This practice handles medical records in-line with laws on data protection and confidentiality.
How we use your medical records
We share medical records with those who are involved in providing you with care and treatment.
In some circumstances we will also share medical records for medical research, for example to find out more about why people get ill.
We share information when the law requires us to do so, for example, to prevent infectious diseases from spreading or to check the care being provided to you is safe.
- You have the right to be given a copy of your medical record
- You have the right to object to your medical records being shared with those who provide you with care
- You have the right to object to your information being used for medical research and to plan health services
- You have the right to have any mistakes corrected and to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office
Practice Privacy Notice
This privacy notice explains why we as a Practice collect information about our patients and how we use that information.
Parsons Heath Medical Practice manages patient information in accordance with existing laws and with guidance from organisations that govern the provision of healthcare in Wales such as the Department of Health and the General Medical Council.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998. In practice, this means ensuring that your Personal Confidential Data (PCD) is handled clearly and transparently, and in a reasonably expected way.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way personal confidential data is processed, therefore it is important that our patients are aware of and understand these changes, and that you have an opportunity to object and know how to do so.
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any NHS treatment or care you have received (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both; a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records held by this GP practice may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as address and next of kin
- Any contact the practice has had with you, including appointment (emergency or scheduled), clinic visits, etc.
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about treatment and care received
- Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you
- Telephone recordings
The practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential. However, we can disclose personal information if:
- It is required by law
- You provide consent – either implicitly or for the sake of someone else’s care, or explicitly for other purposes
- It is justified to be in the public interest
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we hold data centrally, we take strict and secure measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Information may be used for clinical audit purposes to monitor the quality of service provided, and may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this we ensure that patient records cannot be identified.
Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare providers with the objective of providing you with better care.
Patients can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way. When the practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start. We will also explain clearly what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of each new scheme.
A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other health care providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive then the doctor will explain this to you at the time.
If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about any appointments or other health screening information being carried out.
Risk stratification is a process for identifying and managing patients who are at high risk of requiring emergency or urgent care. Typically, this is because patients have a long term condition such as COPD, cancer or other medical condition at risk of sudden worsening. NHS Wales encourages GPs to use risk stratification tools as part of their local strategies for supporting patients with long-term conditions and to provide care plans and planned care with the aim to prevent avoidable admissions or other emergency care.
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 Risk Stratification.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed, or wish to opt-out of any data collection at the practice, please contact the practice or your healthcare professional to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be limited.
Patients have the right to change their minds and reverse a previous decision. Please contact the practice, if you change your mind regarding any previous choice.
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 the Data Protection Act 1998 (which is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office), Human Rights Act, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. Every staff member who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to maintain the confidentiality of patient information.
All of our staff, contractors and committee members receive appropriate and regular training to ensure they are aware of their personal responsibilities and have legal and contractual obligations to uphold confidentiality, enforceable through disciplinary procedures. Only a limited number of authorised staff have access to personal information where it is appropriate to their role and is strictly on a need-to-know basis.
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 dentist, 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 personal information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view information the practice holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. This is known as ‘the right of subject access’. If we do hold information about you we will:
- Give you a description of it
- Tell you why we are holding it
- Tell you who it could be disclosed to
- Let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form
If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’, please contact the Practice Manager or complete the form available from reception. There may be a charge for this service. Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and on the practice notice board.
Change of Details
It is important 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.
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information. This information is publicly available on the Information Commissioners Office website.
The practice is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Who is the Data Controller?
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is:
Parsons Heath Medical Practice
35a Parsons Heath
The Partnership is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998
Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found in:
- The NHS Care Record Guarantee
- The NHS Constitution
- NHS Digital’s Guide to Confidentiality in Health & Social Care gives more information on the rules around information sharing
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the Regulator for the Data Protection Act 1998 and offer independent advice and guidance on the law and personal data, including your rights and how to access your personal information. For further information, please visit the ICO.
Confidentiality and Medical records
Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care. It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what has worked best.
Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone. How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.
We need to make sure you know this is happening and the choices you have.
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
Do I have a choice?
You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, ask your practice to make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health emergency).
You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care, such as hospitals and community services. You should let your GP know if you want to restrict the use of this information.
Your choice will not affect the care you receive.
If you want to opt-out please ask at reception for a form.
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.
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. No information will be released without patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
You can also ask for access to certain parts of your medical records, including immunisations, problems, results etc.
Please contact reception if you would like further information about this service.
If you have any questions about any of the above information, please contact the practice.