When you visit the surgery we want you to feel able to discuss anything with your doctor that might relate to your health. This may include sexual matters, your relationships, drugs, drinking, your mental health, your job etc. You need to feel that anything you inform us of will remain absolutely confidential.
The General Medical Council, whose rules on confidentiality apply to all doctors in the UK, enforces our duty of confidentiality to all patients. The practice is also registered under the Data Protection Act 2018.
We take great care to ensure that no information you give us is passed on either inadvertently or through the deception of others. This would include other family members unless we have your written consent.
In the National Health Service we aim to provide you with the highest quality of health care. To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
The NHS in England uses patient information for different purposes and the main two are:
a: To provide direct care – To provide patients with the personal care and treatment they need.
b: For purposes beyond direct care – Where patients’ information is used alongside other patients’ information in statistics and research and analysis. This information is typically used to check that health and social care services are doing a good job; to provide the right services at the right time; and to support researchers in the development of new medicines and treatments.
Doctors do not discuss their patients with reception staff, but staff may type letters, file incoming hospital post and results and carry out a host of other administrative tasks on behalf of your doctor. They are not allowed to access your notes for any other purpose. All our staff are highly trustworthy and professional in their attitude to the responsibility that patient confidentiality places on them. The practice can audit access to records to ensure records are not accessed inappropriately.
Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic record that gives healthcare staff faster, easier access to essential information about you anywhere in the country, so that you can be given safe treatment during an emergency or when your GP surgery is closed.
You can opt out if you do not want your information to be used in this way. The NHS Summary Care Records page contains further information.
Risk stratification is an example of where your information may be used for your direct care or for purposes beyond your direct care.
Risk stratification is a process of identifying patients or groups of patients that are most likely to get a certain disease so that the right services can be provided to an individual or a population in general.
For example, “these patients are most likely to get diabetes in my GP practice, so I’m going to provide this care plan to those individuals” or “this number of patients is at risk of diabetes in this CCG, so I’m going to commission this service”.
Some information is sent electronically to the other parts of the NHS for administration and payment purposes. This can be statistical information that does not identify individuals or may include some personal details such as changes of address etc. in order to keep the practice list up to date. All NHS staff are bound by the same rules on data protection and confidentiality.
The practice is also requested by the NHS and Medical Research Council (MRC) to provide data for the clinical audit or research of certain diseases and conditions. This information will either be anonymous, so individuals cannot be identified or you will be asked for consent. You may be contacted to ask if you’re happy for your information to be used in this way. Your identifiable information will only be shared in this way where you have given your explicit consent.
Prescribing information is also requested to help compile statistics on how diseases are treated and the costs involved in treating some illnesses. All such information is anonymous; individual patients will not be recognisable from this information.
NHS Digital is developing a national data opt-out system to give patients the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether they wish for their personal identifiable information to be used for research and planning purposes. The national data opt-out will not apply to, or affect the necessary usages of data for the patient’s individual care and treatment.
The national data opt-out is introduced on 25 May 2018, providing a facility for individuals to opt-out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes. This is provided in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. The service will initially be in beta, while we ensure the service design is optimal.
Individual preferences will be collected from 25 May and by 2020 all health and care organisations are required to have applied these preferences in all research and planning situations in which confidential patient information is used. NHS Digital will apply these preferences with immediate effect.
The national data opt-out will replace the previous ‘type 2’ opt-out, which required NHS Digital to refrain from sharing a patient’s confidential patient information for purposes beyond their direct care. Any person with an existing type 2 opt-out will have it automatically converted to a national data opt-out from 25 May 2018 and will shortly receive a letter giving them more information and a leaflet explaining the new national data opt-out. We will continue to collect and convert type 2 opt-outs during the beta phase.
The opt-out system will allow patients to directly express an opt-out preference of their personal identifiable information being used for:
The national data opt-out choice can be viewed or changed at any time by using the online service at NHS.uk - Your NHS Data Matters.
You have the right to see your own medical record, both hand written and entered onto the computer. In certain circumstances there will be a charge of £50.00 for providing copies of your notes. It may be beneficial to contact the surgery, by calling to speak with the Medical Secretary, to discuss this prior to requesting your notes.
Sometimes you may need a report prepared by your doctor for someone else who is not involved in your care. This may be your employer, an insurance company or your solicitor. We will never release any information to any other party without your written consent. You have the right to see these reports before they are sent off. If you have any worries we recommend you ask to check them at the time.
Patient Online allows you to access GP services from your computer, tablet or mobile phone, as well as through your local GP practice to:
Online services will allow you to book and cancel appointments or request repeat prescriptions at a time that is convenient to you – day or night. It will help you to take greater control of your health and wellbeing by increasing online access to services. Evidence shows that patients who are informed and involved in their own care have better health outcomes and are less likely to be admitted to hospital.
You will need to fill in a short form and bring proof of your identity into the GP surgery so that we can provide you with logon details and with a password.
At Vine Surgery Partnership we currently offer the online services below:
All persons who can access your record on computer are given a unique password. Different grades of staff have different levels of access. Staff should only have access to those parts of the computer record that they need to do their job. An audit trail of who has used the computer is kept within the computer system with every login recorded and identified by the user’s password. All computers have anti-virus software loaded, which is regularly updated to protect your medical record.
If you any questions about how the information on your medical record is used please contact the surgery.
111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals.
Use Patient Access to book an appointment, order repeat prescriptions and view your medical record.
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