As a patient it is your right, with certain exceptions, to have all information regarding your health kept confidential, whether kept on paper or on the computer, and to this end all staff have a statement of confidentiality in their job contract in addition to a separate practice policy on confidentiality to ensure that the highest possible standards of confidentiality are maintained.
When you first register with a practice certain personal details, such as name, address, NHS number and date of birth are passed to the Health Authority and to the NHS Central Register. This enables your medical record to be located and passed to your new practice. Although the Health Authority database holds information on childhood vaccinations and immunisations and cervical cytology no other clinical information is held either there or at the Central Register.
It is possible, however, that it may be necessary to share some information regarding your medical history with other health care professionals such as hospital consultants, to ensure you receive appropriate treatment. In addition there are certain statutory requirements that require a practice to pass on information to the authorities, for example notification of births or deaths, infectious diseases and gunshot wounds.
In other cases, such as releasing medical records to solicitors when dealing with complaints or legal claims, information is only released with your written authority to do so.
If you do have any concerns regarding the confidentiality of your personal medical history or you would like further information, please do not hesitate to discuss this with your doctor or Practice Manager.
For more information go to www.dh.gov.uk, choose managing your organisation, then choose information policy then patient confidentiality and access to health records.
Access to medical records
Any patient is entitled to seek access to his or her records. We will require identification before access or copies are provided. If you would like further information please contact Kate Le Brun, Practice manager on 01782 750274.