Data Protection, Privacy and Confidentiality


Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients

Introduction

This privacy notice lets you know what happens to any personal data that you give to us, or any that we may collect from or about you.

This privacy notice applies to personal information processed by or on behalf of the practice.

This Notice explains:

  • Who we are, how we use your information and our Data Protection Officer
  • What kinds of personal information about you do we process?
  • What are the legal grounds for our processing of your personal information (including when we share it with others)?
  • What should you do if your personal information changes?
  • For how long your personal information is retained by us?
  • What are your rights under data protection laws?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law on 24th May 2016. This is a single EU-wide regulation on the protection of confidential and sensitive information. It enters into force in the UK on the 25th May 2018, repealing the Data Protection Act (1998).

For the purpose of applicable data protection legislation (including but not limited to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (the "GDPR"), and the Data Protection Act 2018 (currently in Bill format before Parliament) the practice responsible for your personal data is Weeping Cross Health Partnership.

This Notice describes how we collect, use and process your personal data, and how, in doing so, we comply with our legal obligations to you. Your privacy is important to us, and we are committed to protecting and safeguarding your data privacy rights.

To continue reading our privacy notice please click here to download the complete document.

Access to Patient Information

Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. Your medical history is/will be recorded on the practice computer system and in paper records, these records are accessed by authorised users only. For further information about who has access to patient information please see the confidentiality information guide which is available from reception.

Patient Confidentiality Policy

If you wish to speak to the receptionist in confidence, there is a quiet area available away from the main reception. Please ask.

You have the right to know as much about your medical condition as you want to know. We will not discuss your case with anyone not directly involved in your health care unless you wish us to and have given your consent first.

You are welcome to see your health records and discuss the contents with the doctor if you wish.

The Information we Hold & Where we Hold it

Confidentiality is at the heart of good medical practice and is based upon mutual trust and confidence.

Patients' health records are kept by the practice with which they are registered and the hospital or NHS trust which treats them. Each health professional is responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of health records.

The records include general information like name, address and date of birth. They also contain details of care such as consultations, illnesses, investigations undertaken, prescriptions received and treatment carried out.

When Patients change their GP, health records are returned to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to be forwarded onto the new practice, and if necessary, hospital records can be passed onto the local hospital.

The law strictly controls the management of all personal information:

  • Anyone who received information about you has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
  • You have a right of access to your health records, with some exceptions.
  • Your right of privacy allows you to keep your health records confidential between you and your health professional, with some exceptions.

Why we Keep and Share Information

We keep information and details of the care you have received in order to help plan your current and future healthcare. If you receive care from organisations outside the NHS we may need to share certain information to enable us to work together e.g. private healthcare or Social Service. In certain circumstances we are required to pass on information, for example, to notify a health visitor of a birth or to protect vulnerable people.

Who Sees this Information

Health professionals in the course of their work, e.g. doctors, nurses, community health workers, therapists and technicians all have access to the health records of their patients. Other NHS, Practice, Hospital and Social Services staff may have some access to your health in order to assist in the delivery of your care.

Within the NHS

  • GPs refer patients to hospital for review or treatment and the GP is kept informed of the care the patient has received, for example, consultations, tests or treatment.
  • GPs must keep the CCG up to date with all registration changes and details of certain procedures that are carried out on their patients. Practices also share some information with the CCG to help with national programmes for public health like cervical smear tests and breast screening.

We are required to inform the Department of Health concerning the incidence of some communicable diseases, e.g. meningitis and measles (not HIV/AIDS) for public health reasons

Examples of some Organisations who may ask for your Health Records

The Benefits Agency may sometimes need medical reports. These will require your signed consent to enable them to be released.

Law Courts can insist on the disclosure of health records.

Solicitors might ask for medical reports.

Life Assurance companies often ask clients for medical reports.

We always need patients' signed consent for us to disclose this information. We will not give details regarding third parties contained in your records.

We have a Duty to Keep your Health Records Accurate - What We Need You To Do

Inform us of any change to your name, address or marital status so we can keep your health records up to date at all times.

If you wish to view your health records please make an appointment with the Business Partner.

If you have any concerns about who might see your health records or have any other queries regarding them, for GP health records contact the Business Partner where you are registered. Alternatively, for hospital or community health records, contact either the manager responsible for patients' personal information or the person responsible for your care.