Confidentiality and Data Protection

All your medical records and personal details are kept in complete confidence by all our staff.  All information stored on computer is governed by the Data Protection Act.

We would like to assure you that any medical information provided to any person working in this surgery is treated in absolute confidence, as this is a cornerstone of good medical practice.

It is clearly necessary for certain individuals to process this information (practice staff) both in the GP surgery and at any hospitals you are referred to and we would like to emphasise that such individuals are trained in the principals of confidentiality and understand its importance.  Occasionally it is necessary to process medical information in the format of audit, investigations, and assessments in order to improve the quality of care we offer to our patients.  If you have any objections to this policy please speak to our practice manager – Ms Julie King.  email: [email protected]

Covid – 19 Privacy Notice

Due to the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and we, Woden Road Surgery, face due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.

In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way we, Woden Road Surgery may therefore need to share your personal information, including medical records, with staff from other GP Practices including Practices within our Primary Care Network, as well as other health organisations (i.e. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, Local authorities etc.) and bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.

The Secretary of State has served notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) to require organisations to process confidential patient information in the manner set out below for purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI.

Purpose of this Notice The purpose of this Notice is to require organisations such as Woden Road Surgery to process confidential patient information for the purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI to support the Secretary of State’s response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Purpose). “Processing” for these purposes is defined in Regulation 3(2) and includes dissemination of confidential patient information to persons and organisations permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI. This Notice is necessary to require organisations such as Woden Road Surgery to lawfully and efficiently process confidential patient information as set out in Regulation 3(2) of COPI for purposes defined in regulation 3(1), for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.

Requirement to Process Confidential Patient Information The Secretary of State has served notice to recipients under Regulation 3(4) that requires Woden Road Surgery to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.  

  Woden Road Surgery is only required to process such confidential patient information:

• where the confidential patient information to be processed is required for a Covid-19 Purpose and will be processed solely for that Covid-19 Purpose in accordance with Regulation 7 of COPI

• from 20th March 2020 until 31stMarch 2021.

Covid-19 Purpose. A Covid-19 Purpose includes but is not limited to the following:

• understanding Covid-19 and risks to public health, trends in Covid-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19 and such risks

• identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with or at risk of Covid-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to Covid-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of Covid-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from Covid-19

• understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services and the need for wider care of patients and vulnerable groups as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 and the availability and capacity of those services or that care

• monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about Covid-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services

• delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with Covid-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services

• research and planning in relation to Covid-19.

Recording of processing A record will be kept by Woden Road Surgery of all data processed under this Notice.

Sending Public Health Messages Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop Woden Road Surgery from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.

Digital Consultations It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows Woden Road Surgery to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind

Research and Pandemic Planning The Secretary of State has directed the NHS Digital to collect, process and analyse data in connection with COVID-19 to support the Secretary of State’s response to COVID-19 and support various COVID-19 purposes set out in the COVID-19 Public Health Dirctions 2020, 17 March 2020 (as amended) (COVID-19 Direction) and below. This enables NHS Digital to collect data and analyse and link the data for COVID-19 purposes with other data held by NHS digital.

The purpose of the data collection is also to respond to the intense demand for General Practice data to be shared in support of vital planning and research for COVID-19 pruposes, including under the general legal notice issued by the Secretary of State under regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of {atient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI). NHS Digital has therefore been requested by the joint co-chairs of the joint GP IT Committee (JGPITC) (the BMA and PCGP) to provide a tactical solution during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic to meet this demand and to relieve the growing burden and responsibility on General Practices. On 15th April 2020 the BMA and RCGP therefore gave their support via JGPITC to NHS Digital’s proposal to use the General Practice Extractuion Service (GPES) to deliver a data collection from General Practices, at scale and pace, as a tactical solution to support the COVID-19 response in the pandemic emergency period.

It is a requirement of the JGPITC that all requests by organisations to access and use this data will need to be made via the NHSX SPOC COVID-19 request process, that will triage and prioritise these requests and refer appropriate requests on to the NHS Digital Data Access Requests Service (DARS).  NHS digital will consult with representatives of the BMA and the RCGP on all requests for access to the data. An outline of the process for this agreed with the BMA and the RCGP is published here. Requests by organisations to access record level data from this collection will also be subject to Independent Group Advising on Relaease of Data (IGARD) consideration. Data applicanta will need to have a lawful basis to access the data for COVID-19 purposes.