Practice Policies

Confidentiality & Medical Records

TThe practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:

  • To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
  • To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
  • When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.

If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.

Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

How we use your information

  • We collect and hold data about you for the purpose of providing safe and effective healthcare
  • Your information may be shared with other NHS organisations to audit services and help provide you with better care
  • Information sharing is subject to strict agreements on how it is used.
  • We will only share your information outside of NHS organisations with your consent*
  • If you are happy with how we use your information you do not need to do anything
  • If you do not want your information to be used for any purpose beyond providing your care please let us know so we can code your record appropriately
  • You can object to sharing information with other health care providers but if this limits your treatment options we will tell you
  • Our guiding principle is that we are holding your information in the strictest confidence
  • For more information about who are our partner organisations and how your data is used please see more detailed information below or ask at reception.

* Unless the health & safety of others is at risk, the law requires it or it is required to carry out a statutory function.

Patient information to be shared with care. Data - article from national health executive

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and NHS England are launching a public awareness campaign about care data – the new programme that will link patients’ data together to boost care. Throughout January 2014, all 22 million households in England will receive a leaflet explaining how the new system will work and what benefits it will bring. The £2m campaign follows concerns over confidentiality and patient awareness of the scheme. The programme will begin four weeks after the consultation, when data from different NHS providers will be brought together to give commissioners, CCGs and CSUs a more complete picture of the health challenges in each region, and to plan and design services using the best evidence.

HSCIC will routinely extract data from all GP practices and hospitals, with the information made available in a form that is stripped of information that could identify patients. This will include information about diagnoses, investigation results and prescriptions, but not ‘sensitive’ information including marital status, complaints, abuse and convictions. Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s director of patients and information, said: “I believe the NHS will make major advances in quality and patient safety through the use of this data. At the moment, the NHS often doesn’t have the complete picture as information lies in different parts of the health services and isn’t joined up. This programme will give NHS commissioners a more complete picture of the safety and quality of services in their local area which will lead to improvements to patient outcomes. “To do this, we will need to link data. The HSCIC has been handling hospital data securely in this way for decades. The system is designed to be extremely secure, with a suite of safeguards to protect confidentiality. But we know not everyone will feel comfortable and we want to make sure they know they have the right to say ‘no’. Patient confidentiality is non-negotiable.” Kingsley Manning, chair of the HSCIC, said: “The duty on the HSCIC to preserve and protect confidentiality and privacy is clear and we are determined to uphold it. The huge benefits offered by the development of care. Data are also clear but can only be delivered in the context of public understanding and trust.

“Valuable feedback from doctors and members of the public has led us to decide to take this more slowly, in order to support GPs in discussing this with patients and to ensure the public in general is aware. We cannot achieve this transformation in enhanced knowledge of the effectiveness of health treatments without public support and understanding.” Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: “Using patients’ data for cancer research can saves lives. Analysing NHS records will help us to understand the causes of cancer, including how to prevent the disease, how we can get people diagnosed and treated faster, and what happens to people who take part in our clinical trials.

“Of course it is vital that everyone understands how their data might be used and we must make sure that there are rigorous safeguards in place to keep patients’ data stored securely and used appropriately. Under these plans, people will know they still have the choice to object if they do not want their medical data being shared for research purposes.” NHS Confederation chief operating officer Matt Tee said: “It's difficult to overstate the importance of information and data for delivering safe, high quality care to patients, and for helping staff to improve care on a daily basis. The right data at the right time – in the right hands – really can save lives. This is why we have recently undertaken an extensive review of bureaucracy in the NHS, so we can ensure the right people have the right information at the right time. “For the NHS to work properly, it is essential clinicians and services can share data when and where necessary, and so we are clear that care. Data has the potential to add significant value to the NHS and its work.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Freedom of Information

Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.

Access to Records

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Complaints

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception and on our Feedback page.

Zero Tolerance Policy

Warwick Gates Family Health Centre fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence and aggression against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and all other staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.

We understand that poorly patients do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. We ask you to treat your doctors and all other staff courteously and act reasonably.

All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning in the first instance and/or removed from the practice list after a third incident if your behaviour has been unreasonable.

However, aggressive behaviour whether it be violent or verbally abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from The Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police will be contacted if an incident is taking place and the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.

Removal from the practice list

A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care. The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is normally a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship. When trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient’s interest, just as much as that of The Practice, that they should find a new practice.

Removing other members of the household

In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family. This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or other staff at risk.

The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent and/or aggressive patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.