You can be sure that anything you discuss with any member of the practice will remain confidential.
Access to Medical Records
Patients can request access to their medical records by writing to the practice manager. Records may be viewed at the practice and a charge will be made for any photocopies requested.
On occasion, access to your medical records may be required for audit purposes by, for example, the Clinical Commissioning Group. Under the Department of Health's Code of Practice on Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information 2004, written consent will be required from patients prior to accessing their medical records for such purposes.
Safeguarding Your Personal Health Information
To give you the care you need, we keep information about your visits to surgery staff involved in your care or treatment. These could be visits to a GP or practice nurse, or a visit by a health visitor. We keep information about your health and lifestyle and any illnesses, tests, prescriptions and other treatments that you have had. When this information contains things that can identify you, such as your name, address, postcode or date of birth, it's called your personal health information. Your personal health information is stored securely on paper or on computer, or both.
We sometimes share your personal health information with other organisations involved in your healthcare. We only share relevant information. For example, when your GP refers you to a specialist at the hospital we send relevant details about you in the referral letter and receive information back from them about you. We sometimes share information including your name, address and date of birth so that you can be invited for health screening.
We also need to use your personal health information for administrative tasks, but we only use relevant information. We share information about you with relevant NHS organisations, so that we can be paid for services we provide for you. These organisations help to check that public money is being spent properly. The surgery must allow these checks to be done and we need to share your information to be able to give you healthcare services.
Sometimes, we might use information about you and other patients' to help improve our services or to check that they are up to standard. Whenever we do this we will make sure that as far as possible we don't share any information that could identify you.
The surgery is sometimes involved in health research and in teaching student doctors, nurses, and other NHS staff. We will not use or share your personal health information for research unless you have given your permission.
Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information to other organizations. For example, we have to report all deaths and certain diseases.
The law sets out how we can use your personal health information. The Data Protection Act gives you rights about how your personal information is used, including a right to see the information we hold about you.
All NHS staff have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and they follow a staff Code of Practice on Protecting Patient Confidentiality. Further information about this can be found at www.nhsis.co.uk/confidentiality.
If you have any questions about how we use your personal health information, or would like to see your health records please contact our Practice Manager.