How We Use Your Information
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 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 Trust
- 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
- Other ‘data processors’
Access to your information
Subject Access Requests
A subject access request is a written request for personal information (known as personal data) held about you. Generally, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. You are entitled to be given a description of the information, what we use it for, who we might pass it onto, and any information we might have about the source of the information. However, this right is subject to certain exemptions that are set out in the Data Protection Act.
A request for information from health records has to be made with the organisation that holds your health records – the data controller. For example, your GP practice, optician or dentist.