Your Medical Records - Privacy And Confidentiality
Your medical records are a history of your health - your illnesses, prescriptions, investigations and any other treatments you have had.
You have a right to keep your personal health information confidential. The relationship with you and your doctor is special.
We keep your records on our practice computer system, so we are able to share information among all those responsible for your care - unless you ask us not to. Remember, all members of our team have signed confidentiality agreements in their contracts.
We need to find the right balance between watching over your personal privacy and providing good health care - which may depend on those who care for you having access to information.
You have the right to see - and where necessary correct - your records whether these are on the computer or in writing. There may be a small charge for administration and photocopying.
Sometimes we must release medical information about you to other people or organisations.
This can happen in the following ways:
Life or health insurance companies, and sometimes solicitors, may need information but only with your consent. Benefit agencies also ask us for details which we provide, since it is in your interest that we do so.
Health authorities need anonymised information both for statistical reasons and as the basis for making payments to the practice.
The law sometimes requires information for public health reasons, for example about illnesses such as meningitis. Law courts can also make doctors disclose medical records to them and they cannot refuse to co-operate.
(Further details about the practice's policy on privacy and confidentiality are available on request.)
What You Can Expect From Us
You will be treated as an individual and will be given courtesy and respect at all times.
You have the right to be treated confidentially.
Your religion and cultural beliefs will be respected.
You will be given a time to see a doctor or practice nurse in accordance with our appointments system. They will do their best to see you promptly but if there is a substantial delay for any reason, you will be given an explanation.
You can ask for a home visit if you are not well enough to attend the surgery, but the decision remains with your doctor.
Remember we will need your authority in writing if you want a relative or friend to obtain any information about your health care, including any test results. Confidentiality rules are very strict.
If your doctor believes that you need a second opinion, he or she will arrange this.
When you register as a new patient, you will be offered a health check with the doctor or nurse.
Your repeat prescriptions will normally be ready within 72 hours (three working days) of your request being received at the surgery.
We will normally answer the telephone as promptly as possible and with courtesy.
We will do our best to explain things clearly and simply. If you are in doubt or want more details, just ask.
Freedom Of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the practice to produce a Publication Scheme. A Publication Scheme is a guide to the ‘classes’ of information the practice intends to routinely make available.
This scheme is available from the manager.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the Business Manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient's consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.