We understand how important it is to keep your personal information safe and secure and we take this very seriously. We have taken steps to make sure your personal information is looked after in the best possible way and we review this regularly.
Please read this Privacy Notice (‘Privacy Notice’) carefully, as it contains important information about how we use the personal and healthcare information we collect on your behalf.
- WHY WE ARE PROVIDING THIS PRIVACY NOTICE
We are required to provide you with this Privacy Notice by Law. It explains how we use the personal and healthcare information we collect, store and hold about you. If you are unclear about how we process or use your personal and healthcare information, or you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or any other issue regarding your personal and healthcare information, then please do contact our Data Protection Controller at St Peter’s Medical Centre. (Deborah Harvey)
The Law says:
- We must let you know why we collect personal and healthcare information about you;
- We must let you know how we use any personal and/or healthcare information we hold on you;
- We need to inform you in respect of what we do with it;
- We need to tell you about who we share it with or pass it on to and why; and
- We need to let you know how long we can keep it for.
- THE DATA PROTECTION OFFICER
The Data Protection Officer for St Peter’s is Medical Centre is Ernest Norman-Williams. However, you have any questions please contact Deborah Harvey, the Data Protection Controller if:
- You have any questions about how your information is being held;
- If you require access to your information or if you wish to make a change to your information;
- If you wish to make a complaint about anything to do with the personal and healthcare information we hold about you;
- Or any other query relating to this Notice and your rights as a patient.
Access to Medical Records
Access to Health Records
(Data Protection Act 1998)
Written and computerised notes
Patients have a legal right to have access to their own medical records, under the Data Protection Act 1998.
All medical records are confidential. On no account should information from the records be disclosed to anyone other than the patient unless authorisation has been obtained.
GDPR General Data Protection Regulations & Data Protection Act 1998 refers to ‘living’ individuals and requires that all manual and computerised records adhere to the legal requirements. The act requires that users of a computerised data system register as data users with the Data Protection Notification Department.
The eight Data Protection principles are that all personal data shall be:
- processed fairly and lawfully
- obtained only for lawful and specified purposes only
- adequate, relevant and not excessive
- accurate and kept up to date
- not kept longer than necessary
- safeguarded against accidental loss, destruction or damage
- not be transferred outside the European Economic Area
- The information that must be disclosed to patients on written request:
- All written and computerised information held on file
- The patient is entitled to see what is recorded in his or her records in all but exceptional circumstances i.e. if the GP decides it would be harmful to the patient.
Representatives of a deceased patient will apply for access to their medical records under the ‘Access to Health Records Act 1990’. This act allows the patient’s representative [normally their executor] access to health records created after November 1991 for certain legal purposes only.
When a patient requests to see his/her medical records:
- Ask the patient to complete the written request form for Access to Health Records under the Data Protection Act 1998.
- An appointment should be made in a clinical room under the supervision of an admin staff and should last no longer than 30mins.
- Offer the patient an appointment with the GP or the Practice Manager so that he/she may explain any medical terminology. State why the appointment has been made.
- For computerised records, no fee is charged. However for repetitive request, a flat fee of £10 will be charged for access and copies of their computerised record.
- For full patient records (that’s copy of the patient’s full medical records i.e. computerised records plus photocopy of paper records), no fee is charged. However for repetitive request, a flat fee of £50 will be charged for copy of the patient’s full medical records i.e. computerised records plus photocopy of paper records is £50. These records must be collected by the patient as we do not post these details.
- We are required to respond with 30 working days
- Unless specifically authorised to do so by the patient, and consent form has been signed, never disclose information to a third party.
- Photo identification will be required at the time of appointment.
- Access request is required for copies of:
- Your Medical records and consultation, Referrals and Hospital Letters.
- Once available, documents need to be collected from the practice or collection arrangements put in place.
- The following may however be viewed by patients on-line:
- Bloods, Immunisation, problem listing.
- Please speak to a member of our receptionist team regarding on-line access. Further information can be found on the following websites:www.doh.gov.uk/confiden/index.htm
- ABOUT US
We, at the St Peter’s Medical Centre situated at Colbeck Road, Harrow, Middx. HA1 4BS are a Data Controller of your information. This means we are responsible for collecting, storing and handling your personal and healthcare information when you register with us as a patient.
There may be times where we also process your information. That means we use it for a particular purpose and, therefore, on those occasions we may also be Data Processors. The purposes for which we use your information are set out in this Privacy Notice.
- INFORMATION WE COLLECT FROM YOU
The information we collect from you will include:
- Your contact details (such as your name and email address, including place of work and work contact details);
- Details and contact numbers of your next of kin;
- Your age range, gender, ethnicity;
- Details in relation to your medical history;
- The reason for your visit to the Surgery;
- Medical notes and details of diagnosis and consultations with our GPs and other health professionals within the Surgery involved in your direct healthcare.
- INFORMATION ABOUT YOU FROM OTHERS
We also collect personal information about you when it is sent to us from the following:
- a hospital, a consultant or any other medical or healthcare professional, or any other person involved with your general healthcare.
- YOUR SUMMARY CARE RECORD
Your summary care record is an electronic record of your healthcare history (and other relevant personal information) held on a national healthcare records database provided and facilitated by NHS England.
This record may be shared with other healthcare professionals and additions to this record may also be made by relevant healthcare professionals and organisations involved in your direct healthcare.
You may have the right to demand that this record is not shared with anyone who is not involved in the provision of your direct healthcare. If you wish to enquire further as to your rights in respect of not sharing information on this record then please contact our Data Protection Officer.
To find out more about the wider use of confidential personal information and to register your choice to opt out if you do not want your data to be used in this way, please visit https://nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters
Note if you do choose to opt out, you can still consent to your data being used for specific purposes. However, if you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. You may however change your choice at any time.
- WHO WE MAY PROVIDE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO AND WHY
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care Services, important information about you is collected to help ensure you get the best possible care and treatment. This information may be passed to other approved organisations where there is a legal basis, to help with planning services, improving care, research into developing new treatments and preventing illness. All of this helps in proving better care to you and your family and future generations. However, as explained in this Privacy Notice, confidential information about your health and care is only used in this way where allowed by law and would never be used for any other purpose without your clear and explicit consent.
We may pass your personal information on to the following people or organisations, because these organisations may require your information to assist them in the provision of your direct healthcare needs. It, therefore, may be important for them to be able to access your information in order to ensure they may properly deliver their services to you:
- Hospital professionals (such as doctors, consultants, nurses, etc);
- Other GPs/Doctors;
- Nurses and other healthcare professionals;
- Any other person that is involved in providing services related to your general healthcare, including mental health professionals.
- OTHER PEOPLE WHO WE PROVIDE YOUR INFORMATION TO
- Clinical Commissioning Groups;
- Local authorities;
- Community health services;
- For the purposes of complying with the law e.g. Police, Solicitors, Insurance Companies;
- Anyone you have given your consent to, to view or receive your record, or part of your record. Please note, if you give another person or organisation consent to access your record we will need to contact you to verify your consent before we release that record. It is important that you are clear and understand how much and what aspects of, your record you give consent to be disclosed.
- Extended Access – we provide extended access services to our patients which means you can access medical services outside of our normal working hours. In order to provide you with this service, we have formal arrangements in place with the Clinical Commissioning Group and with other practices whereby certain key “hub” practices will soon offer this service on our behalf for you as a patient to access outside of our opening hours. This means, those key “hub” practices will soon have to have access to your medical record to be able to offer you the service. Please note to ensure that these practices comply with the law and to protect the use of your information, we have very robust data sharing agreements and other clear arrangements in place, to ensure your data is always protected and used for those purposes only.The key Hub practices are as follows:
- Harrow Health Care in the Community
- Elliott Hall Medical Centre
- The Northwick Surgery
- Streatfield Health Centre
- Hatch End Medical Centre
- GP Direct
- Data Extraction by the Clinical Commissioning Group – the clinical commissioning group at times extracts medical information about you, but the information we pass to them via our computer systems cannot identify you to them. This information only refers to you by way of a code that only your practice can identify (it is pseudo-anonymised). This therefore protects you from anyone who may have access to this information at the Clinical Commissioning Group from ever identifying you as a result of seeing the medical information and we will never give them the information that would enable them to do this.
There are good reasons why the Clinical commissioning Group may require this pseudo-anonymised information, these are as follows:
To protect your information and from you being identified
- Primary Care Network
We are a member of Sphere Primary Care Network (PCN). This means we will be working closely with a number of other Practices and health and care organisations to provide healthcare services to you.
The other practices that are members of ‘Sphere’, our Primary Care Network are:
- Elliott Hall Medical Centre
- The Northwick Surgery
- Streatfield Health Centre
- Hatch End Medical Centre
- GP Direct
During the course of our work we may share your information with these Practices and health care organisations/professionals. We will only share this information where it relates to your direct healthcare needs.
When we do this, we will always ensure that appropriate agreements are in place to protect your information and keep it safe and secure. This is also what the Law requires us to do.
If you would like to see the information the PCN holds about you please contact Deborah Harvey at St Peter’s Medical Centre. See also your rights listed below.
- ANONYMISED INFORMATION
Sometimes we may provide information about you in an anonymised form. If we do so, then none of the information we provide to any other party will identify you as an individual and cannot be traced back to you.
- YOUR RIGHTS AS A PATIENT
The Law gives you certain rights to your personal and healthcare information that we hold, as set out below:
- Access and Subject Access Requests
You have the right to see what information we hold about you and to request a copy of this information.
If you would like a copy of the information we hold about you please email our Data Protection Officer. We will provide this information free of charge however, we may in some limited and exceptional circumstances have to make an administrative charge for any extra copies if the information requested is excessive, complex or repetitive.
We have one month to reply to you and give you the information that you require. We would ask, therefore, that any requests you make are in writing and it is made clear to us what and how much information you require.
- Online Access
- We are currently working towards offering all patients on-line access to their medical records. We hope to achieve this for existing patients in the next 18-24 months. All new patients will automatically be given on-line access to their records.
- Please note that online access will also provide access to all relevant correspondence attached to your record. It is your responsibility to make sure that you keep your information safe and secure if you do not wish any third party to gain access.
We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct any information you think is inaccurate. It is very important that you make sure you tell us if your contact details including your mobile phone number has changed.
You have the right to ask for your information to be removed however, if we require this information to assist us in providing you with appropriate medical services and diagnosis for your healthcare, then removal may not be possible.
We cannot share your information with anyone else for a purpose that is not directly related to your health, e.g. medical research, educational purposes, etc. We would ask you for your consent in order to do this however, you have the right to request that your personal and healthcare information is not shared by the Surgery in this way. Please note the Anonymised Information section in this Privacy Notice.
You have the right to request that your personal and/or healthcare information is transferred, in an electronic form (or other form), to another organisation, but we will require your clear consent to be able to do this.
- THIRD PARTIES MENTIONED ON YOUR MEDICAL RECORD
Sometimes we record information about third parties mentioned by you to us during any consultation. We are under an obligation to make sure we also protect that third party’s rights as an individual and to ensure that references to them which may breach their rights to confidentiality, are removed before we send any information to any other party including yourself. Third parties can include: spouses, partners, and other family members.
- HOW WE USE THE INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
We use your personal and healthcare information in the following ways:
- when we need to speak to, or contact other doctors, consultants, nurses or any other medical/healthcare professional or organisation during the course of your diagnosis or treatment or on-going healthcare;
- When we are required by Law to hand over your information to any other organisation, such as the police, by court order, solicitors, or immigration enforcement.
We will never pass on your personal information to anyone else who does not need it, or has no right to it, unless you give us clear consent to do so.
- LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR COLLECTING AND USING YOUR INFORMATION
The Law says we need a legal basis to handle your personal and healthcare information.
CONTRACT: We have a contract with NHS England to deliver healthcare services to you. This contract provides that we are under a legal obligation to ensure that we deliver medical and healthcare services to the public.
CONSENT: Sometimes we also rely on the fact that you give us consent to use your personal and healthcare information so that we can take care of your healthcare needs.
Please note that you have the right to withdraw consent at any time if you no longer wish to receive services from us.
NECESSARY CARE: Providing you with the appropriate healthcare, where necessary. The Law refers to this as ‘protecting your vital interests’ where you may be in a position not to be able to consent.
LAW: Sometimes the Law obliges us to provide your information to an organisation (see above).
- SPECIAL CATEGORIES
The Law states that personal information about your health falls into a special category of information because it is very sensitive. Reasons that may entitle us to use and process your information may be as follows:
PUBLIC INTEREST: Where we may need to handle your personal information when it is considered to be in the public interest. For example, when there is an outbreak of a specific disease and we need to contact you for treatment, or we need to pass your information to relevant organisations to ensure you receive advice and/or treatment;
CONSENT: When you have given us consent;
VITAL INTEREST: If you are incapable of giving consent, and we have to use your information to protect your vital interests (e.g. if you have had an accident and you need emergency treatment);
DEFENDING A CLAIM: If we need your information to defend a legal claim against us by you, or by another party;
PROVIDING YOU WITH MEDICAL CARE: Where we need your information to provide you with medical and healthcare services
- HOW LONG WE KEEP YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We carefully consider any personal information that we store about you, and we will not keep your information for longer than is necessary for the purposes as set out in this Privacy Notice.
There is a separate Privacy Notice for patients under the age of 16, a copy of which may be obtained on request.
- IF ENGLISH IS NOT YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE
If English is not your first language you can request a translation of this Privacy Notice. Please contact our Data Protection Officer.
If you have a concern about the way we handle your personal data or you have a complaint about what we are doing, or how we have used or handled your personal and/or healthcare information, then please contact Deborah Harvey, our Data Protection Officer at St Peter’s Medical Centre.
However, you have a right to raise any concern or complaint with the UK information regulator, at the Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/.
- OUR WEBSITE
The only website this Privacy Notice applies to is the Surgery’s website. If you use a link to any other website from the Surgery’s website then you will need to read their respective Privacy Notice. We take no responsibility (legal or otherwise) for the content of other websites.
We take the security of your information very seriously and we do everything we can to ensure that your information is always protected and secure. We regularly update our processes and systems and we also ensure that our staff are properly trained. We also carry out assessments and audits of the information that we hold about you and make sure that if we provide any other services, we carry out proper assessments and security reviews.
- TEXT MESSAGING AND CONTACTING YOU
Because we are obliged to protect any confidential information we hold about you and we take this very seriously, it is imperative that you let us know immediately if you change any of your contact details.
We may contact you using SMS texting to your mobile phone in the event that we need to notify you about appointments and other services that we provide to you involving your direct care, therefore you must ensure that we have your up to date details. This is to ensure we are sure we are actually contacting you and not another person.
- WHERE TO FIND OUR PRIVACY NOTICE
You may find a copy of this Privacy Notice in the Surgery’s reception, on our website, or a copy may be provided on request.
- CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY NOTICE
We regularly review and update our Privacy Notice. This Privacy Notice was last updated on June 2019