How We Use Your Data
Why do we collect information about you?
Your doctor and other healthcare professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. These help to ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. They may be written down (manual records) or held on computer. These records may include:
- Basic details about you, such as your contact details and next of kin;
- Contacts we have had with you such as clinic visits;
- Notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you have received;
- Details and records about the treatment and care you receive;
- Results of investigations such as x-rays and laboratory tests;
- Relevant information from other health professionals or those who care for you and know you well.
How are your records used to help you?
Your records are used to guide professionals in the care you receive to ensure that:
- Your doctor or nurse has accurate and up to date information to assess your health and decide what care you need.
- Full information is available if you see another doctor, are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS;
- There is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received;
- Your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain.
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 England
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Services
- NHS Hospital Trusts
- Independent Contractors, such as Pharmacists, Opticians and Dentists
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
Receiving care from other people as well as the NHS
So that we can all work together for your benefit we may need to share information about you. The surgery only ever uses or passes on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your interest. We share clinical information about you with our colleagues in secondary care, which means the hospital that might treat you. So, if we refer you to see a consultant, we will include details about you and your past medical history as well as why we are sending you to see someone. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential. Your relatives, carers or friends can only be kept up to date with your medical history or treatment if you consent for this to happen. Children under the age of 16 are usually classed as minors and therefore information regarding their care is shared with their parents, unless they are thought to be able to understand their own treatment and condition.
How are your records used to help the NHS?
Your information may be used to help the NHS:
- Assess the needs of the general population;
- Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future;
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard;
- Teach and train healthcare professionals;
- Conduct health research and development;
- Pay your GP and hospital for the care they provide;
- Audit NHS accounts and services;
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance;
- Investigate complaints, legal claims or significant events;
Some of this information will be held centrally but where it is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units and research institutions. Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes which may include research and auditing services. This will only ever be done with your explicit consent unless the law requires information to be passed on to protect or improve public health.
How do we keep your records confidential?
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence. Every person working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and all staff at Leacroft Medical practice adhere to our strict policy regarding patient confidentiality.
You may be receiving care from other organisations as well as the NHS, such as Social Services, and we may need to share some information about you so that we can all work together for your benefit. None of your personal medical history will be shared with these organisations without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when the health and safety of others is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential. We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by qualified health professionals.
Occasions when we must pass on information include:
- Notifications of new births,
- Where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV / AIDS),
- Where a formal court order has been used.
Summary Care Record
A Summary Care Record is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had. Having this information stored in one place makes it easier and safer for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP Practice is closed.
How do you gain access to your own health records?
The Data Protection Act of March 2000 allows you to find information that is held on computers or in manual records. This right is called the ‘right of subject access.’ If you wish to see your medical records then you should make a written request to our Practice Manager, Mr. Matthew Cullis. You are entitled to receive a copy, but please be aware that there may be a charge for this. Also, in certain circumstances your right to see some details may be limited in your own interests or for other reasons.