Bell House Medical Centre (the Practice)
Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients
This privacy notice lets you know what happens to any personal data that you give to us, or any information that we may collect from you or about you from other organisations.
This privacy notice applies to personal information processed by or on behalf of the practice.
This Notice explains
The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UKGDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) became law on 25th May 2018, and 1st January 2021 when the UK exited the EU.
For the purpose of applicable data protection legislation (including but not limited to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (UK) 2016/679) (the “UKGDPR”), and the Data Protection Act 2018 the practice responsible for your personal data is Bell House Medical Centre.
This Notice describes how we collect, use and process your personal data, and how in doing so, we comply with our legal obligations to you. Your privacy is important to us, and we are committed to protecting and safeguarding your data privacy rights.
How we use your information and the law.
Bell House Medical Centre will be what’s known as the ‘Controller’ of your personal data.
We collect basic personal data about you and location-based information. This does include name, address and contact details such as email and mobile number etc.
We will also collect sensitive confidential data known as “special category personal data”, in the form of health information, religious belief (if required in a healthcare setting) ethnicity and sex life information that are linked to your healthcare, we may also receive this information about you from other health providers or third parties.
Why do we need your information?
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare and treatment.
NHS health records may be electronic, paper-based or a mixture of both. We use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.
Records about you may include the following information;
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive, including contacting you. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS and the services we provide. Limited information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service we provided.
How do we lawfully use your data?
We need your personal, sensitive and confidential data in order to provide you with healthcare services as a General Practice, under the General Data Protection Regulation we will be lawfully using your information in accordance with: –
Article 6, e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller;”
Article 9, (h) processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems
This Privacy Notice applies to the personal data of our patients and the data you have given us about your carers/family members.
We use your personal and healthcare information in the following ways:
We will never pass on your personal information to anyone else who does not need it, or has no right to it, unless you give us consent to do so.
The law says we need a legal basis to handle your personal and healthcare information.
Contract: We have a contract with NHS England to deliver healthcare services to you. This contract provides that we are under a legal obligation to ensure that we deliver medical and healthcare services to the public.
Consent: Sometimes we also rely on the fact that you give us consent to use your personal and healthcare information so that we can take care of your healthcare needs.
Please note that you have the right to withdraw consent at any time if you no longer wish to receive services from us.
Necessary care: Providing you with the appropriate healthcare, where necessary. The Law refers to this as ‘protecting your vital interests’ where you may be in a position not to be able to consent.
Law: Sometimes the law obliges us to provide your information to an organisation (see above).
The law states that personal information about your health falls into a special category of information because it is very sensitive. Reasons that may entitle us to use and process your information may be as follows:
Public Interest: Where we may need to handle your personal information when it is considered to be in the public interest. For example, when there is an outbreak of a specific disease and we need to contact you for treatment, or we need to pass your information to relevant organisations to ensure you receive advice and/or treatment
Consent: When you have given us consent
Vital Interest: If you are incapable of giving consent, and we have to use your information to protect your vital interests (e.g. if you have had an accident and you need emergency treatment)
Defending a claim: If we need your information to defend a legal claim against us by you, or by another party
Providing you with medical care: Where we need your information to provide you with medical and healthcare services
GP Connect System and Data Sharing
Bell House Medical Centre has signed the National Data Sharing Arrangement (NDSA) for GP connect. GP Connect helps clinicians gain access to GP patient records during interactions away from a patient’s registered practice and makes their medical information available to appropriate health and social care professionals when and where they need it, to support the patient’s direct care.
From a privacy, confidentiality and data protection perspective, GP Connect provides a method of secure information transfer and reduces the need to use less secure or less efficient methods of transferring information, such as email or telephone.
GP Connect – key points.
GP Connect products can help health and social care professionals share, view or act on information that could be required for a patient’s direct care, but they would otherwise have difficulty accessing easily (for example if they are using different IT systems).
Organisations can have access to relevant information in GP patient records to provide direct care to patients only.
Type of organisations that use GP Connect
Examples of organisations that may wish to use GP connect to view GP patient records include:
All access to your GP patient record is stored within an audit trail at your GP practice and within the organisation that information has been shared with.
Confidentiality and trust are essential to the relationship between GPs and their patients.
The information a patient provides to their GP is confidential, and they can expect that any information that is shared for their direct care will remain confidential.
GP Connect relies on ‘implied consent’.
Explicit consent is not required when information is shared for a direct care purpose. If a patient does not want their information to be shared using GP Connect, they can opt out.
The NDSA and its terms and conditions stipulate that any information received or accessed about a patient for direct care purposes must remain confidential.
In addition to the NDSA, health and social care professionals are also subject to their own professional codes of confidentiality and are aware that any information received via GP Connect is provided in confidence, which must be respected.
Organisations using GP Connect are notified of their duty as ‘controllers’ to be fair and transparent about their processing of their patients’ information and to ensure that their transparency notices are fully updated with how they may be using GP Connect functionality.
NHS England helps support the mitigation of information sharing risks by ensuring that:
It is the responsibility of organisations using GP Connect to ensure that they comply with the NDSA, and their statutory and legal obligations regarding data protection and confidentiality.
Opting out of GP Connect
If patients do not wish their information to be shared using GP Connect, they can opt out by contacting their GP practice.
National Data Opt-Out
The National Data Opt-out is a service that allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.
The National Data Opt-out only applies to any disclosure of data for purposes beyond direct care, so having National Data Opt-out will not prevent your GP patient record being shared via GP Connect.
Risk stratification data tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a condition, preventing an unplanned or (re)admission and identifying a need for preventive intervention. Information about you is collected from several sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. The identifying parts of your data are removed, analysis of your data is undertaken, and a risk score is then determined. This is then provided back to your GP as data controller in an identifiable form. Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary, your GP may be able to offer you additional services. Please note that you have the right to opt out of your data being used in this way in most circumstances, please contact the practice for further information about opt out.
Individual Risk Management at a GP practice level however is deemed to be part of your individual healthcare and is covered by our legal powers above.
Transferring the current paper medical records into patients’ electronic medical records.
The following provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation permit us to digitise existing paper medical records:
Article 6(1)(e) – ‘processing is necessary…in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller…’’
Article 9(2)(h) – ‘processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative…medicine…the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services…’
The paper patient records will be shared with [Scanning provider], who will scan and digitise the current paper medical records before destroying them. The paper patient records will be shared with the scanning provider above, who will scan and digitise the current paper medical records before destroying them.
Sometimes we may provide information about you in an anonymised form. Such information is used analyse population- level heath issues, and helps the NHS to plan better services. If we share information for these purposes, then none of the information will identify you as an individual and cannot be traced back to you.
The Practice may conduct Medicines Management Reviews of medications prescribed to its patients. This service performs a review of prescribed medications to ensure patients receive the most appropriate, up to date and cost-effective treatments. The reviews are carried out by the ICBs Medicines Management Team under a Data Processing contract with the Practice.
Research – National Institute for Health & Social Care Research (NIHR) – Clinical Research Network
Clinical Research Network West Midlands (CRN WM) provides a research delivery service to GP practices across the West Midlands. All CRN WM Delivery Support staff are employed by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. All NHS Staff members who have been allocated to work within the Practice will be issued with a Letter of access or assurance to confirm individual study placements and pre-employment checks.
The legal bases for processing this information
CRN WM processes data under the instruction of the individual research protocol, as delegated by the practice (data controller). You can opt out of being invited to participate in research at any time, please inform a member of the practice team and we will add the appropriate opt out code to your record.
Prior to informed consent:
The legal basis which allows us to process your personal data for research is GDPR article 6 (1)(f) …legitimate interests…except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject…’
Once informed consent has been given:
The legal basis which allows us to process your personal data is informed consent – Article 6 1(a) the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes; and Article 9 (2) (a) the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing those personal data for one or more specified purposes.
Individual study consent forms will detail how to withdraw consent and who to contact, this will usually be via the study sponsor.
Categories of personal data
The data processed by CRN WM delivery staff, in addition to demographic and contact details, is likely to be special category information (such as health information) to determine eligibility for individual research studies.
Recipients of data
The data processed by CRN WM delivery staff will be used to invite potentially eligible patients into research studies. Once patients have consented to participate, data processed by the CRN WM delivery staff will be used to answer the research questions as outlined in individual research protocols.
For further information, please refer to the Clinical Research Network West Midlands Privacy Notice: https://local.nihr.ac.uk/documents/crn-wm-privacy-notice-march-2021/27187
All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives registered and regulated healthcare professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.
Your Summary Care Record contains basic (Core) information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.
Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, previously have agreed to have Additional Information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This Additional Information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations.
In light of the current emergency, the Department of Health and Social Care has removed the requirement for a patient’s prior explicit consent to share Additional Information as part of the Summary Care Record.
This is because the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has issued a legal notice to healthcare bodies requiring them to share confidential patient information with other healthcare bodies where this is required to diagnose, control and prevent the spread of the virus and manage the pandemic. This includes sharing Additional Information through Summary Care Records, unless a patient objects to this.
If you have already expressed a preference to only have Core information shared in your Summary Care Record, or to opt-out completely of having a Summary Care Record, these preferences will continue to be respected and this change will not apply to you. For everyone else, the Summary Care Record will be updated to include the Additional Information. This change of requirement will be reviewed after the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In order to look after your health and care needs, health and social care bodies may share your confidential patient information contained in your Summary Care Record with clinical and non-clinical staff in other health and care organisations, for example hospitals, NHS 111 and out of hours organisations. These changes will improve the healthcare that you receive away from your usual GP practice.
Regardless of your past decisions about your Summary Care Record preferences, you will still have the same options that you currently have in place to opt out of having a Summary Care Record, including the opportunity to opt-back in to having a Summary Care Record or opt back in to allow sharing of Additional Information.
You can exercise these rights by doing the following:
To make these changes, you should inform your GP practice or complete this form and return it to your GP practice.
Because we are obliged to protect any confidential information, we hold about you and we take this very seriously, it is imperative that you let us know immediately if you change any of your contact details.
We may contact you using SMS texting to your mobile phone if we need to notify you about appointments and other services that we provide to you involving your direct care, therefore you must ensure that we have your up-to-date details. This is to ensure we are sure we are contacting you and not another person. As this is operated on an ‘opt out’ basis we will assume that you give us permission to contact you via SMS if you have provided us with your mobile telephone number. Please let us know if you wish to opt out of this SMS service. We may also contact you using the email address you have provided to us. Please ensure that we have your up-to-date details.
There may be occasions where authorised research facilities would like you to take part in research. Your contact details may be used to invite you to receive further information about such research opportunities.
The NHS App
We use the NHS Account Messaging Service provided by NHS England to send you messages relating to your health and care. You need to be an NHS App user to receive these messages. Further information about the service can be found at the privacy notice for the NHS App managed by NHS England.
The Practice is dedicated to ensuring that the principles and duties of safeguarding adults and children are holistically, consistently and conscientiously applied with the wellbeing of all, at the heart of what we do.
Our legal basis for processing For the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) purposes is: –
Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’.
For the processing of special categories data, the basis is: –
Article 9(2)(b) – ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law…’
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) collects de-identified patient data from a network of GP practices across the UK. Primary care data are linked to a range of other health related data to provide a longitudinal, representative UK population health dataset. You can opt out of your information being used for research purposes at any time (see below), full details can be found here: –
CPRD do not hold or process personal data on patients; however, NHS Digital (formally the Health and Social Care Centre) may process ‘personal data’ for us as an accredited ‘safe haven’ or ‘trusted third-party’ within the NHS when linking GP data with data from other sources. The legal bases for processing this data are:
Any data CPRD hold or pass on to bona fide researchers, except for clinical research studies, will have been anonymised in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office Anonymisation Code of Practice. We will hold data indefinitely for the benefit of future research, but studies will normally only hold the data we release to them for twelve months.
Categories of personal data
The data collected by Practice staff in the event of a safeguarding situation will be as much personal information as is possible that is necessary to obtain in order to handle the situation. In addition to some basic demographic and contact details, we will also process details of what the safeguarding concern is. This is likely to be special category information (such as health information).
Sources of the data
The Practice will either receive or collect information when someone contacts the organisation with safeguarding concerns, or we believe there may be safeguarding concerns and make enquiries to relevant providers.
Recipients of personal data
The information is used by the Practice when handling a safeguarding incident or concern. We may share information accordingly to ensure duty of care and investigation as required with other partners such as local authorities, the police or healthcare professionals (i.e. their GP or mental health team).