At Woodford Medical Centre, we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy…
This Privacy Notice explains why the GP Practice collects information about you, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.
How is your information used?
The Healthcare 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, and are accessible by all members of the practice team – General Practitioners, Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, Pharmacist and administration and reception staff.
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.
What type of information is collected from you?
Records which this GP Practice holds about you may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as your address, contact numbers, carer, legal representative, emergency contact details;
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, telephone consultations etc.;
- Notes and reports about your health which could be generated from the practice or other Health & Social care organisations;
- Details about your treatment and care;
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.;
- Relevant information of you relatives or those who care for you;
- Any other information which you have agreed to share with us, relating to you and your carer/ family members.
Your records are used to facilitate the healthcare you receive from the practice to ensure care and treatment is delivered in the best possible way. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage and contribute to the wider the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audits 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 by redacting this information. Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes, and the practice will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose.
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:
- EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Data Protection Act 1998
- 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. Our policy within the Practice ensures that all staff adheres to a strict internal Confidentiality Policy.
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 own employers, regulators and professional bodies.
Who has access to your information?
We do not sell or rent your information to third parties. We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.
We may share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations;
- NHS Trusts / Foundation Trusts;
- Other General Practitioners;
- Other General Practices with which we are federated and provide collaborative services;
- NHS Commissioning Support Units;
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists;
- Private Sector Providers;
- Voluntary Sector Providers;
- Ambulance Trusts;
- Clinical Commissioning Groups;
- Social Care Services;
- NHS Digital;
- Local Authorities;
- Education Services;
- Fire and Rescue Services;
- Police & Judicial Services;
- Other ‘data processors’ which you will be informed of.
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.
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.
How the NHS and Care Services use your Information
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided
- research into the development of new treatments
- preventing illness and diseases
- monitoring safety
- planning services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit the NHS Data Matters webpage. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Health and care organisations have until 31/03/2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care. Our organisation is currently compliant with the national data opt-out policy.
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 and from this GP Practice. 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 North East Lincolnshire through North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
How long do we keep your information?
Your health record is a lifelong record which will be digital, with potentially some records in paper format depending on when you were born.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the GP, please contact the GP Practice Manager. If you are still unhappy following a review by the GP Practice, you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) via their website (www.ico.gov.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.
Surgery Website and Use of ‘cookies’
This website is provided for information only. It is not intended to replace a consultation with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. The Practice cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or injury that arises from the use of this website
A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive while they are visiting a particular website. It contains simple information about the user’s identity but no personal information. When the user closes their browser, the cookie is destroyed.
Use of Patient Access
How you can access and update your information
The accuracy of your information is important to us. It is essential 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.
Who is the Data Controller and Data Protection Officer?
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is
Woodford Medical Centre, overseen by the Business Manager. The Data Protection Officer is the practices’ IT Manager. The Business Manager and IT Manager can be contacted by telephoning the surgery.
Should you have any queries or concerns about how your information is managed by the Practice please refer to and act in accordance with our Compliment, Concerns and Complaints Policy.
If you are still unhappy following a review by the Practice you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). www.ico.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625