GDPR and Confidentiality

We respect your right to privacy and aim to keep all your health information confidential and secure.

It is important that the NHS keeps accurate and up to date records about your health so that those supporting you can give you the best possible advice, treatment and care.

Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. All staff sign a confidentiality agreement as part of their contract of employment.

The general data protection regulation (GDPR) is a law that determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data. The regulation applied from 25th May 2018 and will apply even after the UK leaves the EU.

So what does this mean for patients? The GDPR sets out the key principles about processing personal data.

  • Data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
  • It must be collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes.
  • It must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.
  • Information must be accurate and kept up to date.
  • Data must be held securely.
  • It can only be retained for as long as it is necessary for the reasons it was collected.
  • There are also stronger rights for patients regarding the information that practices hold about them.

These include:

  • Being informed about how their data is used.
  • Patients having access to their own data.
  • Patients can ask to have incorrect information changed.
  • Restrict how their data is used.
  • Move their patient data from one health organisation to another.
  • The right to object to their patient information being processed (in certain circumstances).
  • To comply with this new regulation, we have reviewed our processes, procedures and protocols updating many of these to comply with the changes.

One of the core changes sees an update of our privacy notice (sometimes known as a fair processing notice). This statement discloses the way we gather, use, disclose, and manage the information we hold about you. It fulfils our legal requirement to protect your privacy.

Please see our updated privacy notice. This is also available in hard copy from our reception areas.

COVID-19

Please read about how your information is being used for COVID-19 research.

Please be aware that we may use new providers or suppliers to help us quickly adapt during the outbreak and to continue your care effectively. For example, we may use a new provider for video consultations. We may not be able to add these to our transparency materials right away, and we apologise for this but please be assured that all of our processors are bound by contract to protect your data.

During COVID-19 we may ask you to send a photograph of your bruise or skin condition that you are concerned about whilst we conduct virtual consultations. This photograph will be used by the clinician to determine any medical treatment necessary and will be added to your medical record.

Please note that as this is sent via email, it may not be secure and we therefore ask that you only include your NHS number alongside your photograph in the email. The photograph should only be of the area requested and no other person should be visible in the shot.

How we look after your personal information during the Covid-19 pandemic when staff work from home

In accordance with government guidance and in order to protect the health and safety of our staff during this difficult period we will requiring all administrative staff to work from home.

This means that staff may need to access any necessary personal and/or medical information remotely in order to look after your healthcare needs.

We would like to assure you that our staff are subject to all relevant security procedures and policies of the practice to ensure that any information is kept safe, secure and confidential at all times.

Your Information

Your practice takes privacy seriously and we want to provide you with information about your rights, who we share your information with and how we keep it secure.

Please use the links below to find more information about the practice and data protection:

Consent for Children’s Treatment

A child may give the legal consent to their own treatment where it is considered appropriate by parents, or where the adolescent is over the age of 13 and does not wish for the presence of an adult.  Under these circumstances, the clinician must be satisfied that the child has a full understanding of the advice and treatment being provided.

Patient Health Information

We use patient identifiable data to conduct internal searches for identifying potential patients for research projects. No information is sent to researchers without patient’s consent. If you are referred for treatment outside the practice, your referral will be shared with a special team we have developed in partnership with practices across South Norfolk. The team consists of clinicians who will have access to your referral information and will support our clinicians to get the best care for you from the local NHS. The surgery’s aim is to provide our patients with the most appropriate treatment in the shortest possible time. All patient identifiable information will continue to be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act and NHS confidentiality regulations.

Subject Access Requests

One of the other changes linked to the new guidelines relates to data subject access requests (SARs). An individual can make a SAR to any organisation that they believe is processing their personal data. This request must be in writing or email. We have also created a form for patients to complete. Under the new guidance, responses will be made within one calendar month. An extension of 2 months can be allowed if necessary taking into account the complexity of the request. A fee can no longer be charged unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, in which case a fee may be charged or the request refused.

We have updated our practice policy on subject access requests.

If you have any questions around how we collect, manage and share your data, please speak with our practice manager, Mr Kevan Baker.