Your Information

Data Protection Act and Information Governance
The Practice is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and has strict Information Governance policies to ensure we meet all 8 principles set out in the Act in regard to holding, updating, protecting and releasing the confidential information that we hold.

We take all aspects of Information Governance very seriously and all staff are trained with regard to the security, accuracy and confidentiality of the data we hold. Any breaches of our Information Governance policies will be treated as serious disciplinary matters.

We use an approved web based clinical software system, EMIS Web, for recording patient data and this provides secure off-site data storage with full and regular backup of the data to prevent loss of data. Any significant breaches will be reported to the appropriate authority

Information Sharing
Although we protect your confidential data as required by law, your information may be used for NHS purposes and passed to other organisations so we can all work together for your benefit. The sharing of information is strictly controlled and wherever possible we will remove details that identify you.

Uses of your information could include:

  • Teaching and training healthcare staff (only with your approval).
  • Helping staff to review the care they give, to make sure it is of the highest standard.
  • Reviewing and planning services to meet local need. This includes sending information to Health Authorities and the Department of Health.
  • Helping with research into better methods of healthcare. The Local Research Ethics Committee must approve research projects. We will ask your permission to use information about you for all research unless it is in a fully anonymised form, that is no one outside the practice could identify the data as relating to you.

In some situations we have a legal duty to report information to the appropriate authorities, for example:

  • Reporting of certain infectious diseases that might seriously affect the health of others e.g. meningitis or measles (but NOT HIV or AIDS).
  • Where a formal court order has been issued.

All NHS and Primary Care Trusts have a ‘Caldicott Guardian’. This is the person who oversees the systems to keep information safe and secure. Our practice manager fulfils this role and will answer any questions you may have.

Care Data
Sharing information in the NHS helps ensure that the quality and safety of services is consistent across the country. It can also highlight different diseases and conditions that may require more NHS investment. The care.data programme gives an opportunity for each of us to help the NHS provide high quality care for all. See link on left for more information.

The Care Data programme is being rolled out across the country and the practice is required to allow the extraction of patient data. As a Patient, you may opt out if you do not want your data shared in this way and the practice will add a special code to stop the release of your data.

Download ‘Data Sharing Options’ form

Summary Care Records
A Summary Care Record is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had.

Having this information stored in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.

Only healthcare staff involved in your care can see your Summary Care Record. Those who look at your Summary Care Record need to:

  • be directly involved in caring for you;
  • have a Smartcard with a chip and pass code (like a bank card and PIN).

Healthcare staff will only see the information they need to do their job, and they will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. For more information see link on left.

If you were a registered NHS patient in 2013 you have already been informed about this system and given the opportunity to opt out. You have the right to change your mind and can opt in or out by completing the official form from the NHS website or the practice’s Data Sharing Options form.

Download ‘Data Sharing Options’ form

Oxfordshire Care Summary
From March 2013, clinicians across Oxfordshire have been able to access the Oxfordshire Care Summary. The Oxfordshire Care Summary is a single electronic view of specific, up-to-date, clinical information from your GP record and other records which may be kept to support your care in NHS organisations in Oxfordshire.

If you have an Oxfordshire Care Summary, clinicians will be able to check medical details that are held by your GP. These will include any significant diagnoses you may have, and what medication you take, or have taken recently. They will also be able to check on what tests your GP has carried out. They will not be able to see information about conversations you have had with your GP or information on sensitive subjects such as sexual health. They will also be able to see information about treatment you have received at the Horton or John Radcliffe Hospitals, attendances at Minor Injury Units and GP Our of Hours services, and some documents such as care plans.

You will already have been asked for consent to share these pieces of information. The information will be used to ensure you get the safest treatment as quickly as possible. If you chose to opt out, the practice has added the relevant code to stop the sharing of your data.

You have the right to change your mind and can opt in or out by completing the practice’s Data Sharing Options form.

Download ‘Data Sharing Options’ form

Access to Medical Records
Any patient may see his or her own medical records and to do this you will need to write to or email the Practice Manager to arrange a convenient time (email to: churchstreetpractice@nhs.net). Please bring some form of photographic ID, e.g. driving license or passport with you to the meeting.

It will be necessary for a member of staff to go through the recent records with you as these are all computerised. There will be no charge for viewing the information but there will be a small charge for any photocopies requested.

If there is anything in your records that is factually incorrect, it may be possible to correct this in accordance with your rights under the Data Protection Act but any request to amend information must be made in writing. Entries expressing medical opinion which were reasonably based on the information available at that time will generally not be changed even if they subsequently prove to be incorrect, but we will add to the entry to explain the position more fully in the light of the later information received, in some cases if the request is submitted in writing.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:

  • public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
  • members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

We have a published scheme of how you can access information but in essence all you need to do is send a written request to the practice manager either by letter to the surgery or by email to: churchstreetpractice@nhs.net and they will deal with your request.

Confidentiality
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of health care and central to the work of everyone 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. Only where a patient or other person is at grave risk of serious harm will it be considered justifiable to breach confidentiality and then, only after due consultation and generally discussion with the patient. Any decision to disclose information to protect health, safety or well-being will be based on the degree of current or potential harm, not the age of the patient.

The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any older person. If a “child” is deemed able to fully understand his/her health problems, we cannot automatically give information to parents without his/her consent. Doctors will use the Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines to decide if a child is competent to make their own health decisions. We do always try to encourage young people to discuss health issues with their parents.

All staff must sign the Practice Confidentiality Policy and any breach of this could lead to instant dismissal. A copy of the practice policy is displayed at reception. If you want us to give information to another person please let us know and be sure to tell us if this applies to everything or if it is for one specific thing e.g. if we can give your wife all test results or just one, or if we can let your mother know your appointment times or test results.

Download ‘Consent to Share Information’ form

NHS Constitution
The aim of the Constitution is to safeguard the enduring principles and values of the NHS. The Constitution also sets out clear expectations about the behaviours of both staff and patients. It is intended to empower the public, patients and staff by setting out existing legal rights and pledges in one place and in clear and simple language. By knowing and exercising their rights, the public, patients (their carers and families) and staff can help the NHS improve the care it provides.

The practice fully supports the NHS principles and values and has encapsulated the core principles in its own Patient Charter.

Download ‘Practice Charter Patient’ leaflet