How we use your personal information
This privacy notice explains what information Downing Street Group Practice holds about you, why we hold that information and how that information may be used. The healthcare professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records which this GP Practice hold about you may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as your address, carer, legal representative, emergency contact details.
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about your treatment and care
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you to ensure you receive the best possible care
Your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and your information
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.'
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a Notice under Regulation 3(4) of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non-clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease.
Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 30th September 2020 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be will be provided in writing and we will communicate the same to you.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
If you are concerned about how your information is being used, please contact our DPO using the contact details provided in this Privacy Notice.
How do we ensure your records are held confidentiality?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 2018
- General Data Protection Regulations 2018
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality
- Information Security and Records Management
- Information: To Share or Not to Share Review
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.
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), where the law requires information to be passed on and in accordance with the new information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (Information: To share or not to share) where “The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality.”
This means that health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients within the framework set out by the Caldicott principles. They should be supported by the policies of their employers, regulators and professional bodies.
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the practice 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 your record is accurate and up to date.
You have the right to object to our sharing your data in these circumstances but we have an overriding responsibility to do what is in your best interests. Please see below.
We are required by Articles in the General Data Protection Regulations to provide you with the information in the following 9 subsections.
1) Data Controller contact details
Downing Street Group Practice
4, Downing Street
Tel.: 01252 716226
2) Data Protection Officer contact details
contact via the Practice
3) Purpose of the processing
Direct Care is care delivered to the individual alone, most of which is provided in the surgery. After a patient agrees to a referral for direct care elsewhere, such as a referral to a specialist in a hospital, necessary and relevant information about the patient, their circumstances and their problem will need to be shared with the other healthcare workers, such as specialist, therapists, technicians etc. The information that is shared is to enable the other healthcare workers to provide the most appropriate advice, investigations, treatments, therapies and or care.
4) Lawful basis for processing
The processing of personal data in the delivery of direct care and for providers’ administrative purposes in this surgery and in support of direct care elsewhere is supported under the following Article 6 and 9 conditions of the GDPR:
Article 6(1)(e) ‘…necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority…’.
Article 9(2)(h) ‘necessary for the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services...”
We will also recognise your rights established under UK case law collectively known as the “Common Law Duty of Confidentiality”*
5) Recipient or categories of recipients of the processed data
The data will be shared with Health and care professionals and support staff in this surgery and at hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centres who contribute to your personal care. We are currently preparing detailed privacy notices for each of the ways in which we use your information. These will be available in the practice and on the website.
6) Rights to object
You have the right to object to some or all the information being processed under Article 21. Please contact the Data Controller or the practice. You should be aware that this is a right to raise an objection, that is not the same as having an absolute right to have your wishes granted in every circumstance.
7) Right to access and correct
You have the right to access the data that is being shared and have any inaccuracies corrected. There is no right to have accurate medical records deleted except when ordered by a court of Law. Your request may be made either verbally or in writing to the practice.
8) Retention period
The data will be retained in line with the law and national guidance. https://digital.nhs.uk/article/1202/Records-Management-Code-of-Practice-for-Health-and-Social-Care-2016
or speak to the practice.
9) Right to Complain.
If you are happy for your data to be extracted and used for the purposes described in this privacy notice then you do not need to do anything. If you have any concerns about how your data is shared then please contact the practice. Please contact the Practice Manager in the first instance: Suzanne Nicholls Tel. : 01252 716226
You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office, you can use this link https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
or calling their helpline Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)
There are National Offices for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, (see ICO website)
Detailed Privacy Notice
Supplementary privacy notice during Covid-19
How we use your medical information leaflet
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