Commencing in the autumn 2013 the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) will start extracting some patients information to improve services offered and assist with research. Please take time to read the patient leaflet and FAQ for more information. If you still have concerns or wish to speak to a member of the practice please contact us.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person.
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.
Responsibilities of practice staff
All health professionals must follow their professional codes of practice and the law. This means that they must make every effort to protect confidentiality. It also means that no identifiable information about a patient is passed to anyone or any agency without the express permission of that patient, except when this is essential for providing care or necessary to protect somebody’s health, safety or well being.
All health professionals are individually accountable for their own actions. They should also work together as a team to ensure that standards of confidentiality are upheld and that improper disclosures are avoided.
Additionally, the GP as employer:
- is responsible for ensuring that everybody employed by the practice understands the need for. and maintains, confidentiality;
- has overall responsibility for ensuring that systems and mechanisms to protect confidentiality.are in place;
- has vicarious liability for the actions of those working in the practice -including the health professionals and non-clinical staff.
Standards of confidentiality apply to all health professionals, administrative and ancillary staff – including receptionists, secretaries, practice managers, cleaners and maintenance staff who are bound by contracts of employment to maintain confidentiality -and also to students or others observing practice. They must not reveal to anybody outside the practice, personal information they learn in the course of their work, or due to their presence in the surgery, without the patient’s consent. Nor will they discuss with colleagues any aspect of a patient’s attendance at the surgery in a way that might allow identification of the patient, unless to do so is necessary for that patient’s care.
If disclosure is necessary
If a patient or another person is at grave risk of serious harm which disclosure to an appropriate person would prevent, the relevant health professional will counsel the patient about the benefits of disclosure. If the patient refuses to allow disclosure, the health professional can take advice from colleagues within the practice, or from a professional, regulatory or defence body, in order to decide whether a disclosure without consent is justified to protect the patient or another person. If a decision is taken to disclose, the patient should always be informed before the disclosure is made, unless to do so could be dangerous. If at all possible, any such decisions should be shared with another member of the practice team.
Any decision to disclose information to protect health, safety or well being will be based on the degree of current or potential harm, not on the age of the patient.
All staff have to sign a document which legally binds them to abide by the above agreement.
Covid-19 and Your Information
Updated on 8th April 2020
Supplementary privacy note on Covid-19 for Patients/Service Users
This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice which is available on this website.
The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.
Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak. Using this law the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data. Further information is available on gov.uk.
During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes National Data Opt-outs. However in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply. It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access requests, Freedom of Information requests and new opt-out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.
In order to look after your health and care needs we may share your confidential patient information including health and care records with clinical and non clinical staff in other health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111. We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email.
During this period of emergency we may offer you a consultation via telephone or video-conferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.
We will also be required to share personal/confidential patient information with health and care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak. Further information about how health and care data is being used and shared by other NHS and social care organisations in a variety of ways to support the Covid-19 response is available on our website.
NHS England and Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to inform the Covid-19 response. This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves. All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation. In such circumstances where you tell us you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards. We may amend this privacy notice at any time so please review it frequently. The date at the top of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.
HOW WE USE YOUR HEALTH RECORDS
This leaflet explains some of the processes in place at Whinfield Medical Practice, including:
- Why we collect information about you
- How your records are used
- How we keep your records confidential
- Your rights
- Who we may share information with
Why we collect information about you
We aim to provide you with the highest quality of healthcare. To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
These records may include
- Basic details about you such as address, date of birth, next of kin
- Contact we have had with you such as appointments and home visits
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details and records about your treatment and care
- Results of x-rays, laboratory tests etc.
How your records are used
We use your records to:
- Provide a good basis for any treatment or advisory services we provide to you
- Allow you to work with us when we provide treatment or advice
- Make sure your treatment is safe and effective, and the advice we provide is appropriate and relevant to you
- Work effectively with others providing you with treatment or advice
We follow NHS good practice and will:
- Discuss and agree with you what we are going to record about you
- Show you what we have recorded if you ask
How we keep your records confidential
We have a duty to:
- Maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you
- Keep records about you confidential, safe, secure, accurate and up to date
We will not share information that identifies you for any other reason, unless:
- You ask us to do so
- We ask and you give us specific permission
- We have to do this by law
- We have special permission because we believe that the reasons for sharing are so important that they override our obligation of confidentiality (e.g. to prevent someone from being seriously harmed)
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strictconfidence.
- You have the right to confidentiality under the GDPR, Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998, the common law duty of confidence and the Equality Act 2010.
- You have the right to know what information we hold about you, what we use it for and; if the information is to be shared, who it will be shared with.
- You have the right to apply for access to the information we hold about you. Please refer to the practice’s Patient Subject Data Request Policy.
Who we may share information with
We may share information about you with other providers involved in your care such as a hospital.
We nay also share information with your consent and, subject to strict sharing protocols about how it will be used with:
- Social Services
- Education Services
- Local Authorities
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Private Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trust
- Clinical Commissioning Group
- Fire and Rescue Services
Some information we have to share is used for statistical purposes, and in these instances we take strict measures to ensure that service users can not be identified.
Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
If you do not wish personal data that we hold to be used or shared in the way that is described in the leaflet, please discuss this matter with us. You have the right to ask us to stop using or sharing data but this may affect our ability to provide you with safe care or advice.
If you require this leaflet in a different format or you need further assistance please contact our Data Controller using the details below.
Whinfield Medical Practice
Tel: 01325 481321
NHS England require that the net earnings of doctors engaged in the Practice is publicised and the required disclosure is shown below. However, it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the Practice and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparisons with other practices.
The average earnings for GP’s working in Whinfield Medical Practice in the year ending in 2017/18 was £78,843 before taxation and national insurance. This is for 1 full time GP’s, 6 part time GP’s and 2 locum GPs who worked in the practice for more than 6 months.
Named Accountable GP
Every patient is now allocated a named GP. This may be different from the GP you usually see. This does not change the way you book appointments. It means that one GP will have overall responsibility for your care at the surgery.
For continuity of care we encourage patients to try and book appointments with their usual GP. On some occasions this may not be possible so please be assured that all the other doctors that are available on that day will be able to help you with your problem.
If you feel that you have not been allocated the appropriate named GP, please speak to the Reception Team.
Suggestions, Comments and Complaints
1.Raising Your Concerns
Speak to a member of staff who may be able to provide you with a solution or answer straightaway. If you are unhappy with the help you are given, then the deputy manager or the practice manager will be happy to help you. We have a suggestion box where you may place your comments and suggestions. We empty this on a regular basis and try to accommodate all suggestions where practical.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service or staff within this Practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
HOW TO COMPLAIN
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of a few days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have the details of your complaint:
- Within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem, or
- Within 12 months of discovering you have a problem
Complaints should be addressed to: Mrs Jane Lincoln, Practice Manager, Whinfield Medical Practice , Whinbush Way Darlington, DL1 3RT. Alternatively, you could telephone and ask for an appointment to be made with Mrs Lincoln to discuss your concerns, or request to speak to her at the time of the incident.
WHAT WE WILL DO
Upon receiving your complaint, either verbally or in writing, we will acknowledge receipt of the complaint. This will be within three working days. We aim to have a full reply to you with any findings and explanation as soon as is possible. When looking into complaints we will aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
- Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
- Identify what we can do to ensure the problem does not happen again
COMPLAINING ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE
Please note that due to strict medical confidentiality we are unable to make any comments regarding any events that happen to anyone other than yourself. Should you need to make a complaint on behalf of a friend or relative, we will require their written permission before any investigation. You may wish to contact Darlington Healthwatch to discuss any issues. This is a free and confidential service which aims to advice and support families and provide information on NHS services. They can also listen to any conerns patients may have and can sort our problems on behalf of patients they can be contacted on:01325 380145
We hope that if you have a problem you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the chance of correcting whatever has gone wrong. However, if you are not happy with the response you have had or feel you cannot use our procedure; you may contact NHS County Durham:
PO Box 16738
Or if following a response to your complaint, you do not feel the issue(s) have been resolved satisfactorily; you may contact the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP. Tel: 0345 015 4033
Click here to download our Practice Complaints Leaflet.
Click here to download “How do I give feedback or make a complaint about an NHS service
PLEASE HELP US TO HELP YOU