What is a Privacy Notice?
A Privacy Notice (or ‘Fair Processing Notice’) is an explanation of what information the Practice collects on patients, and how it is used. Being transparent and providing clear information to patients about how a Practice uses their personal data is an essential requirement of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in conjunction with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).
Under GDPR and the DPA 2018, the first principle is to process personal data in a fair and lawful manner, and applies to everything that is done with patient’s personal information. In practice, this means that the Practice must:
- have legitimate reasons for the use or collection of personal data
- not use the data in a way that may cause adverse effects on the individuals (e.g. improper sharing of their information with 3rd parties)
- be transparent about how your data will be used, and give appropriate privacy notices when collecting their personal data
- handle personal data only as reasonably expected to do so
- make no unlawful use of the collected data
Personal data must be processed in a fair manner – GDPR and the DPA 2018 says that information should be treated as being obtained fairly, if it is provided by a person who is legally authorised or required to provide it. Fair Processing means that the Practice has to be clear and open with people about how their information is used.
Providing a ‘Privacy Notice’ is a way of stating the Practice’s commitment to being transparent and is a part of fair processing, however, you also need to consider the effects of processing on the individuals and patients concerned:
- What information are we collecting?
- Who collects the data?
- How is it collected?
- Why do we collect it?
- How will we use the data?
- Who will we share it with?
- What is the effect on the individuals?
- If we use it as intended, will it cause individuals to object or complain?
Conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment is an effective way of assessing whether you can safely collect or use patient data according to GDPR and the DPA 2018 and Information Governance requirements.
How we use your information
This privacy notice explains why we as a Practice collect information about our patients and how we use that information.
Riverside Surgery manages patient information in accordance with existing laws and with guidance from organisations that govern the provision of healthcare. We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- General Data Protection Regulations
- Data Protection Act 2018
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security
As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under GDPR in conjunction with the Data Protection Act 2018. In practice, this means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled clearly and transparently, and in a reasonably expected way.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way that personal confidential data is processed, therefore it is important that our patients are aware of and understand these changes, and that you have an opportunity to object and know how to do so.
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any NHS treatment or care you have received (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.).
These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both; a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records held by this GP practice may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as address and next of kin
- Any contact the practice has had with you, including appointments (emergency or scheduled), clinic visits, etc.
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about treatment and care received
- Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you
The practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential. However, we can disclose personal information if:
a) It is required by law
b) You provide consent – either implicitly, for the sake of your own care, or explicitly for other purposes
c) It is justified to be in the public interest
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we hold data centrally, we take strict and secure measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Information may be used for clinical audit purposes to monitor the quality of service provided, and may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this we ensure that patient records cannot be identified.
Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare providers with the objective of providing you with better care.
Patients can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way. When the practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start. We will also explain clearly what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of each new scheme.
A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other health care providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive then the doctor will explain this to you at the time.
Patients have the right to opt out of this data collection at any point and can do this by informing the practice.
Under GDPR in conjunction with the Data Protection Act 2018, the data controller is the person or organisation that will decide the purpose and the manner in which any personal data will be processed - they have overall control of the data they collect, and decide how and why it will be processed.
A GP Practice is a data controller for the patient information it collects, and has data processing arrangements with third parties (e.g. IT systems providers) to ensure they do not use or access data unlawfully; the data controllers will have ultimate responsibility for the Practices’ compliance with GDPR and the DPA 2018.
The Data Controller, responsible for keeping your information secure and confidential is Riverside Medical Practice, Horsham. Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and displayed in prominent notices in the surgery.
The Partnership is registered as a data controller under the General Data Protection Regulations in conjunction with the Data Protection Act 2018, the registration number is Z7357564 and can be viewed online in the public register
How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (which is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office), Human Rights Act, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. Every staff member who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to maintain the confidentiality of patient information.
All of our staff, contractors and committee members receive appropriate and regular training to ensure they are aware of their personal responsibilities and have legal and contractual obligations to uphold confidentiality, enforceable through disciplinary procedures.
We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.
Risk Stratification – Preventative Care
Purpose - ‘Risk stratification for case finding’ is a process for identifying and managing patients who have or may be at-risk of health conditions (such as diabetes) or who are most likely to need healthcare services (such as people with frailty). Risk stratification tools used in the NHS help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition and enable us to focus on preventing ill health before it develops.
Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts, GP Federations and your GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information.
This can help us identify and offer you additional services to improve your health.
If you do not wish information about you to be included in any risk stratification programmes, please let us know.
We can add a code to your records that will stop your information from being used for this purpose. Please be aware that this may limit the ability of healthcare professionals to identify if you have or are at risk of developing certain serious health conditions.
Type of Data – Identifiable/Pseudonymised/Anonymised/Aggregate Data
Legal Basis – GDPR Art. 6(1) (e) and Art.9 (2) (h). The use of identifiable data by CCGs and GPs for risk stratification has been approved by the Secretary of State, through the Confidentiality Advisory Group of the Health Research Authority (approval reference (CAG 7-04)(a)/2013)) and this approval has been extended to the end of September 2022 NHS England Risk Stratification which gives us a statutory legal basis under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 to process data for risk stratification purposes which sets aside the duty of confidentiality. We are committed to conducting risk stratification effectively, in ways that are consistent with the laws that protect your confidentiality.
Processors – Apollo Medical
Validation of Treatment
If a patient has had NHS treatment, their personal information may be shared within a secure and confidential environment. This means sharing identifiable information such as name, address, date of treatment etc.
We have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, for your continuing health care with the following organisations:
- NHS Trusts
- Specialist Trusts
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Alliance for Better Care (ABC)
- HERE (MSK Partnership)
- Local Hospices such as St Catherine’s
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Care Services
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Other ‘data processors’
Data Collection for Research and Public Health
The practice participates in the collection of data essential for medical research and for public health study. This data is anonymised and the bodies are NHS accredited. It is important that this information is available to plan and improve services for all patients. This allows the care patients receive to be compared and analysed so that the most effective treatments can be identified.
Patients have the right to opt out of this data collection at any time.
Video consultation – Covid 19 – Temporary Solution
Purpose – to enable the practice to provide a full service to patients during the Covid-19 crisis. Where the patient is not able to attend the surgery for GP consultations.
Legal Basis – Direct care
Provider – e-Consult
Purpose - Prescriptions containing personal identifiable and health data will be shared with chemists/pharmacies, in order to provide patients with essential medication or treatment as their health needs dictate. This process is achieved either by face to face contact with the patient or electronically. Where patients have specified a nominated pharmacy they may wish their repeat or acute prescriptions to be ordered and sent directly to the pharmacy making a more efficient process. Arrangements can also be made with the pharmacy to deliver medication.
The Legal Basis for this is Article 6(1) (e); “necessary… in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller’ And
Article 9(2)(h). Patients will be required to nominate a preferred pharmacy.
Processor – Pharmacy of choice
General Practice Extraction Service (GPES)
Purpose – GP practices are required by law to provide data extraction of their patient’s personal confidential information for various purposes by NHS Digital. The objective of this data collection is on an ongoing basis to identify patients registered at General Practices who fit within a certain criteria, in order to monitor and either provide direct care, or prevent serious harm to those patients. Below is a list of the purposes for the data extraction, by using the link you can find out the detail behind each data extraction and how your information will be used to inform this essential
Legal Basis - All GP Practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for this purpose under section 259(1)(a) and (5) of the 2012 Act
Any objections to these data collections should be made directly to NHS Digital.
Processor – NHS Digital or NHS X
Purpose - Personal Confidential data is shared with LumiraDX in order to provide an anticoagulation clinic to patients who are on anticoagulation medication. This will only affect patients who are within this criteria.
Legal Basis - The legal basis for this activity under UK GDPR is Article 6 1 (b) processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract.
Article 6 (e) Public Task (Direct Care) and 9 2 (h) Health Data
Processor – LumiraDX INRStar
Access to Personal Information
You have a right under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 to access/view information the practice holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate. This is known as ‘the right of subject access’. If we do hold information about you we will:
- give you a description of it
- tell you why we are holding it
- tell you who it could be disclosed to
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form
If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’, please contact the surgery in writing.
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the person treating you if any of your details such as your name or address have changed or if any of your details such as date of birth is incorrect in order for this to be amended. You have a responsibility to inform us of any changes so our records are accurate and up to date for you.
If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about any appointments, other health screening information being carried out or, from time to time, communications that may be of interest from our Patient Participation Group (PPG).
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed, or wish to opt out of any data collection at the practice, please contact the practice, or your healthcare professional to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be limited.
Patients have the right to change their minds and reverse a previous decision. Please contact the practice, if you change your mind regarding any previous choice
If you have received treatment within the NHS your personal information may be shared within a strictly monitored, secure and confidential environment in order to determine which HB/CCG should pay for the treatment or procedure you have received.
Information such as your name, address and date of treatment may be passed on to enable the billing process - these details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential. This information will only be used to validate invoices, and will not be shared for any further commissioning purposes.
The practice is registered as a data controller under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. The registration number is Z7357564 and can be viewed online in the public register.
GDPR in conjunction with The Data Protection Act 2018 requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information.
This information is publicly available on the Information Commissioners Office website. The practice is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found in:
- The NHS Care Record Guarantee
- The NHS Constitution
- NHS Digital’s Guide to Confidentiality in Health & Social Care gives more information on the rules around information sharing
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the Regulator for the General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018 and offer independent advice and guidance on the law and personal data, including your rights and how to access your personal information. For further information please visit the Information Commissioners Office website
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