DATA PROTECTION PRIVACY NOTICE FOR PATIENTS & JOB APPLICANT PRIVACY NOTICE
(scroll down for Job Applicant Privacy Notice and our Standard Practice Privacy Notice)
COVID-19 Privacy Notice
(This Privacy Notice is to run alongside our standard Practice Privacy Notice)
COVID-19 Privacy Notice
(This Privacy Notice is to run alongside our standard Practice Privacy Notice)
Due to the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and we, Towcester Medical Centre due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.
In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way we, Towcester Medical Centremay therefore need to share your personal information, including medical records, with staff from other GP Practices including Practices within our Primary Care Network, as well as other health organisations (i.e. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, Local authorities etc.) and bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.
The Secretary of State has served notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) to require organisations to process confidential patient information in the manner set out below for purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI.
Purpose of this Notice
The purpose of this Notice is to require organisations such as Towcester Medical Centre to process confidential patient information for the purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI to support the Secretary of State’s response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Purpose). “Processing” for these purposes is defined in Regulation 3(2) and includes dissemination of confidential patient information to persons and organisations permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI. This Notice is necessary to require organisations such as Towcester Medical Centre to lawfully and efficiently process confidential patient information as set out in Regulation 3(2) of COPI for purposes defined in regulation 3(1), for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.
Requirement to Process Confidential Patient Information
The Secretary of State has served notice to recipients under Regulation 3(4) that requires Towcester Medical Centre to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.
Towcester Medical Centre is only required to process such confidential patient information:
- where the confidential patient information to be processed is required for a Covid-19 Purpose and will be processed solely for that Covid-19 Purpose in accordance with Regulation 7 of COPI
- from 20th March 2020 until 31 March 2021.
A Covid-19 Purpose includes but is not limited to the following:
- understanding Covid-19 and risks to public health, trends in Covid-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19 and such risks
- identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with or at risk of Covid-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to Covid-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of Covid-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from Covid-19
- understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services and the need for wider care of patients and vulnerable groups as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 and the availability and capacity of those services or that care
- monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about Covid-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
- delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with Covid-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services
- research and planning in relation to Covid-19.
Recording of processing
A record will be kept by Towcester Medical Centre of all data processed under this Notice.
Sending Public Health Messages
Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop Towcester Medical Centre from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows Towcester Medical Centre to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
Research and Pandemic Planning
The Secretary of State has directed NHS Digital to collect, process and analyse data in connection with COVID-19 to support the Secretary of State’s response to COVID-19 and support various COVID-19 purposes set out in the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020, 17 March 2020 (as amended) (COVID-19 Direction) and below. This enables NHS Digital to collect data and analyse and link the data for COVID-19 purposes with other data held by NHS Digital.
The purpose of the data collection is also to respond to the intense demand for General Practice data to be shared in support of vital planning and research for COVID-19 purposes, including under the general legal notice issued by the Secretary of State under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI).
NHS Digital has therefore been requested by the joint co-chairs of the Joint GP IT Committee (JGPITC) (the BMA and RCGP) to provide a tactical solution during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic to meet this demand and to relieve the growing burden and responsibility on General Practices. On 15 April 2020 the BMA and RCGP therefore gave their support via JGPITC to NHS Digital’s proposal to use the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) to deliver a data collection from General Practices, at scale and pace, as a tactical solution to support the COVID-19 response in the pandemic emergency period.
It is a requirement of the JGPITC that all requests by organisations to access and use this data will need to be made via the NHSX SPOC COVID-19 request process, that will triage and prioritise these requests and refer appropriate requests on to the NHS Digital Data Access Request Service (DARS). NHS Digital will consult with representatives of the BMA and the RCGP on all requests for access to the data. An outline of the process for this agreed with the BMA and the RCGP is published here. Requests by organisations to access record level data from this collection will also be subject to Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) consideration. Data applicants will need to demonstrate they have a lawful basis to access the data for COVID-19 purposes.
Benefits of this sharing
Organisations, including the Government, health and social care organisations and researchers need access to this vital data for a range of COVID-19 purposes, to help plan, monitor and manage the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will help save lives. COVID-19 purposes for which this data may be analysed and used may include:
- understanding COVID-19 and risks to public health, trends in COVID-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19 and such risks
- identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with, or at risk of COVID-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to COVID-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of COVID-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from COVID19
- understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, and the availability and capacity of those services • monitoring and managing the response to COVID-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about COVID-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
- delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with COVID-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services; and
- research and planning in relation to COVID-19.
Data may be analysed and linked to other data held by NHS Digital or held by other organisations to which access to the data is granted for COVID-19 purposes, through the process described above.
Data will be collected nationally from all GP Practices by NHS Digital every fortnight. All requests to access this data will be triaged through the NHSX SPOC COVID-19 request process and assessed and fulfilled by NHS Digital through DARS. This will significantly reduce the burden on General Practice at a time when demand on resources is high, enabling General Practice to focus on delivering health care and support to patients. It will also reduce compliance burden and risk for General Practice associated with sharing data and complying with the terms of the general legal notice issued under COPI, which applies to General Practices.
Legal Basis for this collection
NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State under section 254 of the 2012 Act under the COVID-19 Direction to establish and operate a system for the collection and analysis of the information specified for this service: GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19). A copy of the COVID-19 Direction is published here: https://digital.nhs.uk//about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/directions-anddata-provision-notices/secretary-of-state-directions/covid-19-public-health-directions-2020.
Details of the information to be collected can be found on the NHS Digital website – Specification of this DPN. Type 1 objections will be upheld in collecting this data from General Practices and therefore the data for those patients who have registered a Type 1 objection with their GP will not be collected. The Type 1 objection prevents an individual’s personal identifiable confidential information from being shared outside of their GP Practice except when it is being used for the purposes of their direct care. The National Data Opt-Out will not apply to the collection of the data, as this is a collection which is required by law.
This information is required by NHS Digital under section 259(1)(a) of the 2012 Act to comply with the COVID-19 Direction. In line with section 259(5) of the 2012 Act, all organisations in England that are within the scope of this Notice, as identified below under Health and Social Care Bodies within the scope of the collection, must comply with the requirement and provide information to NHS Digital in the form, manner and for the period specified in this Notice. This Notice is issued in accordance with the procedure published as part of NHS Digital’s duty under section 259(8) of the 2012 Act.
Visitors to The Practice
We have an obligation to protect our staff and employees’ health, so it is reasonable for staff at Towcester Medical Centre to ask any visitors to our practice to tell us if they have visited a particular country, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This must only be in pre-approved circumstances and we would also ask all patients to consider government advice on the NHS 111 website and not attend the practice.
Where it is necessary for us to collect information and specific health data about visitors to our practice, we will not collect more information than we need, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.
Review and Expiry of this Notice
This Notice will be reviewed on or before 31 March 2021 and may be extended by The Secretary of State. If no further notice is sent to Towcester Medical Centre by The Secretary of State this Notice will expire on 31 March 2021.
Job Applicant Privacy Notice
Data controller: Dr Andrew Odwell, Towcester Medical Centre, Link Way, Towcester, NN12 6HH
The Practice Data Protection Officer is Hayley Gidman of PCDC. Any queries regarding Data Protection issues should be addressed to her. She can be contacted at [email protected] or by phone on 01782 872648
As part of any recruitment process, the practice collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants and is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data in line with data protection legislation.
What information does the practice collect?
The practice collects a range of information about you. This includes:
- your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
- details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
- information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements;
- whether or not you have a disability for which the practice needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
- information about your entitlement to work in the UK; and
- equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief;
The practice collects this information in a variety of ways, such as:
- Application forms:
- CVs or resumes;
- Copies of your passport other identity documents;
- Information collected through interviews or other forms of assessment.
The practice will also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as:
- References supplied by former employers;
- Information from employment background check providers and information from criminal records checks;
- The practice may seek information from third parties only once a job offer to you has been made and will inform you that it is doing so.
Data will be stored in a range of different places, including:
- Your application record;
- HR management systems;
- IT systems (including email).
Why does the practice process personal data?
The practice needs to process data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. It also needs to process your data to enter into a contract with you.
The practice needs to process data to ensure that it complies with its legal obligations such as being required to check a successful applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.
The practice has a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process. Processing data from job applicants allows the practice to:
- Manage the recruitment process;
- Assess and confirm a candidate’s suitability for employment;
- Decide to whom to offer a job;
- Respond to and defend against legal claims.
Where the practice relies on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data, it will consider whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of applicants, employees or workers.
The practice will process health information if it needs to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability. This is to carry out its obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment. Where the practice processes other special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is for equal opportunities monitoring purposes.
The practice is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences in line with NHS Employers guidelines on criminal records checks, which you can read at: http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/recruit/employment-checks/criminal-record-check.
Who has access to data?
Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes:
- Interviewers involved in the recruitment process
- Managers in the area with a vacancy
- IT staff
The practice will not share your data with third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and it makes you an offer of employment. The practice will then share your data with former employers to obtain references for you, employment background check providers to obtain necessary background checks and the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks
The practice will not transfer your data outside the European Economic Area.
How does the practice protect data?
The practice takes the security of your data seriously. Internal policies and controls are in place to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our employees in the proper performance of their duties.
For how long does the practice keep data?
If your application for employment is unsuccessful, the practice will hold your data on file for no longer than six months after the end of the relevant recruitment process. At the end of that period your data is deleted or destroyed unless you have given us permission to retain your details on file.
If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file. The periods for which your data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice.
As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:
- access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
- require the practice to change incorrect or incomplete data;
- require the practice to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
- object to the processing of your data where the practice is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
- ask the practice to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the practice’s legitimate grounds for processing data.
If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact Karen Wheeler.
If you believe that the practice has not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.
What if you do not provide personal data?
You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to the practice during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, the practice may not be able to process your application properly or at all.
The practice does not use any form of automated decision making during the recruitment process
Standard Practice Privacy Notice:
Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients
TOWCESTER M.C. Privacy Notice for Patients
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:
- Who we are and how we use your personal information?
- Information about our Data Protection Officer
- What kinds of personal information we hold about you and what information we use
- The legal grounds for processing your personal information, including when we share it with other organisations.
- What to do if your personal information changes
- For how long your personal information is retained for/stored by us
- What your rights are under Data Protection laws
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) became law on 25th May 2018. The GDPR is a single EU-wide regulation on the protection of confidential and sensitive information and the DPA18 implements the regulations into comprehensive UK legislation. Following the decision for the UK to leave the European Union and following the end of the transition period, from January 1st, 2021 the UK has been subject to an Adequacy Agreement which will allow data to continue to be shared with European Union Countries without further safeguarding being necessary. This is to allow the European Commission suitable time to grant the UK with adequacy status, meaning they have met the required standards in ensuring data transfers to and from the UK are safe. All references to GDPR will now be referred to as UK GDPR.
For the purpose of applicable data protection legislation (including UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 the practice responsible for your personal data, and referred to at the Data Controller, is TOWCESTER M.C..
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
TOWCESTER M.C. will be the “Data Controller” of your personal data.
We collect basic personal data about you, which includes name, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth, next of kin information, NHS number etc.
We will also collect sensitive confidential data known as “special category personal data”, in the form of health information, religious beliefs, (if required in a healthcare setting) ethnicity, sexuality etc. and we may also receive this information about you from other health providers or third parties.
Your rights over your personal information
As an individual you have the following rights over your persona information:
Right to be informed – you have the right to be informed on how we handle, process, and share your personal information; this privacy notice ensures as a practice we satisfy this right.
Right to access your personal information– you can request access to and/or copies of the personal data we hold about you, free of charge (subject to exemptions) within one calendar month. Such requests can be made verbally or in writing, but we do request that you provide us with adequate information to process your request, such as providing full name, address, date of birth, NHS number and details of your request and, where necessary, any documents to verify your identity.
On processing a request there may be occasions when information may be withheld if we as a practice believe that releasing the information to you could cause serious harm or distress. Information may also be withheld if another person (i.e., third party) is identified in the record, and they do not want their information disclosed to you. However, if the other person mentioned in your records was acting in their professional capacity in caring for you, in normal circumstances they could not prevent you from having access to that information.
To request a copy or request access to information we hold about you and/or to request information to be corrected if it is inaccurate, please contact: Dr Andrew Odwell LINK WAY, TOWCESTER, SOUTH NN12 6HH
Right to rectification – The correction of personal data when incorrect, out of date or incomplete will be acted upon within one calendar month of receipt of such a request. Please ensure TOWCESTER M.C. has the correct contact details for you at all times.
Right to erasure – Under Article 17 of the UK GDPR individuals have the right to have personal data erased. This is also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. The right is not absolute and only applies in certain circumstances, for example when your personal data is no longer necessary for the purpose which it was originally collected or processed for, or if you wish to withdraw your consent after you have previously given your consent.
Right to restrict processing – Article 18 of the UK GDPR gives individuals the right to restrict the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances. This means that you can limit the way that the practice uses your data. This is an alternative to requesting the erasure of your data. Individuals have the right to restrict the processing of their personal data where they have a particular reason for wanting the restriction.
Right to data portability – The right to data portability gives individuals the right to receive personal data they have provided to the Practice in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format (i.e., email, upload to a portable device etc.).
Right to object to processing – you have the right to object to processing, however, please note if we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds which outweighs your interest, then processing can continue. If we did not process any information about you and your health care if would be very difficult for us to care and treat you.
Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling – Automated individual decision-making is a decision made by automated means (i.e., a computer system) without any human involvement. If any of the processes we use rely on automated decision making, you do have the right to ask for a human to review any computer-generated decision at any point.
Why we need your information.
The healthcare 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:
- Details about you, such as your address, your carer or legal representative and emergency contact details.
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments.
- Notes and reports about your health.
- Details about your treatment and care.
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
- Contact details (including email address, mobile telephone number and home telephone number)
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 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 UK GDPR we will be lawfully using your information in accordance with:
Article 6 (1)(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 (2) (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.
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 initiatives for preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness, so being far more proactive in an ever-changing health climate. As a result of risk stratification, 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 see appendix A for further information and contact the practice if you wish to discuss opt-out preferences.
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.
Our data processor for Risk Stratification is: Dr Andrew Odwell
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 Clinical Commissioning Group’s Medicines Management Team under a Data Processing contract with the Practice.
The Practice would like to use your name, contact details, and email address to inform you of NHS services, or provide inform about your health/information to manage your healthcare or information about the management of the NHS service. There may be occasions where authorised research facilities would like you to take part in research in regard to your particular health issues, to try and improve your health. Your contact details may be used to invite you to receive further information about such research opportunities, but you must give your explicit consent to receive messages for research purposes.
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 patients at the heart of what we do.
Our legal basis for processing information for safeguarding purposes, as stipulated in the UK GDPR 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…’
Categories of personal data
The data collected by Practice staff in the event of a safeguarding situation, will be minimised to include only the personal information as is necessary 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.
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).
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) collects anonymised patient data from a network of GP practices across the UK. Primary care data is linked to a range of other health related data to provide a fully representative UK population health dataset. You can opt out of your information being used for research purposes at any time (as detailed in Appendix A) and full details on CRPD can be found here:
General Practice Data for Planning and Research
The NHS needs data about the patients it treats in order to plan and deliver its services and to ensure that care and treatment provided is safe and effective. The General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection will help the NHS to improve health and care services for everyone by collecting patient data that can be used to do this. For example, patient data can help the NHS to:
- monitor the long-term safety and effectiveness of care.
- plan how to deliver better health and care services.
- prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- identify new treatments and medicines through health research.
GP practices already share patient data for these purposes, but this new data collection will be more efficient and effective. We have agreed to share the patient data we look after in our practice with NHS Digital who will securely store, analyse, publish, and share this patient data to improve health and care services for everyone. This includes:
- informing and developing health and social care policy
- planning and commissioning health and care services
- taking steps to protect public health (including managing and monitoring the coronavirus pandemic)
- in exceptional circumstances, providing you with individual care.
- enabling healthcare and scientific research
This means that we can get on with looking after our patients and NHS Digital can provide controlled access to patient data to the NHS and other organisations who need to use it to improve health and care for everyone.
Contributing to research projects will benefit us all as better and safer treatments are introduced more quickly and effectively without compromising your privacy and confidentiality.
NHS Digital has engaged with the British Medical Association (BMA), Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) to ensure relevant safeguards are in place for patients and GP practices.
What data is shared about you with NHS Digital?
Data will be shared from 1 July 2021. Data may be shared from the GP medical records about:
- any living patient registered at a GP practice in England when the collection started – this includes children and adults.
- any patient who died after this data sharing started and was previously registered at a GP practice in England when the data collection started.
We will not share your name or where you live. Any other data that could directly identify you, for example your NHS number, General Practice Local Patient Number, full postcode, and date of birth, is replaced with unique codes which are produced by de-identification software before the data is shared with NHS Digital.
This process is called pseudonymisation and means that no one will be able to directly identify you in the data. NHS Digital will be able to use the same software to convert the unique codes back to data that could directly identify you in certain circumstances, and where there is a valid legal reason. Only NHS Digital has the ability to do this. An example would be where you consent to your identifiable data being shared with a research project or clinical trial in which you are participating, as they need to know the data is about you.
For more information about when NHS Digital may be able to re-identify the data, and how NHS Digital will use your data see the NHS Digital General Practice Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice.
If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-out, or both. These opt-outs are different, and they are explained in more detail below. Your individual care will not be affected if you opt out using either option.
Type 1 Opt-Outs – If you do not want your identifiable patient data to be shared outside of the GP practice for purposes except your own care, you can register an opt-out with the GP practice. This is known as a Type 1 Opt-out. Type 1 Opt-outs were introduced in 2013 for data sharing from GP practices, but may be discontinued in the future as a new opt-out has since been introduced to cover the broader health and care system, called the National Data Opt-out. If this happens, patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed. There is more information about National Data Opt-outs below.
NHS Digital will not collect any patient data for patients who have already registered a Type 1 Opt-in line with current policy. If this changes patients who have registered a Type 1 Opt-out will be informed.
If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital for the purposes above, you can register a Type 1 Opt-out with your GP practice. You can register a Type 1 Opt-out at any time. You can also change your mind at any time and withdraw a Type 1 Opt-out.
If you have already registered a Type 1 Opt-out with us your data will not be shared with NHS Digital. If you wish to register a Type 1 Opt-out with your us before data sharing starts with NHS Digital, this should be done by returning this form to us practice by 23 June 2021 to allow time for processing it. If you have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and you would like to withdraw this, you can also use the form to do this. You can send the form by post or email to your us at the GP Practice or call 0300 3035678 for a form to be sent out to you.
If you register a Type 1 Opt-out after your patient data has already been shared with NHS Digital, no more of your data will be shared with NHS Digital. NHS Digital will however still hold the patient data which was shared with them before you registered the Type 1 Opt-out.
If you do not want NHS Digital to share your identifiable patient data with anyone else for purposes beyond your own care, then you can also register a National Data Opt-out.
National Data Opt-Out
If you don’t want your confidential patient information to be shared by NHS Digital with other organisations for purposes except your own care – either GP data, or other data it holds, such as hospital data – you can register a National Data Opt-out.
If you have registered a National Data Opt-out, NHS Digital will not share any confidential patient information about you with other organisations, unless there is an exemption to this, such as where there is a legal requirement or where it is in the public interest to do so, such as helping to manage contagious diseases like coronavirus. You can find out more about exemptions on the NHS website.
From 1 October 2021, the National Data Opt-out will also apply to any confidential patient information shared by the GP practice with other organisations for purposes except your individual care. It will not apply to this data being shared by GP practices with NHS Digital, as it is a legal requirement for us to share this data with NHS Digital and the National Data Opt-out does not apply where there is a legal requirement to share data.
You can find out more about and register a National Data Opt-out or change your choice on nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or by calling 0300 3035678.
The legal bases for processing this information.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 covers the sharing and collection of health and care data. It says that when the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care needs to collect and analyse data to help the health service, they can tell NHS Digital to do this for them. The instruction, which NHS Digital must act on, is called a direction. In this case:
1.) The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care sent a direction to NHS Digital, instructing them to collect and analyse general practice data for health and social care purposes including policy, planning, commissioning, public health, and research purposes.
2.) NHS Digital sent all GP practices a document called a Data Provision Notice, giving details of the data it needs GP Practices like ours to share so it can comply with the direction. All GP Practices in England are required to share data with NHS Digital when they are sent a Data Provision Notice.
Under data protection law, we can only share patient data if we have a legal basis under Articles 6 and 9 of the UK GDPR. Our legal basis for sharing patient data with NHS Digital is Article 6(1)(c) – legal obligation, as we are required under the 2012 Act to share it with NHS Digital.
When we are sharing patient data about health, we also need a legal basis under Article 9 of the UK GDPR. This is:
- Article 9(2)(g) – as we are sharing patient data for reasons of substantial public interest, for the purposes of NHS Digital exercising its statutory functions under the General Practice Data for Planning and Research Directions. It is substantially in the public interest to process patient data for planning and research purposes to improve health and care services for everyone. This is permitted under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).
- Article 9(2)(h) – as we are sharing patient data for the purposes of providing care and managing health and social care systems and services. This is permitted under paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 of the DPA.
- Article 9(2)(i) – as patient data will also be used for public health purposes. This is permitted under paragraphs 3 of Schedule 1 of the DPA.
- Article 9(2)(j) – as patient data will also be used for the purposes of scientific research and for statistical purposes. This is permitted under paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 of the DPA.
Third party processors
In order to deliver the best possible service, the practice will share data (where required) with other NHS bodies such as other GP practices and hospitals. In addition, the practice will use carefully selected third party service providers. When we use a third-party service provider to process data on our behalf then we will always have an appropriate agreement in place to ensure that they keep the data secure, that they do not use or share information other than in accordance with our instructions and that they are operating appropriately. Examples of functions that may be carried out by third parties include:
- Companies that provide IT services & support, including our core clinical systems; systems which manage patient facing services (such as our website and service accessible through the same); data hosting service providers; systems which facilitate appointment bookings or electronic prescription services; document management services etc.
- Delivery services (for example if we were to arrange for delivery of any medicines to you).
- Payment providers (if for example you were paying for a prescription or a service such as travel vaccinations).
Further details regarding specific third-party processors can be supplied on request to the practice.
How we maintain the confidentiality of your records
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 2018
- The UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR)
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- NHS Codes of Confidentiality, Information Security and Records Management
- Information: To Share or Not to Share Review
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.
We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e., life or death situations), where the law requires information to be passed on and/or in accordance with the information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (Information to share or not to share) where “The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality.” This means that health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients within the framework set out by the Caldicott principles.
Our practice policy is to respect the privacy of our patients, their families, and our staff and to maintain compliance with the UK GDPR and all UK specific Data Protection Requirements. Our policy is to ensure all personal data related to our patients will be protected.
All employees and sub-contractors engaged by our practice are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. The practice will, if required, sign a separate confidentiality agreement if the client deems it necessary. If a sub-contractor acts as a data processor for TOWCESTER M.C. an appropriate contract will be established for the processing of your information.
In certain circumstances you may have the right to withdraw your consent to the processing of data. Please contact the Dr Andrew Odwellin writing if you wish to withdraw your consent. If some circumstances we may need to store your data after your consent has been withdrawn to comply with a legislative requirement.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose in an identifiable format. In some circumstances you can Opt-out of the surgery sharing any of your information for research purposes.
With your consent we would also like to use your information
There are times that we may want to use your information to contact you or offer you services, not directly about your healthcare, in these instances we will always gain your consent to contact you. We would however like to use your name, contact details, and email address to inform you of other services that may benefit you. We will only do this with your consent. There may be occasions where authorised research facilities would like you to take part on innovations, research, improving services or identifying trends, you will be asked to opt into such programmes if you are happy to do so.
At any stage where we would like to use your data for anything other than the specified purposes and where there is no lawful requirement for us to share or process your data, we will ensure that you have the ability to consent and opt out prior to any data processing taking place.
This information is not shared with third parties or used for any marketing and you can unsubscribe at any time via phone, email or by informing the practice.
Where we store your electronic information
All the personal data we process is processed by our staff in the UK however for the purposes of IT hosting and maintenance this information may be located on servers within the European Union.
No third parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so, and appropriate safeguards have been put in place such as a Data Processing agreement. We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal and or special category data.
The Practice uses a clinical system provided by a Data Processor called EMIS. Since June 2019, EMIS commenced storing your practice’s EMIS Web data in a highly secure, third party cloud hosted environment, namely Amazon Web Services (“AWS”).
The data will remain in the UK at all times and will be fully encrypted both in transit and at rest. In doing this there will be no change to the control of access to your data and the hosted service provider will not have any access to the decryption keys. AWS is one of the world’s largest cloud companies, already supporting numerous public sector clients (including the NHS), and it offers the very highest levels of security and support.
Our partner organisations
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:
- NHS Trusts/Foundation Trusts
- Primary Care Networks
- Integrated Care Systems
- NHS Commissioning Support Units
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Care Services
- NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Digital (NHSD)
- Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Police & Judicial Services
- Other ‘data processors’ which you will be informed of
You will be informed who your data will be shared with and in some cases asked for consent for this to happen when this is required.
Computer System of Choice
This practice operates a Clinical Computer System of Choice on which NHS Staff record information securely. This information can then be shared with other clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history, including allergies and medication.
To provide around the clock safe care, unless you have asked us not to, we will make information available to our Partner Organisations (as listed above). Wherever possible, their staff will ask for your consent before your information is viewed.
Shared Care Records
To support your care and improve the sharing of relevant information to our partner organisations when they are involved in looking after you, we will share information to other systems. You can opt-out of this sharing of your records with our partners at any time if this sharing is based on your consent.
We may also use external companies to process personal information, such as for archiving purposes. These companies are bound by contractual agreements to ensure information is kept confidential and secure. All employees and sub-contractors engaged by our practice are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. If a sub-contractor acts as a data processor for TOWCESTER M.C. an appropriate contract will be established for the processing of your information.
Sharing your information without consent
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example:
- where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people.
- Safeguarding matters and investigations
- where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented.
- notification of new births
- where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
- where a formal court order has been issued
- where there is a legal requirement, for example if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence.
How long we store your information for
We are required under UK law to keep your information and data for the full retention periods as specified by the NHS Records management code of practice for health and social care and national archives requirements.
More information on records retention can be found in the NHS Records Management Code of Practice 2020
This will only happen following a review of the information at the end of its retention period. Where data has been identified for disposal, we have the following responsibilities:
- to ensure that information held in manual form is destroyed using a cross-cut shredder or contracted to a reputable confidential waste company Shredsafe that complies with European Standard EN15713 and obtain certificates of destruction.
- to ensure that electronic storage media used to store, or process information are destroyed or overwritten to national standards.
Primary Care Networks
The objective of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) is for group practices working together to create more collaborative workforces which ease the pressure of GP’s, leaving them better able to focus on patient care. The aim is for all areas within England to be covered by a PCN.
Primary Care Networks form a key building block of the NHS long-term plan. Bringing general practices together to work at scale has been a policy priority for some years for a range of reasons, including improving the ability of practices to recruit and retain staff; to manage financial and estates pressures; to provide a wider range of services to patients and to integrate with the wider health and care system more easily.
All GP practices are expected to come together in geographical networks covering populations of approximately 30–50,000 patients and take advantage of additional funding attached to the GP contract.
This means the practice may share your information with other practices within the PCN to provide you with your care and treatment.
TOWCESTER M.C. is a member of the Brackley and Towcester PCN which includes the following local GP Practices:
Brook Health Centre
Brackley Medical Centre
Access to your personal information
You have a right under the Data Protection legislation to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and to have it amended should it be inaccurate. For any request you should:
- Make your request directly to the practice. (For information from a hospital or other Trust/ NHS organisation you should write directly to them).
- Be aware that there is no charge to have a copy of the information held about you.
- Be aware that information must be released to you within one calendar month (unless in exceptional circumstances, which you will be informed of a part of the process)
- Be aware you may be asked for key information to process the request (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number and details of your request) so that your identity can be verified, and your records retrieved.
What to do if your personal information changes
You should tell us so that we can update our records as we are required to keep accurate and up-to-date records at all times. Please contact the Practice as soon as any of your details change, this is especially important for changes of address or contact details (such as your mobile phone number). The practice will from time to time ask you to confirm that the information we currently hold is accurate and up to date.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the practice, please contact the Dr Andrew Odwell in the first instance. If you are still unhappy following a review of your concerns by the practice, you have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office using the contact details below:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 01625 545745
If you are happy for your data to be used for the purposes described in this privacy notice, then you do not need to do anything. If you have any concerns about how your data is shared, then please contact the Practice Data Protection Officer, Caldicott Guardian or IG Lead.
If you would like to know more about your rights in respect of the personal data that we hold about you, please use the contact details below:
Dr Andrew Odwell
Dr Andrew Odwell
Data Protection Officer:
Please find below some links to external webpages which you may wish to access to find out additional information:
- Information Commissioners Office
- Information Governance Alliance
- NHS Constitution
- NHS Digital Guide to Confidentiality in Health and Social Care
- Health Research Authority
- Health Research Authority Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG)
- National Data Opt-Out