Whitwell Surgery Privacy Notice
The Privacy Notice explains why Whitwell Surgery collects information about you, how we keep it safe and how that information may be used.
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 previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in Clinic, etc.) These records are used to help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health care 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 this GP Practice hold about you may include the following information;
- Details about you, such as your name, address, carers, legal representatives and emergency contact details
- Your home telephone number, mobile phone number and email address
- 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
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.
Risk stratification data tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition, preventing an unplanned or (re) admission and identifying a need for preventive intervention. Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information using software managed by our CCG and is only provided back to your GP as data controller in an identifiable form. Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary your GP may be able to offer you additional services. Please note that you have the right to opt out of your data being used in this way.
The Practice may conduct Medicines Management Reviews of medications prescribed to its patients. This service performs a review of prescribed medications to ensure patients receive the most appropriate, up to date and cost effective treatments. This service is provided to practices within East & North Hertfordshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group.
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 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality, Information Security and Records Management
- Information: To share or not to share review
Every member of staff who works for an 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 third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), where the law requires information to be passed on and / or in accordance with the new information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (information to share to not to share) where; ”The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality”. This means that health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients within the framework set out be the Caldicott principles. They should be supported by the policies of their employers, regulators and professional bodies.
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 / 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
- Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Police and Judicial Services
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Private Sector Providers
- Other ‘data processors’ which you will be informed of
You may be informed who your data will be shared with and in some cases asked for explicit consent for this to happen when this is required.
We are sometimes legally obliged to disclose information about patients to relevant authorities. In these circumstances the minimum identifiable information that is essential to serve that legal purpose will be disclosed. That organisation will also have a professional and contractual duty of confidentiality. Data will be anonymised if at all possible before disclosure if this would serve the purpose for which the data is required. Organisations we are sometimes obliged to release information to include:
- NHS Digital (e.g. the National Diabetes Audit)
- The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
- The Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- The General Medical Council (GMC)
- Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Police & Judicial Services
- Public Health England
- Local Authorities (e.g. Social Services, Children’s Services)
- The Health Service Ombudsmen
Only with your explicit consent, Whitwell Surgery will release information about you, from you GP record to relevant organisations, including:
- Your employer
- Insurance Companies
Access to personal information
You have to right under to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and 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 may be a charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within 40 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
Your right to opt-out of sharing your information
You have the right to opt-out (or object) to ways in which your information is shared, both for direct medical care purposes (such as the national NHS data sharing schemes) i.e. primary uses of your information, or for purposes other than your direct medical care – so-called secondary uses. Please notify us in writing should you wish to opt-out.
Objections / Complaints
Should you have concerns about how your information is managed at the practice, 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.gov.uk).
If you are happy for your data to be extracted and used for the purposes described in this privacy notice then you do not need to do anything. If you have any concerns about how your data is shared then please contact the practice.
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 requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purpose for which they process personal and sensitive information.
This information is publicly available on the information commissioner’s office website www.ico.org.uk.
The practice is registered with the information commissioner’s office (ICO).
Who is the Data Controller?
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is: Whitwell Surgery