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Fisher Medical Centre

Millfields, Coach Street, Skipton BD23 1EU
Tel: (01756) 799 622

Data Protection Act

 

Personal information used within the Practice is covered by the Data Protection Act and the Practice is registered with the office of the Information Commissioner.

 

Privacy and confidentiality of your medical records

 

Your medical record is a lifelong history of your consultations, illnesses, investigations. prescriptions and other treatments. The professional relationship with the patient sits at the heart of good general practice and is based on mutual trust and confidence. The story of that relationship over the years is your medical record.

 

Data protection & freedom of information

 

At the Fisher Medical Centre, we store all our patients' medical records on our practice computer system. The NHS is committed to developing electronic patient records (EPRs) so health information can be shared between the clinicians responsible for your care.

 

Your GP is responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of your medical records. You can help us to keep it accurate by informing us of any change in your name, address etc and by ensuring that we have full details of your important medical history. We take regular action to protect your medical records from accidental loss or damage. We keep secure back-up copies of all our computerised patient records.

 

If you move to another area or change GP, we will send your medical records to the health authority to be passed on to your new practice. However, we do keep a copy of all entries into your records made whilst you were registered with us.

 

You have a right to keep your personal health information confidential between you and your doctor. This applies to everyone over the age of 16 years and in certain cases to those under 16. The law does impose a few exceptions to this rule, but apart from these you have a right to know who has access to your medical record.

 

There is a balance between your privacy and good health care. We will normally share some information with other health professionals involved in your health care, unless you ask us not to. This could include doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists and technicians involved in your investigation or treatment. These professionals may work for a variety of organisations such as the local acute and community NHS Trusts, the Primary Care Organisation (currently North Yorkshire & York Primary Care Trust), Social Services or private hospitals.

 

The practice is involved in the teaching of medical students and the training of GPs. If you see a medical student or trainee GP (registrar) during a consultation they may be given supervised access to your computer medical record (EPR).

 

Our nursing team all have access to the computerised medical record system. They are governed by the same professional codes of confidentiality as your GP and will not disclose health information without your consent. It is our policy to have a single medical and nursing record for each patient. We firmly believe that this offers the best opportunity for delivering the highest quality of care from a modern primary care team.

 

Our practice staff have limited administrative access to the medical records system. They notify the health authority of registration and claim details and perform various filing and data entry tasks on the medical records.

 

We are required by law to notify the government of certain diseases (e.g. meningitis) for public health reasons. Law courts can also require GPs to disclose medical records to them. Doctors cannot refuse to co-operate with the courts without risking serious punishment. We are also often asked for medical reports from solicitors. These will always be accompanied by the patient's written consent for us to disclose information.

 

We will not normally release any details about other people contained in your records (e.g. wife, children etc) unless we also have their consent.

 

Limited information is shared with health authorities (including the Primary Care Group or Primary Care Trust) to help them organise national programmes for public health (e.g. breast screening) and to monitor NHS activity (e.g. waiting lists).

 

The practice must keep the health authority up to date with all registration changes. We must also notify the health authority of certain procedures that we carry out on patients (e.g. contraceptive and maternity services, minor operations, night visits and immunisations) and other "item of service" procedures, where we are paid for performing these procedures.

 

Local authority and government agencies (e.g. Social Services, Benefits Agency) may require medical reports on you from time to time. These may not include your written consent, but we will assume that you wish us to complete these reports in your best interests. Failure to co-operate with these agencies can lead to patients' loss of benefits or other support.

 

Life assurance companies frequently ask for medical reports on prospective clients from their GP These are always accompanied by your signed consent. GPs must disclose all relevant medical conditions in these reports. You can ask to see the report before it is sent back to the company and you can instruct us not to make a full disclosure, but we must then inform the insurance company of your instructions.

 

We are required by law to allow you access to your computer and written medical records. Please contact our practice manager for further advice. All such requests must be made in writing. We are allowed to charge a small fee to cover our administration and photocopying charges.

 

We have a duty to keep your medical records up to date. Please feel free to update and correct any errors of fact that may have crept into your medical records over the years. After all, these records are yours and it is important that they are as accurate as possible.

 

To protect your privacy and confidentiality, we will not normally disclose any medical information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. This means we will not disclose information to family, friends, or colleagues about any medical matters at all, unless we know that we have your agreement to do so.

 

Dr Barnaby Jones is the practice Caldicott Guardian.

Rachel Websdale is our Practice Manager; you can contact her on 01756 799622.

 

If you would like to see further information of our Data Protection Registration please click on the following link and enter "Fisher Medical Centre" and  our postcode "BD23 1EU".

http://www.ico.org.uk/ESDWebPages/Search

 

Freedom of Information Act

 

Information about the Practice is available under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Access to such information is governed by the Practice Publication Scheme: a copy of the scheme is available on request.


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