The information we hold about you is kept in your paper records and also on the computer.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about your personal information. Staff working within the surgery may need access to your medical records in the course of their work. Your information may be shared with other health professionals outside the practice but within the NHS, for the purpose of your ongoing care.
We also have to supply information to the Department of Health and the CCG but this information is usually anonymous or subject to scrupulous confidentiality rules.
We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interests.
Whenever we can we shall remove details which identify you. The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law.
If an insurance company, employer or solicitor requests information about you we will only give it to them after we have received your signed authorisation to release such information.
We are unable to disclose information about you to anyone, even your close relatives, unless we have your signed consent, Power of Attoney or there are extenuating circumstances.
The new General Data Protection Regulation affects any organisation that collects and keeps data about their customers or in our case, patients. We value the confidentiality of our patients and want to be clear about the data we collect, how we use it and your rights to control that information. The GDPR is a set of laws passed in the European Union and which come into effect from 25.5.18. At that date, we have to have an action plan in place to ensure we are working towards meeting all of these standards. We already do a lot of work involving Information Governance due to the nature of the information we keep about our patients so a lot of this is just building on what we have in place already.
If you would like to know anything about how we collect, keep and share your data, we will be happy to provide you with more information.
Confidentiality for young people
The policy of confidentiality extends to our younger patients consulting on their own (the basis of this policy is defined in law). Any matter discussed by a younger patient during a consultation will not be disclosed to a third party. We believe that most of our younger patients are competent enough to make an informed choice on their own and we would usually encourage them to discuss matters with their parents. In very rare circumstances if the young person is considered to be at risk, it may be necessary to disclose information to an appropriate third party.