Confidentiality & Data Protection
In order to maintain confidentiality, details of consultations and hospital or laboratory reports will only be given to the patient involved or to parents or guardians of children. No information can be given to any other person without the patient's written consent.
Information about patients is stored on computer, by the surgery. Under the Data Protection Act (1988) patients may request to view this data, at a pre-arranged time which is mutually agreed. A fee may be charged. From January 2005, the public have had a right of access to non-confidential data held by publicly funded organisations. This falls within the "Data Protection Act".
Data Protection Act 1998 - Fair Processing of Patient Information in General Practice - Your Personal Health Information
To give you the care you need, we keep information about your visits to surgery staff involved in your care or treatment. These could be visits to a GP or practice nurse, or a visit by a health visitor. We keep information about your health, lifestyle, illnesses, tests, prescriptions and other treatments that you have had. When this information contains things that can identify you, such as your name, address, postcode or date of birth, it's called your personal health information, which we store securely on computer. We sometimes share your personal health information with other organisations involved in your healthcare. We only share relevant information. For example, when your GP refers you to a specialist at the hospital we send relevant details about you in the referral letter and receive information back from them about you. We sometimes share information including your name, address and date of birth so that you can be invited for health screening. We also need to use your personal health information for administrative tasks, but we only use relevant information. So that we can be paid for services we give you, we share information about you with relevant NHS organisations in Scotland. These organisations help to check that public money is being spent properly. The surgery must allow these checks to be done and we need to share your information to be able to give you healthcare services. Sometimes, we might use information about you and other patients to help improve our services or to check that they are up to standard. Whenever we do this we will make sure that as far as possible we do not share any information that could identify you.
The surgery is sometimes involved in health research and in teaching student nurses, doctors and other NHS staff. We will not use or share your personal health information for research or teaching unless you have given your permission. Where you need a service that we give jointly with your local authority, we will ask your permission before giving them your information. Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information to other organisations. For example, we have to report all births, deaths and certain diseases or crimes. The law sets out how we can use your personal health information. The Data Protection Act gives you rights about how your personal information is used, including a right to see the information we hold about you.
All Practice and NHS staff have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and they follow a staff Code of Practice on Protecting Patient Confidentiality. Further information about this can be found at
www.show.scot.nhs.uk/confidentiality or www.nhsis.co.uk/confientiality
If you have any questions about how we use your personal health information, or would like to see your health records please contact our Practice Manager. You can also read the leaflets, “Confidentiality - It's Your Right. How the NHS protects your personal health information” and “How to see your Health Records”. These are available from your local branch of the Citizens' Advice Bureau, your local health council and from NHS 24 by calling 0845 24 24 24.
If you have any queries about issues in relation to Data Protection or Confidentiality, contact the Practice Manager. If he is unable to resolve the issue contact the Data Protection Officer for your Trust or Board. More advice can be sought from the Caldicott Guardian for your NHS Trust or Board.
Patient’s Right to Access Information – How to apply
Under the terms of the above Act you have the right to access your medical records and to have any inaccurate information amended or annotated under the procedure detailed in the Act. If you require accessing your medical record you must complete in writing a witnessed application/consent form, in the Reception Area. In the interests of preserving confidentiality, you may be asked for proof of identity if you are unknown to the witness to the application. Documents containing a photograph, such as a passport, driving license etc. are acceptable as proof. A fee is payable at the time of application and we have 40 days to process your request from the day on which we receive the fee of £10 for a copy of an automated record.
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
Our publication under the terms of the above Act is available on written application to the Practice Manager.