Data Protection - Your Personal Data is Safe
We are aware that recent events highlighted in the media concerning sharing your personal data may have left you confused and worried.
This has led to a rise in the number of queries asking us who we actually share your personal data with, do we have the rights to and can we trust these external organisations to look after your personal data.
We would like to assure you that as a practice we take your personal data very seriously and we have certain processes in place to make sure your personal data is in safe hands at all times.
As a practice we must adhere to UK Data Protection laws, the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, both pieces of legislation are around to make sure we look after your data. Where we do not follow any part of the Data Protection laws we are at risk of being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) on your behalf, and possibly being issued with a fine or warning. The ICO is an independent advisory body who report directly to Parliament and make sure your rights around your personal data are protected.
To help us keep on track and make sure we abide by these laws we complete something called the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) that incorporates the laws. It helps us measure how we are doing and keeps us in line with the law and we are required to complete this annually.
There will be times when we have to share your personal data with external organisations / companies in order to provide you with the care you need. However, we only do this where we need to, where we have a legal reason to do so and when we are happy they will continue to safeguard your personal data. An example would be the Clinical IT system we use that holds your medical records, this is supplied by an IT company who will host your personal data to enable us to use the system.
In any event where we share your personal data we will conduct the necessary Data Protection checks with the external organisation. Like us, they are required by data protection law to provide us with relevant assurances that any personal data we share with them will remain secure. Under the UK GDPR they are required to provide us with documents to assure us and this will include contracts which must include UK GDPR clauses. If an organisation does not process your personal data in line with law they too will be investigated by the ICO.
We cannot share your personal data without a legal basis, which means we cannot give your personal data to anyone ‘just because’ they want it. The UK GDPR sets out 6 legal bases we can use, the most common one you would have heard of is ‘consent.’ Consent is not often used in healthcare and where we are using your personal data for direct care, it just would not work and the UK GDPR recognise this so we apply a legal basis called ‘public tasks.’ Public tasks covers the use of personal data where it relates to either being in the interest of the patients care or the public interest. This means that we do not need to ask for your consent, although we are obliged to be open and transparent with your personal data which we do via our Privacy Notice which you can find on this website.
We certainly will not sell your personal data to anyone.
When we share your personal data we need to abide by the UK GDPR principles, one of which is called ‘data minimisation’ – this means we can legally only share what is relevant and necessary for the task.
Finally along with completing the DSPT (as mentioned above) where we have any data protection concerns or need advice we have a dedicated Information Governance team who are on hand to guide us through the do’s and don’ts.
I hope this information has provided you with assurance that we take the necessary steps to make sure your personal data is safe when in our care and that where we share your personal data we do so only if the law allows us to.
How information about you helps us to provide better care
NHS England is Commissioning a modern data service from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on behalf of the entire health and social care system. Known as care.data, this programme will build on the existing data services such as the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) service and expand it to provide linked data that will eventually cover all care settings, both in and out of hospital. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 NHS England has the power to direct the HSCIC to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including General Practices. The General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) will be used to extract GP data each month. Initially the data will cover the period April 2013 onwards.
Please see the following 2 documents which will provide you with more information and what to do next if you wish to object to this data sharing. Please ensure you read this information carefully first before raising any additional queries with the practice. There will be a form at reception to use if you do wish to object. If you have no objection you need do nothing else at this time.
Please note, this is not the same as the Summary Care Record which you may or may not have already objected to in which case you would need to understand and if applicable object separately to this if you wish.
More information can be found here
Care data patient information leaflet (PDF, 362KB)
Care data patient frequently asked questions (PDF, 160KB)
Care data poster (PDF, 145KB)