Access to GP Online Services – Things To Consider
Although the chances of any of these things happening are very small, before you access your medical health record, there are some important points to consider.
There may be something you have forgotten about in your record that you might find upsetting.
Abnormal results or bad news
If your GP has given you access to test results or letters, you may see something that you find upsetting to you. This may occur before you have spoken to your doctor or while the surgery is closed and you cannot contact them.
Choosing to share your information with someone
It’s up to you whether you share your information with others or not – perhaps family members or carers. It’s your choice, but also your responsibility to keep the information safe and secure.
If you think you may be pressured into revealing details from your patient record to someone else against your will, you can ask for access to be switched off.
Your medical record is designed to be used by clinical professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Some of the information within your medical record may be highly technical, written by specialists and not easily understood. If you have questions about your medical record, please e-mail the practice at [email protected], with ‘NOTES QUERY’ in the subject heading. Please do not call the practice with these queries.
Information about someone else
If you spot something in the record that is not about you or notice any other errors, please log out of the system immediately and contact the practice as soon as possible.
For more information about keeping your healthcare records safe and secure, you will find a helpful leaflet produced by the NHS in conjunction with the British Computer Society:
Keeping your online health and social care records safe and secure
If you are using this service to access another person’s account as a proxy (eg as a carer or parent), you have discussed appropriately what you are accessing and for what purpose. This service will be reviewed at regular intervals by the GP practice and may be rescinded at any time.
How do I access my health records?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to access your health records. If you want to see your health records you should contact the surgery. You do not have to give a reason for wanting to see your records.
As well as having a copy of your health records, the surgery will also have a summary of any hospital tests, or treatment, that you have had. Any hospitals where you have had treatment, or tests, will also hold records. To see your hospital health records, you will have to contact the Hospital Trust where you were seen / received treatment.
Power of Attorney
Your health records are confidential, and members of your family are not allowed to see them, unless you give them written permission, or they have ‘Power of Attorney’. A lasting ‘Power of Attorney’ is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you, should you become incapable of making decisions yourself. The person you appoint is known as your Attorney. An Attorney can make decisions about your finances, property, and welfare. It is very important that you trust the person you appoint as Attorney, so that they do not abuse their responsibility. A legal ‘Power of Attorney’ must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.
The NHS is dedicated to protecting your information
In order to provide you with the best possible healthcare, we need to maintain proper records of your health and make sure that this is available to your medical team, wherever and whenever possible. All of our staff are trained in their responsibilities to protect your data and are under legal obligations not to disclose this information to unauthorised bodies or people.
Your medical records are vital
We use your records to help us to give you proper healthcare and advice. We also need records to manage and plan the NHS itself in order to provide proper accounting for the public money we spend and to have the right resources in the right place. We also use medical records in research to help find cures and treatments for illnesses. This helps us and other research bodies better understand diseases and determine which treatments work best under certain circumstances. When we use this information we make sure that, wherever possible, we do not use personal details such as your name and address, in order to protect your confidentiality. When releasing information to researchers, we give them only the minimum data necessary, and all their research is carefully vetted.
If you have any queries regarding Data Protection please contact:
Karen Wheeler (Practice Manager), 01327 359953