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Practice Policies

Fair Processing Notice - You & Your Personal Information

This privacy notice explains why the practice collects information about you and how that information may be used. The healthcare professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. via an NHS Trust, GP surgery, Walk-in Centre etc.)  These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.

NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.  Records the practice may hold about you are likely to include the following types of information:

  • Details about you, such as address and next of kin
  • Any contact the surgery has had with you such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments etc.
  • Notes and reports about your health;
  • Details about your treatment and care;
  • Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.

To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive.  Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage NHS resources; it may also be used for clinical audit to monitor the quality of service provided.

Sometimes information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes.  Where we permit this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

Sometimes information may be requested for research purposes; the surgery will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing such information.

Risk Stratification

Risk stratification tools are increasingly used in the NHS to help determine a person's risk of suffering a particular condition, preventing an unplanned or re-admission to hospital and identifying a need for preventative intervention.  Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP practice.  A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information using software managed or approved by the Bedfordshire CCG.

Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness.  If necessary, your GP may be able to offer you additional services.  Please note - you have the right to opt out.  Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed by the surgery, please contact us to discuss how the disclosure of your information can be limited.

Confidentiality & Medical Records

The 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, Benefits Agency or an insurance company. 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 Authority 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.

Freedom of Information

Information about the General Practitioners 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 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made in writing 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.

Within the Data Protection Act 1998, a health record is defined as 'a record consisting of information about the physical or mental health or condition of an identifiable individual made by, or on behalf of, a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

A health record can be in computerised and/or manual form.  It may include such documentation as hand written clinical notes, letters to and from other health professionals, laboratory reports and other imaging records, printouts and photographs.

Personal information relating to an individual includes factual information, expressions of opinion and the intentions of the health professional in relation to the individual concerned.

Application for Access to Health Records

  • Any application for access to health records must be made in writing to the Practice Manager or Deputy Practice Manager.
  • Applications must be signed and dated by the applicant.
  • Where an application is made on behalf of an individual, a signed form of consent must accompany the written application.
  • The application must clearly identify the patient in question and the records required, including the following details:
    • Full name including any previous names
    • Address - including any previous address(es)
    • NHS Number if available/known.
    • Dates of health records required.

The surgery has the right to check with the applicant if they require access to their entire health record and confirm what material the applicant requires prior to processing the request.  This will decrease the cost of copying for the applicant.  However, disclosure is optional as the applicant does not have to provide a reason for applying for access to health records.

Fees to Access and Copy Health Records

Under the Data Protection Act, 1998 (Fees & Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2001, a patient can be charged to view their health records or to be provided with a copy of them.  Maximum charges will include postage and packaging costs and are intended to cover the reasonable administrative costs of disclosure.  Charges for access requests should not be made for financial gain.

To provide copies of patient health records, the maximum costs are as follows:

  • Health records held on computer - a maximum charge of £10.
  • Health records held both on computer and manually - a maximum charge of £50.
  • Health records held manually - a maximum charge of £50.

If patients wish to view their health records (where no copy is required), access is free if the records have been added to within the last 40 days.  Otherwise, a maximum charge of £10 is recommended.

If a patient wishes to view their records and subsequently makes a request for copies, the patient will be charged as per one access request, to a maximum of £50.

Current Charges:

Access to Medical Records

£10.00

Copies of Medical Records

£0.52p per A4 sheet up to a maximum of £50.00

Complaints

Customer service formWe 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.

Violence Policy

The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent 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.



 
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