All the health care professionals that look after you maintain records about your health and any treatment or care that you have previously received. This includes hospitals, GP surgeries, walk-in clinics etc.
NHS health records may be electronic, paper-base or a mixture of both and we will ensure that all your information is kept confidential and secure.
Information which this GP Practice holds about you may include:
- Details about you, such as your address, carer, legal representative, emergency contacts
- Any contact the surgery has had with you in the past, 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
Your records are used to ensure you receive the best possible care. Information held about you may also be used to help protect the health of the public and for a clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to make sure that individual patients cannot be identified. Occasionally your information may also be requested for research purposes. The practice will always ask for your consent before agreeing to do this.
Identifying patients’ health risks
Risk identification tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help understand a patient’s risk of suffering from a particular condition in the future. As once we know this we can offer preventative intervention.
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 NHS England. Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and offer you additional services to help you not to become ill in the future. Please note that you have the right to opt-out of your data being used in this way.
The Practice may carry out reviews of the medications prescribed to its patients to ensure that all patients are receiving the most appropriate, up to date and cost-effective treatments.
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:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality, Information Security and Records Management
- Information: To Share or Not to Share Review
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.
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), 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 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 by the Caldicott principles. They should be supported by the policies of their employers, regulators and professional bodies.
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/Foundation Trusts
- NHS Commissioning Support Units
- Independent contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- 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 & Judicial Services
- Other ‘data processors’ which you will be informed of
You will be informed who your data will be shared with and in some cases asked for explicit consent for this to happen.
We may also use external companies to process personal information, such as for archiving purposes. These companies are bound by contractual agreements to ensure information is kept confidential and secure.
Access To Personal Information
You have a right, under the Data Protection Act 1998, to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and to 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 – for information from the hospital you should write direct to them
- There may be a charge to receive a printed copy of the information
- We are required to respond to you within 40 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
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed, please contact our Practice Manager at Hawthorn Sursgery. If you are still unhappy, following a review by the Practice you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) via their website, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745.
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 is incorrect so that we can amend this. You have a responsibility to inform us of any changes so our records are accurate and up to date for you.
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to register the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information. This information is publicly available on the Information Commissioner’s website. The practice is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
Who is the Data Controller?
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is Dr Hilary Devitt on behalf of Hawthorn Surgery.