What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new, Europe-wide law that replaces the Data Protection Act 1988 in the UK. It is part of a wider package of reform to the Data Protection landscape that includes the Data Protection Bill. The GDPR sets out requirements for how organisations will need to handle personal date from 25th May 2018.
What is a Privacy Notice?
A Privacy Notice (or "Fair Processing Notice") is an explanation of what information the Practice collects on patients and how it is used. Being transparent and providing clear information to patients about how a Practice uses their personal data is an essential requirement of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Under the DPA, the first principle is to process personal data in a fair and lawful manner and applies to everything that is done with the patient's personal information. In practice, this means that the Practice must:
- Have legitimate reasons for the use or collection of personal data
- Not use the data in a way that may cause adverse effects on the individuals (e.g. improper sharing of their information with 3rd parties)
- Be transparent about how you the data will be used, and give appropriate privacy notices when collecting their personal data.
- Handle personal data only as reasonably expected to do so.
- Make no unlawful use of the collected data.
Personal data must be processed in a fair manner - the DPA says that information should be treated as being obtained fairly if it is provided by a person who is legally authorised or required to provide it. Fair Processing means that the Practice has to be clear and open with people about how their information is used.
Providing a "Privacy Notice" is a way of stating Honeypot Medical Centre's commitment to being transparent and is a part of fair processing, however you also need to consider the effects of processing on the individuals and patients concerned:
- What information are we collecting?
- Who collects the data?
- How is it collected?
- Why do we collect it?
- How will we use the data?
- Who will we share it with?
- What is the effect on the individuals?
- If we use it as intended, will it cause individuals to object or complain?
Under the Data Protection Act, the Data Controller is the person or organisation that will decide the purpose and the manner in which any personal data will be processed - they have overall control of the data they collect, and decide how and why it will be processed.
A GP Practice is a Data Controller for the patient information it collects and should already have data processing arrangements with third parties (e.g. IT systems providers) to ensure they do not use or access data unlawfully; the Data Controllers will have ultimate responsibility for the Practice's compliance with the DPA.
This is a process to identify and manage patients that are more likely to need secondary care - information is collected in order to assess their "Risk Score" and is sent to NHS organisations to assess and return the results to Honeypot Medical Centre. This is an acceptable way of assessing patients' needs and prevent ill health. However, it is also regarded as a disclosure of personal information and patients have the option to opt out of any data collection at the Practice and needs to be made clear to them.
If a patient has had NHS treatment, their personal information may be shared within a secure and confidential environment to determine which CCG should pay for the treatment received. This means sharing identifiable information such as name, address, date of treatment etc to enable the billing process.
If the Practice shares information with any external organisations (within or outside the NHS), then let patients know by listing them. Partner organisation will usually include NHS organisations (hospitals, CCGs, NHS England etc) other public sectors (Education, Police, Fire etc) and any other Data Processors that may be carrying out specific project work with the Practice (e.g. Diabetes UK).
Access to Personal Information
The DPA gives patients the right to view any information held about them - the "Right of Subject Access". Explains the process and who to contact. You can find your Practice registration details by entering this Practice's details into the following Information Commissioners's Office search:
Registration number: Z5960542
Name: Honeypot Medical Centre
Address: 404 Honeypot Lane, Stanmore HA7 1JP
How we use your information
Honeypot Medical Centre manages patient information in accordance with existing laws and with guidance from organisations that govern the provision of healthcare in England such as the Department of Health and the General Medical Council.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
As Data Controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998. In practice, this means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled clearly and transparently and in a reasonably expected way.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way that personal data is processed, therefore it is important that our patients are aware of and understand these changes and that you have an opportunity to object and know how to do so.
The healthcare professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any NHS treatment or care you have received (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in Clinic etc). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both; a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records held by this GP practice may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as address and next of kin
- Any contact the Practice has had with you, including appointments (emergency or scheduled), clinic visits etc
- Notes and reports about your health]Details about treatment and care received
- Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
The Practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential. However, we can disclose personal information if:
- It is required by law
- Your provide consent - either implicitly or the sake of their own care, or explicitly for other purposes
- It is justified to be in the public interest
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we hold data centrally, we take strict and secure measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Information may be used for clinical audit purposes to monitor the quality of service provided and may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this we ensure that patient records cannot be identified.
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for clinical research purposes - the Practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.
Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare providers with the objective of providing you with better care.
Patients can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way. When the Practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four (4) weeks before the scheme is due to start. We will also explain clearly what you have to do to "opt out" of each new scheme.
A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other healthcare providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive, then the Doctor will explain this to you at the time.
If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about any appointments or other health screening information being carried out.
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 Trusts
- Specialist Trusts
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Care Services
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Other "data" processors
Access to Personal Information
You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view information the Practice holds about you and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. This is known as "The Right of Subject Access". If we do hold information about you we will:
- Give you a description of it
- Tell you why we are holding it
- Tell you who it could be disclosed to
- Let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form
If you would like to make a "Subject Access request", please contact the Practice Manager in writing. There may or may not be a charge for this service. Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and on the Practice TV noticeboard.
Consent to access medical records on the patients behalf
If you would like to give access to any relatives other than yourself to access your medical information, Book Appointments, Request Medication ect... Please fill out the below consent form and return this to the Practice Manager (Puja/Penny).
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the person treating you 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 our records are accurate and up to date for you.
Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found at:
NHS Care Record Guarantee: http://nigb.nhs.uk/pubs/nhscrg.pdf
NHS Constitution: https://www.gov.uk/governmentt/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england
NHS Digital's Guide to Confidentiality in Health & Social Care: http://content.digital.nhs.uk/article/4979/Assuring-information