Confidentiality & Medical Records
The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
- To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
- When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.
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.
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.
Privacy - How We Use Your Information
How we use your personal information
This Fair Processing Notice explains in general why New Valley Practice collects information about you and how that information may be used. Separate detailed Privacy Notices are available for specific tasks and you can access these by clicking on the links below this overarching message.
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. Out-of-hours, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, Hospital 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 New Valley Practice holds about you may include the following information;
- Details about you, such as your address, carer, legal representative, emergency contact details
- Any contact the surgery has had with you e.g. appointments, clinic visits, home visits, 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 are used to ensure you receive the best possible care. 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 (Hospitals) and from this GP Practice.
A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information using software managed by NHS Digital, 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 Devon by our local Clinical Commissioning Groups.
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 (which will be succeeded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 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 and 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 information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (Information to share or 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 by 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
- Specialist Trusts
- NHS England
- 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
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and 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.
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.
Access to personal information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 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 Practice Manager.
- There will be 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) and provide 2 forms of identification so that your identity can be verified and your records located.
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 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) as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. The registration number is Z5326975 and it can be viewed online in the public register at www.ico.gov.uk
Who is the Data Controller?
The Data Controller is Karen Hoskins, Acting Practice Manager, who is responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential.
Who is the Data Protection Officer?
The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Bex Lovewell (07375 322875).
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed by the practice please contact the Acting Practice Manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Mrs. Karen Hoskins, New Valley Practice, Newcombes, Crediton EX17 2AR.
If you are still unhappy following a review by the Practice you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) via their website www.ico.org.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.
Using your information to provide you with healthcare
Research and Quality Improvement
Information Sharing with NHS Digital, Care Quality Commission and Public Health
National Data Opt-Out