Confidentiality and Personal Information
What we use information for
As providers of healthcare services, our clinical and administrative staff ask you for personal health information so that you can receive appropriate care and treatment. We keep this information, together with details about your care, because it may be needed if we see you again. The Practice is ‘paperlite’ with records now held on computer. This enables us to analyse various aspects of health care.
Sharing information with others
You may be receiving care from other people as well as NHS Staff. So that we can all work together for your benefit, we may need to share some information about you. We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need to know and it is in your and everyone’s interest. Whenever we can, we shall remove details that identify you. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
Other uses of information
We may use some of this information for other reasons, for example:
Care and Treatment
- Routine record keeping, consultation of records etc., in the course of the provision of care and treatment.
- Processing of records in the event of a medical emergency.
- In the protection and monitoring of public health e.g. controlling infection.
- Disclosures made by one health professional or organisation to another e.g. where a GP refers a patient to a specialist.
- The practice also participates in regional and national programmes, such as SCCRS (Scottish Cervical Cytology Recall System), and your name and address, date of birth and health number will be given to them in order to send an invitation to you.
- Clinical Audit e.g. the monitoring of a patient care pathway against existing standards and benchmarks.
- Procession for administrative purposes e.g. disclosure by a GP made in order to receive payment for treatment provided and post-payment verification of payments.
- In the investigation of complaints and legal claims.
- Administrative audit, which may include studies designed to improve the efficiency of the NHS as an organisation e.g. to support decisions about the allocation of resources.
Research and Teaching
- Statutory disclosures to disease registries and for epidemiological research.
- Clinical Trials.
- Hospital-based teaching.
- University-based teaching.
Use and Disclosures for Non-Health Purposes
- Disclosures for Crime and Disorder Act 1998 purposes.
- Disclosures to the Police.
- Disclosures to Hospital Chaplains.
- Disclosures to the media.
- Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information, for example, ‘Statutory notification of births and deaths’.
Assuring Patient Confidentiality
Under the Data Protection Act the Practice is registered with the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) and ensures that patient confidentiality is maintained at all times by all members of the multi-disciplinary Practice Team. Any violation of confidentiality or failure of an employee to protect a patient’s information from accidental or unauthorised access will be investigated and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Access To Your Health Records
You have a right to access your health records. The Data Protection Act (1998) gives you the right of access to all information that the Surgery holds about you on computerised or manual records and, if you wish, to obtain a copy of them. Applications should be made in writing to the Practice Manager. Only in exceptional circumstances can access be withheld. The doctor can advise certain information to be withheld if they feel the information would be harmful to your mental health or physical wellbeing. For further information, ask at reception and further information can be found on NHS Inform webpages.
Freedom of Information Act
Kinglass Medical Practice will follow BMA Guidelines. Application to obtain information under this Act should be made in writing to the Practice Manager.
Concerns about Sharing Your Information
If you have any concerns about how we use or share your information, or you do not wish us to share your information, please contact the Practice Manager on 01506 822556.
If you have a complaint about how your information is managed at the Practice, please contact the Practice Manager. If you remain unhappy with the Practice’s response, you can complain to the Information Commissioner Office:
Tel 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745