to your personal information may be required in order to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group should pay for the treatment or procedure you have received. This information would most likely include information such as your name, address, date of treatment and may be passed on to enable the billing process. These details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential. This information will only be used to validate invoices, and will not be shared for any further purposes.
Who Will We Share Your Information With?
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used. The following are examples of the types of organisations that we are likely to share information with:
- NHS and specialist hospitals, Trusts.
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists.
- Private and Voluntary Sector Providers.
- Ambulance Trusts.
- Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England.
- Social Care Services and Local Authorities.
Under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) can request Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP Practices without seeking the patient’s consent. The Care.Data Programme allows PCD to be collected by the HSCIC to ensure that the quality and safety of services is consistent across the country. Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare providers with the objective of providing you with better care.
Any patient can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way. When the Practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start. We will also explain clearly what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of each new scheme.
A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other health care providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive then the doctor will explain this to you at the time.
How Do We Maintain the Confidentiality of Your Records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (which is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office), Human Rights Act, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security.
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. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep this information confidential.
Access To Your Information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view information the Practice holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. This is known as ‘the right of subject access’. If we do hold information about you we will:
If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’. Please contact the Practice Manager in writing. There may be a charge for this service.
The Practice is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. The registration number is Z4906276 and can be viewed online in the public register at http://ico.org.uk/what_we_cover/register_of_data_controllers