Confidentiality is the cornerstone of health care and is central to the work of everyone working in general practice. All information about patients is confidential: from the most sensitive diagnosis to the fact of having visited the surgery or being registered at the practice. 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 it is essential for providing care or is necessary to protect somebodys health, safety or well-being.
All health professionals are individually accountable for their own actions. They should also work as a team to ensure that standards of confidentiality are upheld, and that improprer disclosures are avoided. Additionally the GP as an 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 practice- the health professionals and the non-clinical staff.
Standards of confidentiality apply to all health professionals, administrative and ancillary staff, including receptionists, secretary, practice manager, cleaner and any maintenance staff, and also to students. They must not reveal, to anybody outside the practice, personal information they learn in the course of their work.
DID NOT ATTEND POLICY
A search for the patients who DNA will be done every 6 months and a list produced. For those patients who have DNA’d on 2 occasions, within the agreed time of 6 months, a letter will be sent pointing this out and informing them of the ramification should they DNA a 3rd time. After the 3rd DNA within the agreed time span, the case will be discussed with the GP with whom the patient consults. A decision whether to remove the patient will be taken on a case by case basis.
- The Health Authority will be informed on the request to remove patient from the Practice list.
- A letter will be sent informing the patient that he/she is being removed from the list and detailing the reason.
- Information will be sent to the patient explaining how to register with another practice.
We undertake an annual survey of the practice population to assess your views of the practice and to identify any areas where we could improve our services to you. This is your chance to let us know your views. Your assistance in this project would be much appreciated.
DATA PROTECTION POLICY
The practice has an up to date data protection policy which complies with the current legislation. Information on patients is collected in a variety of ways. Manual or electronic data is recorded from:
- GP and Nurse consultations
- Letters from the Hospitals
- Other sources such as Social Services etc..
We ask you for information so that you can receive proper care and treatment. We keep this information, together with any details of your care, because it may be needed when we see you again. We may use some of this information for other reasons, for example:
- To help us protect the health of the public generally
- To see that the practice runs efficiently
- To plan effectively for the future
- To train its staff
- To help the education of staff
- To carry out medical and other health research for the benefit of everyone
Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information for example, to notify a birth. The NHS Central Register for England & Wales contains basic personal details of all patients registered with a General Practitioner. The Register does not contain clinical information. You have a right of access to your health records. To do so, please contact Anne-Marie Miller, Practice Manager, who will inform you of the procedure and costs.
Everyone working for the Practice has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. All our staff have signed confidentiality agreements, which ensures this is the case. You may be receiving care from other people as well as from the Practice. So that we can all work together for your benefit, we may need to share some information about you.
- We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone’s else interest. Whenever we can, we shall remove details which identify you.
- Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
- If you agree, your relatives, friends and carers will be kept up to date with the progress of your treatment Main reasons for which Information may be needed are:
- Giving you health care and treatment
- Looking after the health of the general public
- Managing and planning the Practice services
- Making sure our services can meet patient’s needs in the future
- Preparing statistics on performance and activity (noting that steps will be taken to ensure you cannot be identified)
- Investigating complaints or legal claims
- Helping staff to review the care they provdie to make sure it is of the highest standard
- Training and educating staff
If at any time you would like to know more about how we use your Information, please ask to speak to the Practice Manager, Anne-Marie Miller, at the surgery, or telephone on 01772 623110