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The High Street Surgery

High Street Surgery

High Street
Lowestoft
Suffolk
NR32 1JE
Phone: 01502 589151
Fax: 01502 566719
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All information about patients is deemed confidential from the most sensitive diagnosis to the fact of having visited the Surgery or just being registered at the Practice.

 

We are a computerised Practice and most of your medical information is held on our electronic clinical data system. We are registered under the Data Protection Act and are bound by the Freedom of Information Act. All our staff are aware of the importance of confidentiality and have signed a confidentiality agreement.

 

All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission, except in the most exceptional of circumstances e.g. when somebody is at grave risk of serious harm. This includes patients who are under 16 years of age.

 

All health professionals work in accordance with their professional codes of conduct, as well as the law, in respect of confidentiality and the avoidance of improper disclosure. As such they must make every effort to protect confidentiality including ensuring no identifiable information about a patient is passed to anyone, or any agency, without the express permission of the patient, except when this is essential for providing care or is necessary to protect somebody’s health, safety or well-being.

 

Additionally the GP Partner, as an employer is:-

· Responsible for ensuring that everybody employed by the practice understands the need for, and maintains, confidentiality.

· Has overall responsibility for ensuring that systems and mechanisms are in place to protect confidentiality. Has vicarious liability for the actions of those working in the practice – the health professionals and the non-clinical staff.

 

Standards of confidentiality apply to all health professionals as well as all administrative and ancillary staff. They must not reveal, to anybody outside the Practice, personal information they learn in the course of their work, or due to their presence in the Surgery, without the patient’s consent. Nor should they discuss with colleagues any aspect of a particular patient’s attendance at the Surgery in a way that might allow identification of the patient, unless it is necessary to do so for that patient’s care.

 

If disclosure is necessary because a patient or another person is at grave risk of serious harm which disclosure to an appropriate person would prevent the relevant health professional will counsel the patient about the benefits of disclosure. If the patient refuses to allow disclosure, the healthcare professional can take advice from colleagues within the practice, or from a professional regulatory or defence body and if necessary the courts, in order to decide whether a disclosure without consent is justified to protect the patient or another person.

 

If a decision is taken to disclose, the patient would always be informed before the decision is acted upon, unless to do so could be dangerous. If at all possible, any such decisions should be shared with another member of the Practice team.

 

Any decision to disclose information to protect health, safety or well-being will be based on the degree of current or potential harm and not upon the age of the patient.

 

Policy for Protection and Use of Patient Information

 

We are a computerised Practice and most of your medical information is held on our electronic clinical data system. We are registered under the Data Protection Act and are bound by the Freedom of Information Act. All our staff are aware of the importance of confidentiality and have signed a confidentiality agreement.

 

However, information on patients is collected in a variety of ways e.g. from letters from the hospital, and data is recorded manually as well as electronically.

 

We store information about you and the care you have received previously because it may be needed when we see you again. We may also use some of this information for other reasons e.g.: -

· To help us protect the health of the public generally

· To see that the Practice runs efficiently

· To plan effectively for the future

· To train staff

· For auditing purposes

· Preparing statistics on performance and activity

 

Information utilised in the above ways will be anonymised unless you are specifically requested to provide voluntary written consent to enable an outside agency to have access to your confidential records e.g. by the Clinical Commissioning Group during their annual Quality and Outcome Framework monitoring visit to the Surgery in order to audit the Practice’s performance in providing patient care.

 

Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information e.g. to notify a birth. The NHS Central Register for England & Wales contains basic personal details of all patients registered with a General Practitioner. This Register does not contain clinical information.

 

You have a right of access to your health records. To do so please contact the Practice Manager, who is the designated Data Controller for the practice, who will advise you of the procedure and costs.

 

If you are receiving care from other people outside of the Practice it may be necessary to share with them some information about you but we only ever pass on information if people have a genuine need to know because it is in your best interests. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.

 

If you so direct us, your relatives, friends or carers will be kept up to date with progress about your treatment but only with your explicit consent.

 

If you have any concerns about how we might use information about you please contact the Practice Manager.


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