Your information, what you need to know
Why we collect information about you
We are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you receive. These records help us to provide you with the best possible care. We collect and hold data for the sole purpose of providing ophthalmology services to our patients. In carrying out this role we may collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries. We may keep your information in written form and/or in digital form. The records may include basic details about you, such as your name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and also information such as outcomes of assessments.
Details we collect about you
We maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have receive. These records help to provide you with the best possible service.
Records which we may hold about you may include the following:
- Details about you, such as your address and next of kin
- Any contact we have had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, surgery appointments
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about your treatment and care
- Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
How we keep your information confidential and safe
Health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and encryption technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Your records are backed up securely. We ensure that the information we hold is kept in secure locations, is protected by appropriate security and access is restricted to authorised personnel. We also make sure external data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- General Data Protection Regulation 2018
- Human Rights Act
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.
How we use your information
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the services you receive.
Information may be used for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided. Some of this information may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified e.g. the National Diabetes Audit.
To ensure that adult and children’s safeguarding matters are managed appropriately, access to identifiable information will be shared in some limited circumstances where it is legally required for the safety of the individuals concerned.
We will approach the management of patient records in line current legal requirements and professional best practice.
Who are our partner organisations?
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:
- NHS Trusts / Specialist Trusts
- Independent Contractors such as opticians and pharmacists
- Private Sector Providers
- Other ‘Data Processors’.
We will never share your information outside of health partner organisations without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when the health or safety of others is at risk, where the law requires it or to carry out a statutory function. There are occasions when we must pass on information, such as where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS), and where a formal court order has been issued. Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strictest confidence.
Access to your information
Under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 everybody has the right to see, or have a copy, of data we hold that can identify you, with some exceptions. You do not need to give a reason to see your data.
If you want to access your data you must make the request in writing. Under special circumstances, some information may be withheld. If you wish to have a copy of the information we hold about you, please contact the Practice Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the person treating you if any of your details such as your name or address have changed or if any of your details are incorrect in order for this to be amended. Please inform us of any changes so our records for you are accurate and up to date.
Mobile Numbers & Email Addresses
If you provide us with your mobile phone number, we may use this to send you reminders about your appointments. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive reminders on your mobile.
If you provide us with your email address, we may use this to send you reminders to make an appointment for a review. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive correspondence by email.
Laurence Whitefield Limited is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to describe the purposes for which it processes personal and sensitive information. We are a registered Data Controller and our registration can be viewed online in the public register at: http://ico.org.uk/what_we_cover/register_of_data_controllers.
If you have concerns or are unhappy about any of our services, please email the Practice Manager at email@example.com.
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact: The Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF - Phone: 0303 123 1113 Website: www.ico.gov.uk.
Questions, Comments & Concerns
This policy was last reviewed following GDPR implementation in May 2018.