Confidentiality and the Data Protection Act
- We ask you for information so that you can receive proper care and treatment.
- We keep this information, together with details of your care, because it may be needed if we see you again.
- We may use some of this information for other reasons: for example, to help us protect the health of the public generally and to contribute to improving the efficiency of the NHS, plans for the future, trains its staff, pays its bills and can account for its actions.
- Information may also be needed to help educate tomorrow's clinical staff and to carry out medical and other health research for the benefit of everyone.
- Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information: for example, to notify a birth. The NHS Central Register for England & Wales contains basic personal details of all patients registered with a general practitioner. The Register does not contain clinical information.
- You have a right of access to your health records
EVERYONE WORKING FOR THE NHS HAS A LEGAL DUTY TO KEEP INFORMATION ABOUT YOU CONFIDENTIAL.
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS. So that we can all work together for your benefit, we may need to share some information about you.
We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interests. Whenever we can we shall remove details which identify you. Law strictly controls the sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
The main reasons for which your information may be needed are:
- giving you health care and treatment
- looking after the health of the general public
- managing and planning the NHS. For example:
- making sure that our services can meet patient needs in the future
- paying your doctor, nurse, dentist or other staff, and the hospital which treats you for the care they provide
- auditing accounts
- preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity (where steps will be taken to ensure you cannot be identified)
- investigating complaints or legal claims
- helping staff to review the care they provide to make sure it is of the highest standard
- training and educating staff (but you can choose whether or not to be involved personally)
- research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee. (If anything to do with the research would involve you personally, you will be contacted to see if you are willing)
If at any time you would like to know more about how we use your information you can speak to the person in charge of your care, or to the practice's
Service Delivery Manager, Miss Nell Montague-Rendall.
Your Summary Care Record (SCR)
Your Summary Care Record (SCR) is a copy of key information held in your GP record. It provides authorised healthcare staff with faster, secure access to essential information about you. Staff who access your SCR will be directly involved in your care and will ask for your permission to view it.
If they cannot ask you (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), they may look at your record without asking you, because they consider that this is in your best interest. If they have to do this, it will be recorded and checked to ensure that the access was appropriate.
Summary Care Record: the Patient’s Perspective
Additional information: Patient information leaflet
View the Information Governance Alliance paper on the duty to share information
If you wish to add additional information to your summary care record, please email the practice at firstname.lastname@example.org
Voicemails & SMS messages
In accordance with the Data Protection Act, the Practice needs your consent for us to leave voicemails, send text messages or email information regarding your medical treatment. By providing the practice with your contact information, you are consenting to be contacted about your medical needs by the practice. However, it is our Practice Policy that in the event where we are unable to reach you via telephone, the practice will only leave a voicemail or send a text message asking you to contact the surgery. We will never leave confidential information regarding the reason for our call.
If you DO NOT want us to leave you voicemails or send text messages, please let a member of staff know, and we shall amend your records.