How your records are used to help the NHS
Your information may be used to help us:
- Monitor and look after the health of the general public
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance
- Conduct health research and development
- Audit NHS accounts and services
- Teach and train healthcare professionals
- Pay your GP, dentist and hospital for the care they provide
- Investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents
Some of this information will be held centrally, but where this is used for statistical purposes, stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units, drug companies and research institutions. Please let your doctor know if you would prefer to opt out of this type of scheme. Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. This will be done only with your consent, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health. You will be specifically asked for consent if there is a proposal to use your records in education or research projects.
We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. Occasions when we must pass information on include notification of births and deaths, where we encounter infectious diseases, which may endanger the safety of others, and where a court order has been issued.
Who are our partner organisations?
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS. We may need to share some information about you to others involved in your care when it is in your best interest to do so. The principal organisations are:
- NHS Trusts, including Primary Care Trusts and Hospitals
- Ambulance Service
- Social Services
- Education Services
- Strategic Health Authorities.
Your information may also, subject to strict agreements called "Information sharing protocols" be shared with Local Authorities, Prison Liaison, Voluntary Sector Providers and Private Sector Providers.
This practice contributes anonymous patient data to a database(s) used for health care research purposes. The practice receives a nominal fee and training from the company aggregating the data to help improve quality in its computer records. The company holding the anonymous data will be providing the data to authorised researchers for a data fee. The data collection scheme has been approved by the South East Multicentre Ethics Committee. The Committee will also be overseeing all research conducted on the data. The database will hold data on millions of patients and no patient will be traceable to anyone outside this practice.
Freedom of Information Act
The practice has a Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme. Copies are available from the practice manager.