How we keep your records confidential

The doctors, staff and others who are caring for you keep records about your health and any care or treatment you receive from the NHS. Your records are kept in a safe place in the surgery either on computer or paper files. Our receptionists and secretaries are responsible for keeping your records in order and will therefore sometimes need to access your records.

Other Agencies

On the rare occasion you may be receiving care from other people such as social services, we may need to share some information about you so that we can work together for your benefit.  We will only pass on information about you if there is a genuine need for it.  There may also be other agencies that might ask for information but we cannot give them any details without your permission.

We will not, without good reason:

  • Give your medical details over the phone unless we are certain of who we are talking to.
  • Give details about you to anyone else without your permission.

If you have any questions on confidentiality please speak with the practice manager.

All patient information is considered to be confidential and we comply fully with the data protection act. All employees have access to this information in relation to their role and have signed a confidentiality agreement. Information may be shared, in confidence, with other NHS organisations in the interests of patient care.

Fair Processing

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. NHS Trust, GP surgery, walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.

Records may be held in electronic or manual (written down) format, and may include the following information;

  • Details about you, such as address and next of kin.
  • 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 and know you well.

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 for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

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 endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.

Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the surgery please contact the practice manager to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be limited.

How Do We Maintain The Confidentiality Of Your Records?

Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential. Anyone who receives information from an NHS organisation has a legal duty to keep it confidential.

We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. 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 third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.

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;

  • NHS trusts.
  • Specialist trusts.
  • Independent contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists.
  • Private sector providers.
  • Voluntary sector providers.
  • Ambulance trusts.
  • Clinical commissioning groups.
  • Social care services.
  • Local authorities.
  • Education services.
  • Fire and rescue services.
  • Police.
  • Other ‘data processors’.

Access To Your Information

You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view any information the surgery holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. This is known as ‘the right of subject access’. If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’, please contact the practice manager in writing.

If you would like further information about how we use your information, or if you do not want us to use your information in this way, please contact the practice.