The practice complies with the Data Protection Act. 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. All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission except in the most exceptional of circumstances, when somebody is at grave risk of serious harm.
All members of the primary health care team (from reception to doctors) in the course of their duties will have access to your medical records. They all adhere to the highest standards of maintaining confidentiality.
You have a right to know who holds personal information about you. This person or organisation is called the Data Controller. In the NHS, the Data Controller is usually your local NHS Health Authority and/or your GP Surgery. The NHS must keep your personal health information confidential. It is your right.
Please be aware that our staff are bound to the NHS code of confidentiality; they are therefore not permitted to discuss any of our patient’s medical history, including their registration status, without their written consent to do so.
Once written consent has been received and verified with the patient we can provide you with information as required; this includes communicating with you on behalf of the patient with regards to any complaints, but excludes patients who are unable to act on their own behalf and already have a designated person or carer responsible for their medical care.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person. Young people aged under 16 years can choose to see health professionals, without informing their parents or carers. If a GP considers that the young person is competent to make decisions about their health, then the GP can give advice, prescribe and treat the young person without seeking further consent.
However, in terms of good practice, health professionals will encourage young people to discuss issues with a parent or carer. As with older people, sometimes the law requires us to report information to appropriate authorities in order to protect young people or members of the public.
We therefore respectfully ask parents, relatives and guardians not to request information regarding their relatives/friends or to complain on their behalf unless we have their written consent that you may do so. If consent is required we advise that the person concerned attends the Practice to complete the required form.