The practice treats all information relating to patients confidentially. Please do not be offended if we cannot discuss your partner’s/family member's appointment or test results with you without permission from the patient. All personal health information is used purely for the purpose of providing patients with the best possible clinical care. The practice is involved in regular clinical audits and medical research. Any information used for these purposes is anonymous.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as that owed to any other person. Regardless of whether or not the requested treatment is given, the confidentiality of the consultation should still be respected, unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary.
Any competent young person, regardless of age, can independently seek medical advice and give valid consent to medical treatment. Competency is understood in terms of the patient’s ability to understand the choices and their consequences, including the nature, purpose and possible risk of any treatment (or non-treatment). Parental consent to that treatment is not necessary.
The doctors would prefer young people to have their parents’ support for important and potentially lifechanging decisions. However, should young people not wish parents to be informed of a medical consultation or its outcome the doctor would not override the patient’s views. It is felt that establishing a trusting relationship between patient and doctor will do more to promote health than if doctors refuse to see young patients without involving parents.
Here at Penwortham St. Mary’s we utilise an electronic system for transferring patient records to and from other GP surgeries called GP2GP.
GP2GP enables patients' electronic health records to be transferred directly and securely between GP practices. It improves patient care as GPs will usually have full and detailed medical records available to them for a new patient's first consultation.
Improved quality and continuity of care
Clinical time savings
Administrative time savings
There are some 9,000 GP practices in England. They each currently deal with an average 500 patient record transfers each year. As a university practice we deal with far more, up to 4000 transfers per year!
The process involves:
The time it takes to receive a patient record from the time it is requested can be anything from a few weeks to a few months. As a result, the new practice often does not have the benefit of the old record when the patient attends for the first consultation. Once received, it can be very time-consuming for the new practice to key in the summary of the record into its own clinical system.
GP2GP, on the other hand, enables an almost instantaneous transfer of a patient's EHR. As a result, GPs and their teams will be able to provide patients with a safer and more efficient service. Read more about the benefits of GP2GP.
Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you keep records about your health, treatment and care. In some circumstances other NHS services, such as 111 may access these records, to ensure that you receive safe and effective care. You should always be asked for your consent before your information is accessed.
Your records are used to guide healthcare professionals in the care you need and administer the care you receive.
We routinely record calls to the service to support on going training, development of the service, and to ensure safety and quality.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. We may need to share some of your information with our NHS colleagues so we can all work together for your benefit, but we will only pass on information about you if there is a genuine need to do so.
In some circumstances we may be required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities’. In this instance we would either be operating under a court order, ask Dr Buckley, our Caldicott Guardian, to ensure this is the correct action, or seek advice from our medico-legal advisors if necessary, before information is shared.
Our complaints manager is Fiona Greenbank, who works alongside Charlotte Newsham and Sharon Patterson to deal with any issues. Our Complaints Team will listen to your complaint, and fully investigate the matter for you.
In order to speak to our complaints team, please contact reception and they will direct you to the team who will deal with your situation.
Alternatively, you can ask a receptionist to log your complaint in one of our complaints forms and you will then be contacted to resolve the issue.
If we cannot resolve your verbal complaint within 24 hours of you making it, a member of the team will write to you to acknowledge your complaint and keep in contact with you, until the matter has been resolved to your satisfaction. All complaints received in writing will automatically receive a written acknowledgement.
Please do not be concerned about reporting a complaint. This is how we learn and know when we need to make changes, telling us about your issue can hopefully stop someone else having the same problem in the future.
Below is a complaints form you can use if you prefer, but you don't have to. Rest assured, your complaint will be taken seriously, regardless of how you choose to tell us about it.
Below there are some links to leaflets, telling you more about how to complain to us, as well as how the wider NHS deals with complaints.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe , and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data.
The GDPR strengthens many of the Data Protection Act principles. The main changes are:
• Practices must comply with subject access requests
• Where we need your consent to process data, this consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous
• There are new, special protections for patient data
• We are obliged to reply to your request within one month of receipt of the request.
Patient data is information that relates to a single person, such as your diagnosis, name, age, earlier medical history etc.
Consent is permission from a patient and is defined as “any freely given specific and informed indication of your wishes by which the data subject signifies the agreement to personal data relating to him/her being processed.” However, consent is only one potential lawful basis for processing information. We may not need to seek your explicit consent for every instance of processing and sharing your information, please refer to our privacy notice on the website and in the surgery which provide further information on our legal basis.
We may share your information for direct care purposes - this is when information is used for healthcare and medical purposes. e.g. directly contributing to your treatment, diagnosis, referral and care and this will require appointment bookings and inputting test results etc.
Some of the organisations involved in your care may include:
• Out of hours services / Ambulance services / NHS hospital trusts/ Social Services / Community Support Services, e.g. health visitors, district nurses etc.
With your consent, we may also share your information with other organisations for example Local authorities (councils)
We may also use your personal information when required to by the law (for example following a court order to release documentation) and, in exceptional circumstances, where the use of your personal information is justified in the public interest. For example, when assisting the police with the investigation of a serious crime, or if there are concerns regarding child protection, it may be necessary for us to share your personal information with external agencies. For other uses of your personal information we will either directly ask for your consent or use data that does not identify you.
· Data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently
· It must be collected for a specific, explicit and legitimate purposes
· Data must be held securely
· It can only be retained for as long as is necessary for the reasons it was collected
· It must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed
· Information must be accurate and kept up to date
· Being informed about how your data is used
· Access your own data
· Can ask to have incorrect information changed
· Restrict how your data is used
· Move your t data from one health organisation to another
· The right to object to patient information being processed (in certain circumstances)
Health professionals caring for you keep records about your health together with any treatment and care you receive from the NHS in order to ensure that you receive quality care. By registering with the practice, your existing records will be transferred to us from your previous practice so that we can keep them up to date while you are our patient. We take great care to ensure that your information is kept securely, that it is that it is up to date, accurate and used appropriately. All our staff are trained to understand their legal and professional obligations to protect your information and only look at your information if they need to.
• Assess your health and decide the most appropriate care and treatment for you to review and improve the quality of care you receive.
Ensure appropriate information is available if you need to see another doctor, or be referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS
• Investigate your concerns if you have a query, concern or a complaint.
• Provide evidence of treatment given, so that the correct payments are made to the practice
• To prevent further ill health or worsening of current conditions by using ‘risk stratification’ tools and will be done by our commissioners using pseudonymised records. For example to use the tool to identify which patients are at high risk of heart attack. We will contact those patients at risk to ensure correct treatment is given to help prevent them from having a heart attack.
Some other examples for the use of pseudonymised information can be used without you being identified. Some examples include:
• Health research and development / Teaching and personal development (particularly for doctors and nurses) /Commissioning/contract monitoring / Staff and patient surveys
Personal Medical Records:
If you wish to access your medical records, please contact the Medical Centre to register to patient access online or contact the surgery to obtain a copy of the medical records.
Medical Records of Deceased Patients:
If you are a carer, guardian or a family member that is requesting to view medical records of a deceased patient , please contact Primary Care support England on 03330142884 to put a request for viewing medical records.
In the event that you feel your GP Practice has not complied with the current data protection legislation, please raise your concerns in the first instance in writing to the Practice Manager at the address below.
If you remain dissatisfied with our response you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office full details could be found at www.ico.gov.uk