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Confidentiality

Confidentiality is at the heart of good medical practice and is based upon mutual trust and confidence.

Patient health records are kept by the practice with which they are registered and treated. Each health professional working within the practice is responsible for the accuracy and safe keeping of health records and this includes information stored on computers.
The records include general information: name, address and date of birth. They also contain details of care such as consultations, illnesses, investigations undertaken, prescription history and treatment carried out.

When patients change their GP their health records are returned, in a sealed secure bag, to the health authority who will then forward them on to your new GP.

  • The law strictly controls the management of all personal information.
  • Anyone who receives information about you has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
  • You have a right to see your health records. However, if some of the information is considered detrimental to your mental and physical well-being we have a right to withhold that information.
  • Your right of privacy allows you to keep your health records confidential between you and your health professionals with some exceptions.

The NHS in England is changing the way they store and manage your health records.

Today, records are kept in all the places where you receive care. These places can usually only share information from your records by letter, email, fax or phone. At times, this can slow down treatment and sometimes information can be hard to access.

By making more health records electronic, there will be quicker ways to get important information to NHS healthcare staff treating you, including in an emergency. This practice is due to go live with your Summary Care Record shortly. If you do not wish to participate, please inform the practice in writing of your preference.

For more information, please go to: http://www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/

Exceptions Are:

  • When information is requested by the NHS from us.
  • To help protect the health of the public generally.
  • To make sure the NHS runs efficiently.
  • To help the NHS plan and make sure services meet patients' needs in the future.
  • To help the NHS train its staff.
  • To help the NHS account for its actions.
  • To carry out medical and other health research for the benefits of everyone.
  • To prepare statistics on NHS performance and activity.

How The Practice May Use Your Records

  • To investigate complaints of legal claims and respond to your concerns.
  • To use it for clinical and non-clinical staff so that we can review the care that you receive and make sure that it is of the highest standard.

Why We Keep And Share Information

We keep information and details of your care in order to help plan current and future health care.

If you receive care from organisations outside of the NHS we may need to share certain information to enable us to work together with people such as social services, which includes those responsible for the care of the elderly, disabled, children, hospitals, health visitors and other health care professionals to provide you with continuity of care.

We are required to also inform the health authority about some instances of communicable diseases eg meningitis, measles, mumps etc (HIV/AIDS are not included for public health reasons).

Other Organisations Who Might Ask For Health Records

The Benefits Agency - may sometimes need medical reports. These cannot be given without your signed consent.

Law Courts - can insist on disclosure of health records.

Solicitors - might ask for medical reports. We always need your signed consent. We will not give details about any third party contained in your records.

We Have A Duty To Keep Your Health Records Accurate

What we need you to do is to keep us informed of any changes in your:

a) address
b) marital status
c) name
d) telephone number

Finally...

If you wish to see your health records please ask to speak to the practice manager who will arrange a convenient time for you both.

Please note that under the Data Protection Act (1998) we are allowed to make a charge to cover any administration cost.

For hospital or community health records, contact either the relevant hospital manager or the person directly responsible for your care.

Public health research often requires the collection of anonymised information about large numbers of patients. This practice is part of Lambeth Data Net. We research into the impact on health and services of patients’ ethnicity, religion and main language spoken, in order to improve health care in Lambeth. This research helps us to give you a service accurately reflecting the varied needs of Lambeth. There is a leaflet available giving more details and information on your right to opt out of this service improvement programme.

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