Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided
- research into the development of new treatments
- preventing illness and diseases
- monitoring safety
- planning services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt-out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can apply your national data opt-out choice. Our organisation ‘is able to apply your national data opt-out choice to any confidential patient information we may use or share with other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care.'
Confidential information from your medical records can be used by the NHS to improve the services offered. This information along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information. This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you.
You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything. If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please speak to practice staff or ask at reception for a copy of the leaflet “How information about you helps us to provide better care”.
Fair Processing Notice
How we use your personal information
This fair processing notice explains why the practice collects information about you and how that information may be used.
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. Hospital, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records which this GP Practice hold about you may include the following information;
- Details about you, such as your address, legal representative, emergency contact details
- 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
Your records will be retained in accordance with the NHS Code of Practice for Records Management
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 to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for 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 ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose.
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 (DPA) and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
- Information: To Share or Not to Share Review (click here to read further information about this)
Every member of staff who works for the Practice or another 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 3rd party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), where the law requires information to be passed on for example Child/Adult Protection and Serious Criminal Activity.
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 or receive information from 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
- NHS Digital
- 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 happen when this is required.
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 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 is no charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within 30 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
Objections / Complaints
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the GP, please contact the Practice Manager. If you are still unhappy following a review by the GP practice, you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) via their website (www.ico.org.uk).
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 in order for this to be amended. 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 (DPA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation) (GDPR) requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information.
This information is publicly available on the Information Commissioners Office website www.ico.org.uk. The practice is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
Who is the Data Protection Officer?
Jane Hill, Mob: 07951 530 417 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is the Data Controller?
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is:
Mrs Gina Bird
Lockside Medical Centre
85 Huddersfield Road