We understand how important it is to keep your personal information safe and secure and we take this very seriously. We have taken steps to make sure your personal information is looked after in the best possible way and we review this regularly.
Please read this privacy notice (‘Privacy Notice’) carefully, as it contains important information about how we use the personal and healthcare information we collect on your behalf.
1. Why We Are Providing This Privacy Notice
We are required to provide you with this Privacy Notice by Law. It explains how we use the personal and healthcare information we collect, store and hold about you. If you are unclear about how we process or use your personal and healthcare information, or you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or any other issue regarding your personal and healthcare information, then please do contact our Data Protection Officer (details below).
The Law says:
- We must let you know why we collect personal and healthcare information about you;
- We must let you know how we use any personal and/or healthcare information we hold on you;
- We need to inform you in respect of what we do with it;
- We need to tell you about who we share it with or pass it on to and why; and
- We need to let you know how long we can keep it for.
2. The Data Protection Officer
Please write to East Cowes Medical Centre or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if:
- You have any questions about how your information is being held;
- If you require access to your information or if you wish to make a change to your information;
- If you wish to make a complaint about anything to do with the personal and healthcare information we hold about you;
- Or any other query relating to this Policy and your rights as a patient.
3. About Us
The GP Practice at the East Cowes Medical Centre (‘the Surgery’) situated at Church Path, East Cowes Isle of Wight PO32 6RP, is a Data Controller of your information. This means we are responsible for collecting, storing and handling your personal and healthcare information when you register with us as a patient.
There may be times where we also process your information. That means we use it for a particular purpose and, therefore, on those occasions we may also be Data Processors. The purposes for which we use your information are set out in this Privacy Notice.
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.'
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a Notice under Regulation 3(4) of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non-clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease.
Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 30th September 2020 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be will be provided in writing.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
If you are concerned about how your information is being used, please contact our DPO using the contact details provided in this Privacy Notice.
5. Information We Collect From You
The information we collect from you will include:
- Your contact details (such as your name and email address, including place of work and work contact details);
- Details and contact numbers of your next of kin;
- Your age range, gender, ethnicity;
- Details in relation to your medical history;
- The reason for your visit to the Surgery;
- Medical notes and details of diagnosis and consultations with our GPs and other health professionals within the Surgery involved in your direct healthcare.
6. Information About Your From Others
We also collect personal information about you when it is sent to us from the following:
- A hospital, a consultant or any other medical or healthcare professional, or any other person involved with your general healthcare.
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists;
- Private Sector Providers;
- Voluntary Sector Providers;
- Social Care Services;
- Local Authorities;
- Third Parties (such as friends/family/neighbour);
- Police & Judicial Services;
- Education Services.
7. Your Summary Care Record
Your summary care record is an electronic record of your healthcare history (and other relevant personal information) held on a national healthcare records database provided and facilitated by NHS England.
This record may be shared with other healthcare professionals and additions to this record may also be made by relevant healthcare professionals and organisations involved in your direct healthcare.
You may have the right to demand that this record is not shared with anyone who is not involved in the provision of your direct healthcare. If you wish to enquire further as to your rights in respect of not sharing information on this record then please contact our Data Protection Officer.
To find out more about the wider use of confidential personal information and to register your choice to opt out if you do not want your data to be used in this way, please visit NHS: Your Data Matters
Note if you do choose to opt out, you can still consent to your data being used for specific purposes. However, if you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. You may however change your choice at any time.
8. Who We May Provide Your Personal Information To, And Why
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care Services, important information about you is collected to help ensure you get the best possible care and treatment. This information may be passed to other approved organisations where there is a legal basis, to help with planning services, improving care, research into developing new treatments and preventing illness. All of this helps in proving better care to you and your family and future generations. However, as explained in this privacy notice, confidential information about your health and care is only used in this way where allowed by law and would never be used for any other purpose without your clear and explicit consent.
We may pass your personal information on to the following people or organisations, because these organisations may require your information to assist them in the provision of your direct healthcare needs. It, therefore, may be important for them to be able to access your information in order to ensure they may properly deliver their services to you:
- Hospital professionals (such as doctors, consultants, nurses, etc);
- Other GPs/Doctors;
- Nurses and other healthcare professionals;
- Any other person that is involved in providing services related to your general healthcare, including mental health professionals;
- GPES Data for Pandemic Planning & Research (COVID-19).
Purpose: Personal confidential and Special Category data will be extracted at source from GP systems for the use of planning and research for the Covid-19 pandemic emergency period. Requests for data will be required from NHS Digital via their secure NHSX SPOC Covid-19 request process.
Legal Basis: NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State under section 254 of the 2012 Act under the COVID-19 Direction to establish and operate a system for the collection and analysis of the information specified for this service: GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19). A copy of the COVID-19 Direction is published here
Patients who have expressed an opt out preference via Type 1 objections with their GP surgery not to have their data extracted for anything other than their direct care will not be party to this data extraction.
Processor: NHS Digital
9. Other People Who We Provide Your Information To
- Clinical Commissioning Groups;
- Local authorities;
- Community health services;
- For the purposes of complying with the law e.g. Police, Solicitors, Insurance Companies;
- Anyone you have given your consent to, to view or receive your record, or part of your record. Please note, if you give another person or organisation consent to access your record we will need to contact you to verify your consent before we release that record. It is important that you are clear and understand how much and what aspects of, your record you give consent to be disclosed.
- Extended Access – we offer extended access services to our patients which means you can access medical services outside of our normal opening hours. In order to provide you with this service, we have formal arrangements in place with the Clinical Commissioning Group and with other practices that offer this service on our behalf for you as a patient to access outside of our opening hours. This means, that where you have provided consent, another Island practice will have access to your medical record to be able to offer you a service. Please note to ensure that those practices comply with the law and to protect the use of your information, we have very robust data sharing agreements and other clear arrangements in place to ensure your data is always protected and used for those purposes only. Currently extended access services are offered at The Bay Medical Centre (Sandown), Tower House (Ryde) and Lighthouse Medical (Newport).
- Population Health Management - Health and care services work together as ‘Integrated Care Systems’ (ICS) and are sharing data in order to:
- Understanding the health and care needs of the care system’s population, including health inequalities
- Provide support to where it will have the most impact
- Identify early actions to keep people well, not only focusing on people in direct contact with services, but looking to join up care across different partners.
- Type of Data – Identifiable/Pseudonymised/Anonymised/Aggregate Data. NB only organisations that provide your individual care will see your identifiable data. Legal Basis - Article 6(1)(e); “necessary… in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller’ And Article 9(2)(h) Provision of health and care Processor to which data is disclosed: Cerner Ltd, Optum Ltd, NECS CSU Population Health Management also incorporates the use of risk stratification tools as an integral part of the purpose
- Data Extraction by the Clinical Commissioning Group – the clinical commissioning group at times extracts medical information about you, but the information we pass to them via our computer systems cannot identify you to them. This information only refers to you by way of a code that only your practice can identify (it is pseudo-anonymised). This therefore protects you from anyone who may have access to this information at the Clinical Commissioning Group from ever identifying you as a result of seeing the medical information and we will never give them the information that would enable them to do this.
There are good reasons why the Clinical Commissioning Group may require this pseudo- anonymised information, these are as follows:
- Understanding service activity and population needs at a Practice, locality or Island wide level
- Analysis of patient cohorts using demographic and financial information to assess and plan future health services and ensure contracts are aligned with the population needs.
- IWCCG Medicines Management Team , to identify cohorts of patients where prescribing could be improved, and implement agreed changes to prescribing with local GPs;
- Monitoring payments for direct and local enhanced services;
- Support Practices with data quality Improvements by identifying data quality issues or inconsistencies;
- Health Surveillance immunisation and vaccine uptake across Practices
- Health needs assessment, for example, identifying numbers of patients with specific health conditions, or combinations of conditions;
- Health services research including identification of patients eligible to be invited to participate in research, where patient consent has been obtained.
10. Anonymised Information
Sometimes we may provide information about you in an anonymised form. If we do so, then none of the information we provide to any other party will identify you as an individual and cannot be traced back to you.
11. Your Rights As A Patient
The Law gives you certain rights to your personal and healthcare information that we hold, as set out below:
Access and Subject Access Requests
You have the right to see what information we hold about you and to request a copy of this information.
If you would like a copy of the information we hold about you please write to Selena Bone. We will provide this information free of charge however, we may in some limited and exceptional circumstances have to make an administrative charge for any extra copies if the information requested is excessive, complex or repetitive.
We have one month to reply to you and give you the information that you require. We would ask, therefore, that any requests you make are in writing and it is made clear to us what and how much information you require.
You may ask us if you wish to have online access to your medical record. However, there will be certain protocols that we have to follow in order to give you online access, including written consent and production of documents that prove your identity.
Please note that when we give you online access, the responsibility is yours to make sure that you keep your information safe and secure if you do not wish any third party to gain access.
We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct any information you think is inaccurate. It is very important that you make sure you tell us if your contact details including your mobile phone number has changed.
You have the right to ask for your information to be removed however, if we require this information to assist us in providing you with appropriate medical services and diagnosis for your healthcare, then removal may not be possible.
We cannot share your information with anyone else for a purpose that is not directly related to your health, e.g. medical research, educational purposes, etc. We would ask you for your consent in order to do this however, you have the right to request that your personal and healthcare information is not shared by the Surgery in this way. Please note the Anonymised Information section in this Privacy Notice.
You have the right to request that your personal and/or healthcare information is transferred, in an electronic form (or other form), to another organisation, but we will require your clear consent to be able to do this.
12. Third Parties Mentioned On Your Medical Record
Sometimes we record information about third parties mentioned by you to us during any consultation. We are under an obligation to make sure we also protect that third party’s rights as an individual and to ensure that references to them which may breach their rights to confidentiality, are removed before we send any information to any other party including yourself. Third parties can include: spouses, partners, and other family members.
13. How We Use The Information About You
We use your personal and healthcare information in the following ways:
- when we need to speak to, or contact other doctors, consultants, nurses or any other medical/healthcare professional or organisation during the course of your diagnosis or treatment or on going healthcare;
- when we are required by Law to hand over your information to any other organisation, such as the police, by court order, solicitors, or immigration enforcement.
We will never pass on your personal information to anyone else who does not need it, or has no right to it, unless you give us clear consent to do so.
14. Legal Justification For Collecting And Using Your Information
The Law says we need a legal basis to handle your personal and healthcare information.
- Contract: We have a contract with NHS England to deliver healthcare services to you. This contract provides that we are under a legal obligation to ensure that we deliver medical and healthcare services to the public.
- Consent: Sometimes we also rely on the fact that you give us consent to use your personal and healthcare information so that we can take care of your healthcare needs. Please note that you have the right to withdraw consent at any time if you no longer wish to receive services from us.
- Necessary Care: Providing you with the appropriate healthcare, where necessary. The Law refers to this as ‘protecting your vital interests’ where you may be in a position not to be able to consent.
- Law: Sometimes the Law obliges us to provide your information to an organisation (see above).
15. Special Categories
The Law states that personal information about your health falls into a special category of information because it is very sensitive. Reasons that may entitle us to use and process your information may be as follows:
- Public Interest: Where we may need to handle your personal information when it is considered to be in the public interest. For example, when there is an outbreak of a specific disease and we need to contact you for treatment, or we need to pass your information to relevant organisations to ensure you receive advice and/or treatment;
- Consent: When you have given us consent;
- Vital Interest: If you are incapable of giving consent, and we have to use your information to protect your vital interests (e.g. if you have had an accident and you need emergency treatment);
- Defending A Claim: If we need your information to defend a legal claim against us by you, or by another party;
- Providing You With Medical Care: Where we need your information to provide you with medical and healthcare services
16. How Long We Keep Your Personal Information
We carefully consider any personal information that we store about you, and we will not keep your information for longer than is necessary for the purposes as set out in this Privacy Notice.
17. Under 16s
We are currently working on producing a privacy notice for under 16s and this will be available as soon as possible. In the meantime if you are under 16 you can obtain a copy of our current privacy notice which will be very similar.
18. If English Is Not Your First Language
If English is not your first language you can request a translation of this Privacy Notice. Please contact our Data Protection Officer.
If you have a concern about the way we handle your personal data or you have a complaint about what we are doing, or how we have used or handled your personal and/or healthcare information, then please contact our surgery.
20. Our Website
The only website this Privacy Notice applies to is the Surgery’s website (www.eastcoweshealthcentre.co.uk). If you use a link to any other website from the Surgery’s website then you will need to read their respective privacy notice. We take no responsibility (legal or otherwise) for the content of other websites.
We take the security of your information very seriously and we do everything we can to ensure that your information is always protected and secure. We regularly update our processes and systems and we also ensure that our staff are properly trained. We also carry out assessments and audits of the information that we hold about you and make sure that if we provide any other services, we carry out proper assessments and security reviews.
23. Text Messaging And Contacting You
Because we are obliged to protect any confidential information we hold about you and we take this very seriously, it is imperative that you let us know immediately if you change any of your contact details.
We may contact you using SMS texting to your mobile phone in the event that we need to notify you about appointments and other services that we provide to you involving your direct care, therefore you must ensure that we have your up to date details. This is to ensure we are sure we are actually contacting you and not another person.
You may find a copy of this Privacy Notice on the Surgery’s notice board, on our website, or a copy may be provided on request.
25. Changes To Our Privacy Notice
We regularly review and update our Privacy Notice. This Privacy Notice was last updated: June 2021.
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