The practice complies with the Data Protection Act. All information about patients is confidential: from the most sensitive diagnosis, to the fact of having visited the surgery or being registered at the practice. All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission except in the most exceptional of circumstances, when somebody is at grave risk of serious harm.
All members of the primary health care team (from reception to doctors) in the course of their duties will have access to your medical records. They all adhere to the highest standards of maintaining confidentiality.
As our reception area is a little public, if you wish to discuss something of a confidential nature please mention it to one of the receptionists who will make arrangements for you to have the necessary privacy.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person. Young people aged under 16 years can choose to see health professionals, without informing their parents or carers. If a GP considers that the young person is competent to make decisions about their health, then the GP can give advice, prescribe and treat the young person without seeking further consent.
However, in terms of good practice, health professionals will encourage young people to discuss issues with a parent or carer. As with older people, sometimes the law requires us to report information to appropriate authorities in order to protect young people or members of the public.
How we use your medical records
- We handle all medical records in-line with laws on data protection and confidentiality.
- Our guiding principle is that we hold your information in the strictest confidence.
- We share medical records with those who are involved in providing you with care and treatment.
- Sometimes we share medical records for medical research but we don’t share any patient identifiable data in these circumstances without express consent.
- You can object to your information being used for medical research and to plan health services.
- We share information when the law requires us to do so e.g. to prevent infectious diseases from spreading or to check care being provided is safe.
- You have the right to object to your medical records being shared with other care providers, if this limits your treatment options we will tell you.
- You have the right to access a copy of your medical record.
- You have the right to have any mistakes corrected and forward any complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office.