Information Management and Confidentiality

Our patient records are computerised. All communication made with any member of staff is totally confidential. Medical records whether written or on computer are secure and will never be divulged without your consent in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act.

Access to your records by practice team members is strictly on a ‘need to know basis’. The practice takes its responsibility to keep your records confidential extremely seriously, and all our employment contracts emphasise that any breach of confidentiality is a serious disciplinary offence.

Access to your records by clinicians outside the practice team is permitted only with your explicit consent or where it is deemed necessary to ensure your treatment is dealt with in an effective way.

Access for other agencies (e.g. employers, insurance companies) is only permitted with your written consent. There are occasions when medical information may be used as part of audit or to help with medical research. As part of the practice’s contribution to medical research, we provide completely anonymous patient-level treatment information to certain reputable third party organisations. No individual is ever identified from the information and many patients stand to benefit from the research work.

As a patient you have the right to opt out of having your medical records used in medical research or audit. Please advise the Practice Manager if you wish to exercise this right.

In order to assure the quality of care and training we provide, our records are sometimes inspected by external NHS organisations (e.g. NHS England, Care Quality Commission). These organisations are required to make an undertaking to keep your records confidential before we will allow them to inspect records.

How information about you helps us to provide better care

Confidential information from your medical records can be used by the NHS to improve the services offered so we can provide the best possible care for everyone.

This information, along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information. This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you.

You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything.

If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please ask at reception for a copy of the leaflet ‘How information about you helps us to provide better care’.

More information can be found here.