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.
Everyone working in, or for, the NHS must use personal information in a secure and confidential way. Staff that have access to information about individuals need to use it effectively, whilst maintaining appropriate levels of confidentiality.
We will only ever use or pass on your information if there is a genuine need to do so. We will not disclose information about you to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the law requires.
At all times your information is kept secure. We use encryption for sending electronic information and if we are sending your information in the post we use the special delivery service.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure
When we pass on any information we will ensure it is kept confidential and secure.
Who do we share your information with?
Subject to strict agreements describing how the information will be used, we may need to share your information with:
- NHS England;
- The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC);
- your GP, Pharmacy and Hospital;
- NHS 111;
- out of Hours medical service;
- NHS walk in centres;
- local authority departments, including social care and health (formerly social services), education and housing and public health;
- voluntary sector providers who are directly involved in your care;
- private sector providers (private hospitals, care homes, hospices, contractors providing services to the NHS).
The sharing of sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law. We will consult you before information is shared to ensure we act with your consent. If you are unable to consent for any reason, we will only share information where it is clearly in your best interests to do so. With your consent, information can be shared with relatives, partners, friends or carers.
When information is shared, it is transferred securely and kept confidentially by those who receive it.
Sharing your information without consent:
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example:
- where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people;
- where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented;
- notification of new births;
- where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS);
- where a formal court order has been issued;
- where there is a legal requirement, for example if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the Practice Manager.
Access to Records
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the Practice Manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
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.