Data Protection and Confidentiality
Access to Patient Information
Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality with regard to patient information. Your medical history is/will be recorded on the practice computer system in line with national guidance and sometimes in paper records. Very strict security measures on the clinical system ensure that authorised users only access these records.
We are not able to give any information about a patient to a relative, friend or other third party for example an insurance company or solicitor unless we have a recent signed consent form from the patient allowing us release specific information to a named person.
Patient consent form for release of medical records
Access to your own medical records either to view, obtain copies or on-line.
Patients are entitled to see the information we hold about them either on the computer or in their paper records. Depending on the type of request made there may be a fee payable or we may need photo ID before online access can be granted. Information and application forms can be found in the documents below.
Information about access to your medical records
Patient application to access their own medical record
Information on Online Access to your Computer Held Medical Record
Application Form for Online Access to Computer Held Medical Record
Application for Proxy Access to Computer Held Medical Records
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). The Summary Care Record is meant to support emergency doctors and nurses so they can help you when you contact them if the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medications and allergies.
Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, SCR will be available for other staff who work in the NHS. They will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may also be on your SCR.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases.
As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out.
For further information visit the Connecting for Health Website or contact the Summary Care Record information line on 0300 123 3020.
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery.
Summary care Record Opt out form
National Data Opt Out Programme and your choices
You have the right to object to:
- Information being shared between those who are providing you with direct care however this may affect the care you receive.
- Identifiable information being shared with NHS Digital for clinical audit or reasons other than provision of your care. This is called a Type 1 objection available only until 2020. NHS Digital has developed a National Data Opt Programme. If you would like more information or wish to opt out of your data being used you can go to www.nhs.uk/my-data-choice, or speak to us at the practice.
- You can opt out of public health national screening programmes at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opting-out-of-the=nhs-popuation-screening-programmes or speak to us at the practice.
You are not able to object to:
- NHS digital holding your demographic data if you wish to receive NHS care or to them sharing this with the Home office if thought necessary
- Legitimate data being shared for safeguarding or public health reasons to prevent or protect people from harm.
- Information being shared with CQC when required for regulatory functions.
- Data being shared if it is required by law.
How we communicate with you and your choices
We routinely contact you by letter or telephone and increasingly will use text messages and e-mail. If you have provided us with a landline telephone number, mobile telephone number or e-mail address we will assume you are happy for us to use these methods to contact you unless you tell us otherwise. Please let us know if you wish to opt out of communication by any these methods.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the practice to produce a publication scheme. A publication scheme is a guide to the classes of information the practice intends to routinely make available.
Freedom of Information Fact Sheet
Comments and Suggestions
We are always interested to hear comments and suggestions regarding any aspect of our medical practice group. Please put these in writing to the Business Manager.
Complaints and Compliments
We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our system meets the national criteria.
Although we hope that you do not have cause to complain about the service you receive from our surgery, should you wish to do so please obtain an information leaflet and form from the Reception Desk or download details from the link below and forward to our Business Manager, Anne Brooks.
Our aim is to give you the highest possible standard of service, we will try to deal swiftly with any problem that may occur.
Information and Form for Registering a Complaint
The Health Service Ombudsman
The Health Service Ombudsman has published a booklet that describes the ‘six principles for remedy’ in relation to complaints handling and involves:
- Getting it right
- Being customer focused
- Being open and accountable
- Acting fairly and proportionately
- Putting things right
- Seeking continuous improvements
If you remain unhappy after everything has been done to try to resolve your concern or complaint you have the right to approach the Ombudsman.
Tel: 0345 015 4033
Write: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP.
Help Us to Help You
- Please avoid telephoning during peak times 8-9 am and 2-3pm for non-urgent matters
- Please treat all doctors and practice staff with the same courtesy and respect you would expect to receive.
We all aim to treat our patients courteously at all times and expect our patients to treat our staff in a similarly respectful way. We take seriously any threatening, abusive or violent behaviour. A zero tolerance policy towards violent, threatening and abusive behaviour is now in place throughout the National Health Service.
The staff in our practices have the right to work in an environment free from violent and threatening or abusive behaviour and everything will be done to protect that right.
At no time will any violent, threatening or abusive behaviour be tolerated in our practices. If you do not respect the rights of our staff we may choose to inform the police and make arrangements for you to be removed from our medical list.