Use of Personal Health Information
All patient records on file or on the computer are completely confidential and subject to the Data Protection Act.
As a patient of this practice, your medical records are confidential, and are accessible only to the members of the Primary Health Care Team involved in your care. However, as a teaching/training practice, there may be occasions when other professionals have access to your records.
- To provide you with the care you need, we hold the details of your consultations, illnesses, tests, prescriptions and other treatments that have been recorded by everyone involved in your care and treatment e.g. doctor, health visitor and practice nurse. This information is stored electronically on computer files by practice staff.
- We sometimes disclose some of your personal health information with other organisations involved in your care. For example, when your doctor refers you to a specialist at the hospital we will send relevant details about you in the referral letter and receive information about you from them. Our practice also participates in regional and national programmes such as cervical cytology screening service and your name and address, date of birth and health number will be given to them in order to send an invitation to you.
- We need to use some of your personal health information for administrative purposes. In order to receive payment for services provided to you, we have to disclose basic details about you to the NHS Board responsible for this area and to the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service. These organisations have a role in protecting public funds and are authorised to check that payments are being properly made. We are required to co-operate with these checks and the disclosure of your data is a necessary part of our provision of healthcare services.
- We are sometimes involved in health research and the teaching of student nurses, doctors and other health professionals. We will not use or disclose your personal health information for these purposes unless you have been informed beforehand and given your consent for us to do so.
- Sometimes we are required by law to pass on information, e.g. the notification of births and deaths and certain diseases or crimes to the government is a legal requirement.
- Our use of your personal health information is covered by a duty of confidentiality and is regulated by the Data Protection Act. The Data Protection Act gives you a number of rights in relation to how your personal information is used, including a right to access the information we hold about you.Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and adheres to a Code of Practice on Protecting Patient confidentiality. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.