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Confidentiality of Medical Records

Your medical record is a lifelong history of your consultations, illnesses, investigations, prescriptions and other treatments.

Your GP is responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of your medical record, whether it is a paper or computer held record. Computerised records are covered by the Data Protection Act and subject to the conditions therein. You can help to keep this information accurate by informing your GP of any change in your name, address, telephone number or marital status, and by ensuring your GP is informed about any changes in your health, or the treatment that you receive.

If you move to another area or change GP, your medical records will be sent to the appropriate Health Authority to be passed on to your new practice. However, a copy of all computer entries made onto your record during the time you were registered will be retained by this practice.

You have a right to keep personal health information confidential between you and your GP. Your GP will normally share this information with others involved in your health care, unless you ask them not to. Even if you are under 16, nothing will be said to anyone - including parents, care workers or teachers - without your permission.

How can I find out what is in my medical record?

We are required by law to allow you access to your medical record. If you wish to see your records, please contact the practice manager for further advice. All requests to view your records should be made in writing. We charge a small fee to cover administrative costs. We have a duty to keep your medical record accurate and up to date. Please inform us of any errors of fact that have been made over the years.

What we will not do

To protect your privacy and confidentiality, we will not normally disclose any of your medical information over the telephone or fax, unless we are sure that we are talking to you. We will not disclose any information to your family, friends or colleagues about any medical matters at all, unless we know that they have your consent to do so.

Furthermore, practice staff have been instructed not to disclose any patient information over the phone. Please do not ask them to do so.

If you have any queries, comments or complaints about privacy, confidentiality or the content of your medical record, please contact the practice manager.

Who could see my records? Why?
Doctors To provide health care and treatment:
Practice Nurses
Health Visitors
District Nurses
Healthcare Assistants
It is our policy to have a single medical and nursing record for each patient. We firmly believe that this offers the best opportunity to deliver the highest quality of care from a modern primary care team. Therefore, access to records will only be given to those professionals involved in the treatment or investigation of your health needs.
Medical Technicians
Pharmacy Advisers
Clinical Auditors
Access to records will only be given to those professionals directly involved in the treatment or investigation of your health needs or those carrying out essential clinical Audit or research.
GP Registrars
Medical Students
Some practices are involved in the teaching and training of doctors and medical students . If you see a medical student or GP registrar during your consultation, they may be given supervised access to your health records.
Practice Staff Practice staff have access only to such information that they need to perform their role within the practice, informing the Health Authority of registration and claim details, and performing various administrative tasks.
Government We are required by law to notify the Government of certain infectious diseases for public health reasons.
Law Courts The law courts can insist that doctors disclose medical records. When we are asked for medical reports from solicitors, we will only provide them if we can obtain signed consent to disclose information from the patient or if they are released under a court order.
Health Authority We provide them with limited information so that they can organise national health care programmes such as childhood immunisations, cervical smear tests and breast screening.

GPs also inform Health Authorities of registration changes and certain procedures that they will carry out on patients.
Social Services
The Benefits Agency Local Authorities and other statutory authorities
We would not normally disclose any information without your signed consent. This is sometimes needed in order for benefits or other support to be provided.
Life Assurance Companies We provide information only when we have received your signed consent to do so.

In case of a medical emergency, relevant information may be passed on to other health care workers. Confidential information may also be passed on to protect you or someone else from serious harm, but we will always attempt to discuss this with you first.

Anyone authorised to see your medical records has a legal, ethical and contractual duty to protect your privacy and confidentiality.

Statistical information on the quantity and quality of health care provision and need is collected in anonymity from your medical record to help us to plan and manage the NHS. This is essential if we are to ensure we attempt to match our resources to the public health needs. It also helps us to review the standard of care provided and to train and educate staff and undertake research approved by the local Research Ethics Committee.

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