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Data Protection & Confidentiality

Access to Patient Information

The Data Protection Act 1998 provides patients the right to see all information held about them including their medical records, subject to any limitations in law, which will be kept confidential.

Information can be withheld from you.  However, this can only be done on authority of an appropriate health professional who feels that viewing your records would be likely to cause you or another person serious harm.  You can also be denied access to information from records if it involves a third party.

If you require to see your medical records you should initially speak to the Practice Manager.

If at any time you would like to know more about how we use your information, you can speak to the Practice Manager or your GP or alternatively you may obtain a copy of the information we hold about you by making a Subject Access Request. There may be a fee for this service. Applications for 'Subject Access' under the Data Protection Act can be made by contacting the Practice Manager.

Leaflets are available in the waiting room, "Your rights and responsibilities as an NHS Patient".


Details of all your medical problems are written into your medical records and we also hold records on our computer system. We are registered under the Data Protection Act. Your medical record is kept securely by the practice and only those professionals who are directly involved in your care have access to your record e.g. your doctor, nurse, practice pharmacist. Other persons may only have access to your record with your written permission e.g. solicitors, insurance companies.

We place paramount importance on service and aim to meet your expectations on every occasion to provide you with health care and treatment. To achieve this aim we need accurate personal information from you which we review regularly to ensure we take into account any changes in your circumstances. We have a legal obligation under the Data Protection Act to ensure that all information held and processed about you complies with the principles of the Act. We keep your information for other reasons: for example, to help us protect public health generally and to see that the Health Service runs efficiently, plans for the future, trains its staff and can account for its actions. Information may also be needed to help carry out medical or other health research for the benefit of everyone.

Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information: for example, to notify of a birth. Everyone working for the Health Service has a legal duty to keep information held about you confidential. You may be receiving care from other healthcare professionals as well as your GP. So that we can all work together for your benefit we may need to share some information about you.

We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interests. Whenever we can we remove details which identify you. The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law.

Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.

The main reasons for which your information may be needed are:-

  • Providing you with health care and treatment
  • Looking after the health and social welfare of the general public
  • Ensuring that our services can meet patient needs in the future
  • Helping staff to review the care they provide, thus ensuring that it is of the highest standard
  • Training and educating staff (you may choose whether or not you wish to be involved personally)
  • Investigating complaints or legal claims
  • Statistical analysis and research (you will not be identified in any published results or papers without your prior consent)
  • Preparing statistics on performance and activity (steps shall be taken to ensure that you cannot be identified)