This leaflet explains:
- Why the NHS collects information about you and how it is used.
- Who we may share information with.
- Your right to see your health records and how we keep your records confidential.
Why we collect information about you:
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
These records may include:
- Basic details about you such as address, date of birth, next of kin
- Contact we have had with you such as clinical visits
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details and records about your treatment and care
- Results of x-rays, laboratory tests, etc.
- Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well such as health professionals and relatives
It is good practice for people in the NHS who provide care to:
- Discuss and agree with you what they are going to record about you
- Give you a copy of letters they are writing about you, and
- Show you what they have recorded about you, if you ask
How your records are used
The people who care for you use your records to:
- Provide a good basis for all health decisions made in consultation with you and other health care professionals
- Deliver appropriate health care
- Make sure your health care is safe and effective, and
- Work effectively with others providing you with health care
Others may also need to use records about you to:
- Check the quality of health care (such as clinical audit)
- Protect the health of the general public
- Keep track of NHS spending
- Manage the health service
- Help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your health care
- Teach health workers and
- Help with research
Some information will be held centrally to be used for statistical purposes. In these instances we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified
We use anonymous information, wherever possible, but on occasions we may use personal identifiable information for essential NHS purposes such as research and auditing.
However, this information will only be used with your consent, unless the law requires us to pass on the information
You have the right
You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence (the Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply)
You also have the right to ask for a copy of all records about you.
Under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into place on 25th May 2018 no fee will be charged for a request for copies of your health care records, however the Practice can enforce a charge for copies if the patients request for copies becomes excessive
- Your request must be made in writing to the organisation holding your information
- We are required to respond to you within 28 working days
- You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number etc.)
- You will be required to provide ID before any information is released to you
If you think anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform the organisation holding your information
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to notify the Information Commissioner of the purposes for which they process personal information
How do I access my health records?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to access your health records.
If you want to see your health records, you should contact Janice Preece (Practice Manager) in the first instance to arrange a date and time to come in and read them.
You do not have to give a reason for wanting to see your records.
As well as having a copy of your health records, the surgery will also have a summary of any hospital tests, or treatment, that you have had.
Any hospitals where you have had treatment, or tests, will also hold records.
To see your hospital health records, you will have to contact the Hospital Trust where you were seen / received treatment.
All Hospitals should ask if you wish to be copied in to the letter which holds the information from your visit that day.
If they do not you have the right to a copy of the information that is sent to your GP.
As of 25th May 2018 you cannot be charged for accessing your medical records
However the Practice holds the right to charge you if your request for copies becomes excessive.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (Fees and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2001 all patients have the right to access their medical records.
From 25th May 2018 the Practice cannot charge you to access your health records or obtain copies of your records.
Please speak to a member of the administrative team for further information on how to access your medical records.
Power of Attorney
Your health records are confidential, and members of your family are not allowed to see them, unless you give them written permission, or they have ‘Power of Attorney’.
A lasting ‘Power of Attorney’ is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you, should you become incapable of making decisions yourself.
The person you appoint is known as your Attorney.
An Attorney can make decisions about your finances, property, and welfare.
It is very important that you trust the person you appoint as Attorney, so that they do not abuse their responsibility.
A legal ‘Power of Attorney’ must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.