Confidentiality & The Data Protection Act

Introduction

We need to hold personal information about you on our computer system and in paper records to help us to look after your health needs.

Please help to keep your record up to date by informing us of any changes to your circumstances. See Keeping Your Details Up To Date for more information.

Doctors and staff in the practice have access to your medical records to enable them to do their jobs. Your doctor is responsible for their accuracy and safe-keeping.

From time to time, it may be necessary to share information with others involved in your care. Anyone with access to your record is properly trained in confidentiality issues and is governed by both a legal and contractual duty to keep your details private.

All information about you is held securely and appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent accidental loss.

In some circumstances we may be required by law to release your details to statutory or other official bodies, for example if a court order is presented, or in the case of public health issues. In other circumstances you may be required to give written consent before information is released – such as for medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc.

To ensure your privacy, we will not disclose information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you.

Information will not be disclosed to family, friends, or spouses unless we have prior written consent, and we do not leave messages with others.

When We May Share Information

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.

We will not share information that identifies you for any reason unless:

  • You ask us to do so
  • We ask and you give us specific permission
  • We have to do this by law
  • We have special permission for health or research purposes, or
  • We have special permission because the interests of the public are thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality—for example, if you had a serious medical condition that may put others you had come into contact with at risk

Who are our partner organisations?

We may share information with the following main partner organisations:

  • Strategic Health Authorities (SHA’s)
  • Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG)
  • Special Health Authorities
  • Ambulance Service

We may also share your information, with your consent and subject to strict sharing protocols on how it will be used, with:

  • Social Services
  • Education Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Voluntary Sector Providers
  • Private Sector

Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep it confidential