We ask you for information so that you can continue to receive proper care and treatment. We keep all this information because it may be needed if we see you again.
We may use some of this information anonymously for other reasons, e.g. to help protect the health of the general public and to see that the NHS runs efficiently. (We can plan for its future, train its staff, pay its bills and can account for its actions.) Information may also be needed to help educate future clinical staff and to carry out medical and health research for the benefit of everyone.
You can opt out of data sharing registers by completing forms at Thatcham Medical Practice (TMP) Reception.
Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep all your information confidential
You may receive care from other people. Working together for your benefit, we may need to share some information about you. We never pass on your information to others, unless there is a genuine need for it and it is in your interest. Whenever we can, we shall remove identifying details. The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
Reasons why your information may need to be shared:
- Giving you health care and treatment
- Looking after the health of the general public
- Managing and planning within the NHS
- Ensuring our services can meet future needs
- Paying for your treatment provided by others
- Auditing accounts
- Preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity
- Investigating complaints or legal claims
- Helping staff to review the care they provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- Training and educating staff. You can choose whether or not to be involved personally
- Research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee
(If anything in the research would involve you personally, you will be contacted to see if you are willing to participate.)
Privacy and confidentiality of your medical records
Thatcham Medical Practice is responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of your medical records. You can help us to keep it accurate by informing us of any change in your name, address and contact details, marital status and by ensuring that we have full details of your important medical history. If you move to another area of the UK, we will forward your medical records to the new GP practice.
Since April 2013, the Care Quality Commission can inspect your medical records.
Your right to privacy
You have a right for your personal health information remaining confidential between you and your doctor. This applies to anyone over the age of 16 years and, in certain cases, to others under that age.
The law does impose a few exceptions to this rule. Apart from those listed in detail, you have a right to know who has access to your medical records.
Who else may see my medical records?
There is a balance between your privacy and your safety. We will share some information about you with others involved in your health care, unless you ask us not to do so. This may include doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians involved in the treatment or investigation of your medical problems. If you see a medical student during a consultation, they may be given supervised access to your medical records.
It is our policy to try to have a single record for each patient. We firmly believe that this offers the best opportunity for delivering the highest quality of care. Our medical records administration staff has limited access to records. They need to perform various tasks on your medical records.
Official external organisations, such as the CQC and GP Trainer assessors, may review the data from medical records.
Every member of TMP staff has a legal, ethical and contractual duty to protect your privacy and confidentiality.
TMP may send patient information to:
- notify the Government of certain infectious diseases ( meningitis, measles but not AIDS) for public health reasons
- law courts can insist that medical records are disclosed.
- Solicitors – can ask for medical reports but will always have a patient’s signed consent form. We will not normally release details about other people that are contained in your records (e.g. wife, children, parents etc) unless we also have their consent.
- the Health Authority – to help them organise national programmes for Public
- Health such as childhood immunisations
- the Health Authority – about certain procedures that we perform on patients.
- Social Services, the Benefits Agency and others may require medical reports about you from time to time. These will often be accompanied by your signed consent to disclose information. Failure to co-operate with these agencies can lead to a patient’s loss of benefit or other support. However, if we have not received your signed consent, we will not normally disclose information about you.
- Life assurance companies frequently ask for medical reports on prospective clients. They are always accompanied by your signed consent form.
We must disclose all relevant medical conditions unless you ask us not to do so. In that case, we would have to inform the insurance company that you have instructed us not to make a full disclosure to them.
You have the right to see reports to insurance companies or employers before they are sent. You will have to request to see them prior to posting.
How can I find out the content of my medical records?
Legally, you are allowed access to your medical records. If you wish to see your records, please contact the person in charge of your care for further advice. All requests to view medical records should be made in writing. We are allowed to charge a small fee to cover our administration and costs. We have a duty to keep your medical records accurate. Please advise us of any factual errors which may have crept into your medical records to enable them to be corrected.
To protect your privacy and confidentiality, TMP will not:
- disclose any medical information over the telephone or by fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. We will not disclose any information to your family, friends or colleagues unless we have recorded your written consent to do so. Staff are instructed to protect your privacy.
- normally disclose test results over the phone unless we are sure of your identity. We may call you back to ensure that we are talking to the right person.
disclose any information to a parent about a child older than 16 years of age.
- If you have any further queries, comments or complaints about privacy, your medical records or how we use your information, please contact the person in charge of your care, or alternatively,
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC National Customer Service Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
(Tel: 03000 61 61 61)