How the NHS and Care Services Use Your Information
Somerset Bridge Medical Centre is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public.
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- Improving the quality and standards of care provided
- Research into the development of new treatments
- Preventing illness and diseases
- Monitoring safety
- Planning Services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this when allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential pate information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marking purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care. Our organisation ‘is currently’ compliant with the national data opt-out policy.
THE RECORDS WE KEEP TO ENABLE US TO LOOK AFTER YOU
This practice keeps data on you relating to who you are, where you live, what you do, your family, possibly your friends, your employers, your habits, your problems and diagnoses, the reasons you seek help, your appointments, where you are seen and when you are seen, who by, referrals to specialists and other healthcare providers, tests carried out here and in other places, investigations and scans, treatments and outcomes of treatments, your treatment history, the observations and opinions of other healthcare workers, within and without the NHS as well as comments and aide memoires reasonably made by healthcare professionals in this practice who are appropriately involved in your health care.
When registering for NHS care, all patients who receive NHS care are registered on a national database, the database is held by NHS Digital, a national organisation which has legal responsibilities to collect NHS
GPs have always delegated tasks and responsibilities to others that work with them in their surgeries, on average an NHS GP has between 1,500 to 2,500 patients for whom he or she is accountable. It is not possible for the GP to provide hands on personal care for each and every one of those patients in those circumstances, for this reason GPs share your care with others, predominantly within the surgery but occasionally with outside organisations.
If your health needs require care from others elsewhere outside this practice we will exchange with them whatever information about you that is necessary for them to provide that care. When you make contact with healthcare providers outside the practice but within the NHS it is usual for them to send us information relating to that encounter. We will retain part or all of those reports. Normally we will receive equivalent reports of contacts you have with non NHS services but this is not always the case.
Your consent to this sharing of data, within the practice and with those others outside the practice is assumed and is allowed by the Law.
People who have access to your information will only normally have access to that which they need to fulfil their roles, for instance admin staff will normally only see your name, address, contact details, appointment history and registration details in order to book appointments, the practice nurses will normally have access to your immunisation, treatment, significant active and important past histories, your allergies and relevant recent contacts whilst the GP you see or speak to will normally have access to everything in your record.
You have the right to object to our sharing your data in these circumstances but we have an overriding responsibility to do what is in your best interests. Please see below.
We are required by Articles in the General Data Protection Regulations to provide you with the information in the following 9 subsections.