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.
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.
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 Business Manager 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 Trusts
• 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 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.
This Practice operates a process for the investigation of complaints which follows the NHS Complaints Procedure.
Tracy Steward, Business Manager, manages the complaints procedure on behalf of the Practice/Partnership.
A complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event/issue.
The NHS Customer Care can be contacted on 0300 311 2233 for advice and assistance, they can also provide information on how and where to obtain advocacy support. However, ultimately the practice needs to investigate the complaint and reply.
The Practice will acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 3 days and provide a date whereby the complaint will be answered, a meeting will be offered. The practice will always try to respond within 2 weeks. If delays occur for any reason this will be explained and a revised date will be given for the completion of the investigation.
Once a response has been provided, a meeting will again be offered. Once the complaint has been finalised at a practice level, the patient still has a right to complain to the Health Services Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman exists to provide a service to the public by undertaking independent investigations into complaints that government departments, a range of other public bodies in the UK, and the NHS in England have not acted properly or have provided a poor service. However, the Ombudsman would generally only agree to review a complaint if they feel all attempts to resolve the complaint at a local level have been exhausted. The Ombudsman should be approached as soon as possible. The Health Service Ombudsman can be contacted on 0845 015 4033 or by writing to:
Alternatively, you can visit their website at: www.ombudsman.org.uk where you can access their patient information leaflet.
Complaining On Behalf Of Someone Else:
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentially. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed.
If the person is unable to complain themselves please contact Tracy Steward, Business Manager, at the practice, who will provide advice.
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.