Confidentiality & Medical Records
How we use your Health Records
Please download the NHS Leaflet about how we use your health records here.
THE SYMONS MEDICAL CENTRE PRIVACY NOTICE
How we use your information
Our Privacy Notice explains why we collect your information and how that information may be used.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we must ensure that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled in ways that are transparent and that you would reasonably expect. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 has altered the way that personal confidential data is processed. Consequently, you must be aware and understand these changes and that you have the opportunity to object and understand how to exercise that right.
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. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both and through established working procedures and best practice coupled with technology we ensure your personal data is kept confidential and secure. Records held by us may include the following:
Your personal data, such as address and next of kin;
- Your history with us, such as appointments, vaccinations, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc;
- Notes and reports about your health;
- Details about your treatment and care;
- Results of investigations and referrals such as blood tests, x-rays, etc; and
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
We obtain and hold data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential. We can disclose your personal information if:
(a) It is required by law;
(b) You consent – either implicitly or for the sake of your own care or explicitly for
other purposes; and
(c) It is justified in the public interest
Some of this information is 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 your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the Practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA), can request Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP
Practices without seeking patient 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.
You may choose to withdraw your consent to personal data being used in this way. When we are about to participate in a new data-sharing project we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the Practice and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start. Instructions will be provided to explain 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.
Risk Stratification is a process that helps your family doctor (GP) to help you manage your health. By using selected information from your health records, a secure NHS computer system will look at any recent treatments you have had in hospital or in the surgery and any existing health conditions that you have. This will alert your doctor to the likelihood of a possible deterioration in your health. The clinical team at the surgery will use the information to help you get early care and treatment where it is needed. NHS Central Southern CSU DSCRO (the regional processing centre) supports GP Practices with this work. NHS security systems will protect your health information and patient confidentiality at all times.
Please note that you have the right to opt out of Risk Stratification.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed, or wish to opt out of any data collection at the Practice, please contact the practice, or your healthcare professional to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be limited.
Patients have the right to change their minds and reverse a previous decision. Please contact the practice, if you change your mind regarding any previous choice.
We will use limited information about individual patients when validating invoices received for your healthcare, to ensure that the invoice is accurate and genuine. This will be performed in a secure environment and will be carried out by a limited number of authorised CSU staff. These activities and all identifiable information will remain with the Controlled Environment for Finance (CEfF) approved by NHS England. Where possible we will strive to use the NHS number as a quasi-identifier to preserve your confidentiality.
Our partner organisations
We may need to share your information, subject to agreement on how it will be used, with the following organisations:
- NHS Trusts
- Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)
- Specialist Trusts
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Commissioning Support Units
- Social Care Services
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Other ‘data processors’
Access to personal information held about you
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a right to access/view information we hold about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. If we do hold information about you we will:
- give you a description of it;
- tell you why we are holding it;
- tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
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.
Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and in a prominent area at the Practice.
We are registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. The registration can be viewed online in the public register at:
How we keep your personal information confidential
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.
Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.
Access to Records
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.