Confidentiality & Medical Records
The University Medical Centre aims to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients. To do this, we keep records about you, your health and the care we provide or plan to provide to you.
This privacy notice does not provide exhaustive details of all aspects of the collection and use of personal information by the University Medical Centre.
How We Use Your Information
In order to provide for your care, we need to collect and keep information about you and your health on our records. Your records are used to:
- Provide a basis for all health decisions made by care professionals with and for you.
- Make sure your care is safe and effective.
- Work effectively with others providing you with care.
We also may use, or share, your information for the following purposes:
- Looking after the health of the general public
- Making sure that our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Auditing accounts
- Preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity (where steps will be taken to ensure you cannot be identified)
- Investigating concerns, complaints or legal claims
- Helping staff to review the care they provide to make sure it is of the highest standards
- Training and educating staff
Disclosure of Information to Other Health and Social Professionals
We may need to share some of your information with other health and social care professionals in order to provide you with the treatment and services you need.
The practice operates a clinical computer system called EMIS. It lets NHS staff record information securely. This information can then be shared with other clinicians, so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history, including allergies and medication.
To provide 24 hour safe care, unless you have asked us not to do so, we will make information available to trusted organisations listed below. Wherever possible, their staff will ask your consent before your information is viewed.
We consider patient consent as being the key factor in dealing with your health information.
We may need to share your information with the following organisations:
- Other NHS Hospitals
- Relevant GP practices
- Dentists, Opticians and Pharmacies
- Private Sector Providers (private hospitals, care homes, hospices, contractors providing services to the NHS)
- Voluntary Sector Providers who are directly involved in your care
- Ambulance Trusts
- Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)
- Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG)
- NHS Walk in Centres
- NHS England
We may also share your information, with your consent and subject to strict sharing protocols about how it will be used, with
- Local Authority departments, including social care and health (formerly social services), education and housing and public health
- Police and Fire Services
Shared Care Records
To support your care and improve the sharing of relevant information to our partner organisations when they are involved in your care, we will share information to other systems. The general principle is that information is passed to these systems, unless you request this does not happen, but that system users should ask for your consent before viewing your record. They may have a restricted view depending on their role.
How We Keep Your information Confidential and Secure
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. Everyone working in, or for the NHS must use personal information in a secure and confidential way.
We will only ever use or pass on your information if there is a genuine need to do so. We will not disclose information about you to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the law requires.
At all times your information is kept secure. We use encryption for sending electronic information and if we are sending your information to outside parties, ie solicitors, in the post we use the recorded delivery service.
To protect your confidentiality, we will not normally disclose any medical information about you over the telephone or by fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. This means that we will not disclose information to your family, friends and colleagues about any medical matters at all, unless we know that we have your consent to do so.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure.
All persons in the practice sign a confidentiality agreement that makes clear their duties in relation to personal health information and the consequences of breaching that duty.
Please be aware that your information will be accessed by non-clinical practice staff in order to perform tasks enabling the functioning of the practice. These are, but not limited to:
- Typing referral letters to hospital consultants or allied health professionals
- Opening letters from hospitals and consultants
- Scanning clinical letters and any other documents not available in electronic format
- Photocopying or printing documents
- Handling, printing, photocopying and postage of medico legal and life assurance reports and associated documents
Right of Access to your Health Information
The Data Protection Act 1998 allows you to find out what information about you is held on computer and in manual records. This is known as “right of subject access” and applies to personal information held about you. If you wish to see the information about you that the practice holds, please request a Subject Access form from reception. This form informs you of the procedure you have to undertake.
Who else may ask to access your information?
The law courts can insist that we disclose medical records to them
often ask for medical reports. These requests will always be accompanied by your signed consent for us to disclose information. We will not normally release details about other people that are contained in your records (eg wife, children, parents etc) unless we also have their consent.
Limited information is shared with Public Health England to help them organise national programmes for Public Health such as childhood immunisations.
The Benefits Agency and others may require medical reports on you from time to time. These will often be accompanied by your signed consent to disclose information. Failure to co-operate with these agencies can lead to loss of benefit or other support. However, if we have not received your signed consent we will not normally disclose information about you.
Life Assurance Companies
frequently ask for medical reports on prospective clients. These are always accompanied by your signed consent form. We must disclose all relevant medical conditions unless you ask us not to do so. In that case, we would have to inform the insurance company that you have instructed us not to make a full disclosure to them.
You have the right, should you request it, to see reports to insurance companies or employers before they are sent.
Sharing your information without consent
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example
- Where there is serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people
- Where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could have been prevented.
- Notification of new births
- Where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
- Where a formal court order has been issued
- Where there is a legal requirement, for example if you had committed a road traffic accident.
The University Medical Centre is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using the website, and then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Information you supply using any electronic form(s) on the website will only be used for the purpose(s) stated on the form.
If you have any concerns about how we use or share your information, or you do not wish us to share your information, then please contact the surgery who will be able to assist you.
Link to our Privacy Notice Children leaflet.
- National Data Opt Out Privacy Notice
- Safeguarding Privacy Notice
- Research Privacy Notice
- Risk Stratification Privacy Notice
- Public Health Privacy Notice
- NHS Digital Privacy Notice
- Summary Care Record Privacy Notice
- Payments Privacy Notice
- National Screening Programs Privacy Notice
- Direct Care (routine care and referrals) Privacy Notice
- Direct Care (Emergencies) Privacy Notice
- CQC Privacy Notice
Freedom Of Information leaflet for patients and how it affects the details we hold about you as a patient
Important information for you:
CARE.DATA – Better Information Means Better Care.
Should you wish to not to be part of the care.data scheme please follow the link to download a printable caredata-optout form