This Privacy Notice explains why the GP Practice collects information about you, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.
How is your information used?
The Healthcare professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare, and are accessible by all members of the practice team – General Practitioners, Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, administration and reception staff. NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.
What type of information is collected from you?
Records which this GP Practice hold about you may include the following information:
- Details about you, such as your address, contact numbers, carer, legal representative, emergency contact details;
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, telephone consultations etc.;
- Notes and reports about your health which could be generated from the practice or other Health & Social care organisations;
- Details about your treatment and care;
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.;
- Relevant information of you relatives or those who care for you;
- Any other information which you have agreed to share with us, relating to you and your carer/family members.
Your records are used to facilitate the healthcare you receive from the practice to ensure care and treatment is delivered in the best possible way. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage and contribute to the wider the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audits to monitor the quality of the service provided.
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 by redacting this information. Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes, and the practice will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose.
How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Data Protection Act 1998
- 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. Our policy within the Practice ensures that all staff adheres to a strict internal Confidentiality Policy.
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. They should be supported by the policies of their own employers, regulators and professional bodies.
Who has access to your information?
We do not sell or rent your information to third parties. We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.
We may share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations;
- NHS Trusts / Foundation Trusts;
- Other General Practitioners;
- Other General Practices with which we are federated and provide collaborative services;
- 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 Digital;
- 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 explicit consent for this happen when this is required.
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.
Risk stratification data tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition, preventing an unplanned or (re)admission and identifying a need for preventive intervention. Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. 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.
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. This service is provided to practices within North East Lincolnshire through North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
How long do we keep your information?
Your health record is a lifelong record which will be digital, with potentially some records in paper format depending on when you were born.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the GP, please contact the GP Practice Manager. If you are still unhappy following a review by the GP Practice, you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) via their website.
If you are happy for your data to be extracted and 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.
Use of SystmOnline
How you can access and update your information
The accuracy of your information is important to us. It is essential that you tell the person treating you if any of your details such as your name or address have changed or if any of your details such as date of birth is incorrect in order for this to be amended. You have a responsibility to inform us of any changes so our records are accurate and up to date for you.
Who is the Data Controller and Data Protection Officer?
This practice have appointed Barry Jackson to be the Data Protection Officer (DPO). He is employed by N3i and can be contacted through their service desk on phone 0300 002 0001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have any queries or concerns about how your information is managed by the Practice please refer to and act in accordance with our Compliment, Concerns and Complaints Policy.
If you are still unhappy following a review by the Practice you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO):
What is a Privacy Notice?
A Privacy notice helps your doctor’s surgery tell you how it uses information it has about you, like your name, address, date of birth and all of the notes the doctor or nurse makes about you in your Healthcare record whenever you come to see us. It also tells you how we make sure your information is kept safe.
What information do we collect about you?
We collect information about you such as: your name, why you are coming to see us, your birthday and year you were born, your address, the name of the person who will generally bring you to your appointments, your family doctor (General Practitioner or GP), the reason that you are coming to see us, any information that your family doctor or you or your family gives us, test results, X-rays and any other information to enable us to care for you.
Why we collect it?
Our main purpose is to deliver the best care and treatment to adults and children, and we collect the information we need to care for you in the best way. We ask for your address so that we know where we can contact you, we ask for your date of birth as your age may be important to your care and each time you come to see us we will write down things that you tell us, things that we tell you and any medicines or treatment we give you so that way we can look back at what we have done for you to make sure we are treating you in the best way.
What do we do with it?
We keep the information we collect electronically and on paper. All of this information together is called your Health Record and anyone involved in caring for you at the practice can see what has been collected. This way we can all make the right decisions about your care with all of the information you have given us.
Who we share it with?
We may share the information we record about you with other hospitals involved in your care. We routinely share information with school nurses, but not directly with school unless it is important for them to know. If you have a social worker, we will share it with them too. That way they are kept up to date on what we are doing for you. Your parents/guardians should get a copy of any letters we send to your doctor about your care.
If you tell us something that makes us worried about your safety or the safety of someone else you know, we might have to share this with other people outside of the practice - even if you don’t want us to. This is part of our job to keep you and others safe
How do we keep your information safe?
Everyone working in our practice understands that they need to keep your information safe; this is called keeping your information confidential or protecting your privacy. They have training every year to remind them of this, we tell them that they are only allowed to look at your information if they are involved in your care or to help us run our practice and they understand that they must keep any information safe especially the information that identifies you. This might be your name or address and anything you come to see us about. We are not allowed to give any of this type of information to anyone who shouldn’t see it. This includes talking to them about it.
Checking we are doing our best
All GP Practices are checked by organisations to make sure they are treating and caring for patients and families in the best way they can. The people who inspect us may ask to see a small number of Health Records. They check that notes are written clearly and are kept safe to ensure that we are recording and storing your information safely.
How long do we keep your information for?
We will keep a copy of your information in our Practice for as long as you are registered with our Practice.
Am I able to see the information you collect about me?
Yes, you are. You or your family will need to ask your doctor or nurse first though as there may be things that we would need to explain to you such as abbreviations or medical words.
Can I have a copy of my records?
Yes, you can. Your parent/ guardian will need to contact us to tell us what they want to see - it may just be part of your record, your x ray or a report. We will check they are who they say they are to make sure we are not sharing your information with anyone who shouldn’t see it. You may be able to request your health records yourself.
If I think some of my information is wrong can I do anything about it?
Yes, you can. You or our parent or guardian needs to contact the practice and let us know what it is that you think is wrong.
If I’m unhappy with the way you’ve used some of my information can I do anything?
We hope this information tells you what you need to know about the information we collect about you. If you want to know anything else, please contact the Practice.
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COVID-19 Clinical Risk Assessment Tool
1. Our purposes for processing your personal information
This COVID-19 Clinical Risk Assessment Tool Privacy Notice is provided to explain how your personal information is used when we use the COVID-19 Clinical Risk Assessment Tool (the Tool). This notice is an additional notice to our full privacy notice which explains how we process your personal information more generally and is available on request and on our website. The Tool is an online tool, provided by the NHS, that assesses the risk to you of coronavirus. It has been designed for use during a consultation with a patient and otherwise to support direct patient care. Your doctor or healthcare professional (clinician) inputs information about you into the Tool, to generate individual risk assessment results for you (see section 4 below which describes how this works). Using information provided by you or obtained by your clinician, for example your weight and information from your health record, your clinician answers the questions in the Tool. The Tool will then generate risk assessment results based on this information. The results will give you or your clinician a better understanding of your risks of infection and potential consequences for you of infection from coronavirus. Your clinician may discuss the result with you to give you personalised health advice. In addition to using the Tool to support the individual care of our patients, we will be providing information about your experience to NHS Digital, which provides the Tool. Anonymous data collected through the Tool will also help NHS Digital and the University of Oxford, who developed the QCovid® model used in the Tool, to develop and improve the Tool.
The Tool is registered as a medical device with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
2. What is the Tool and how does it work?
Your clinician will enter information into the Tool about you, your health and the medicines you take. Some of this information will be taken from your health record but your clinician may also need to ask you some questions about you and your health. They may also need to measure your height and weight to work out your body mass index (BMI).
The Tool will generate results for absolute risk and relative risk (see below), estimating how likely it is that you will: • catch coronavirus and go to hospital • catch coronavirus and die All of the information used to answer the questions in the Tool is required because it has been identified as a factor which is relevant to the risk of catching and being hospitalised or dying from coronavirus.
The Tool has been developed from research by the University of Oxford about how people have been affected by coronavirus. The Tool uses a model called QCovid® which was developed based on information about people who had coronavirus in early 2020. The University of Oxford looked at data about people who went to hospital or died as a result of coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic and combined it with data from hospital records and GP surgeries.
To develop the QCovid® model used by the Tool, the University of Oxford analysed this data to find out if certain things impact how coronavirus affects people. Researchers found that some things make it more likely that a person will need to go to hospital or die from coronavirus – these are called ‘risk factors’.
Risk factors that were identified as important included: age; body mass index (BMI); ethnicity; certain health conditions and where people live. The University developed a model which weighted each of these factors and this is used within the Tool to generate risk assessment results from the information entered about you by the clinician. The results may support a discussion between you and your clinician about what your level of risk means for you or otherwise used by your clinician for your healthcare.
The Tool will estimate your ‘absolute risk’ and ‘relative risk’.
‘Absolute risk’ is the risk of catching and being hospitalised or dying from coronavirus. This is based on data from the first wave, alongside a second time period (May-June 2020). For example, an absolute risk of 1% (or 1 in 100), would mean that we would expect 1 person to be hospitalised or die with the same characteristics and 99 to not be hospitalised or die.
‘Relative risk’ is the risk of catching and being hospitalised from coronavirus based on your information and risk factors compared with a person of the same age and sex, but no other risk factors. For example, a relative risk of 2 would mean that we would expect you to be twice as likely to catch and be hospitalised or die from coronavirus than somebody of the same age and sex with no other risk factors.
The risks factors used to develop the QCovid® model used in the Tool, are based on data collected in the first few months of the pandemic in 2020. These risks are changing over time in line with infection rates, social distancing measures and individual behaviour. It is based on data collected between February and April 2020, at a time when different measures were in place for shielding and social distancing and different national restrictions were in place. This means that, although risk assessment results are generated for you using the Tool, your clinician will consider these alongside shielding, social distancing and local or national restrictions, which may be different from when the QCovid® model was developed.
Because we don’t yet have enough research about some groups of people, risk assessment results may not be accurate for:
• People aged under 19 and over 100, because the research was done on adults aged from 19 to 100 and because very few children became seriously ill with coronavirus. • People who are trans or intersex, because the research was done using information about the sex people were registered with at birth • People who are pregnant, because only small numbers of pregnant people were included in the research so we cannot be confident about their level of risk. • People who were asked to shield during the first wave because, when the research was done, many of these people were shielding at home and so were less likely to catch coronavirus. This means the Tool may underestimate the risk for these people.
Your clinician will explain more about these limitations when they tell you what your risk assessment means for you. Risk assessment results will not be used in isolation to remove anyone from the Shielded Patient List (SPL). However, your clinician may use the Tool as part of their assessment of whether you should be placed on the SPL.
Researchers are continuing to learn more about coronavirus as more information becomes available. The QCovid® model used in the Tool will change and be updated over time as more information becomes available. The online service will be updated to reflect changes to the model.
3. Our legal basis to process your personal information
Your clinician is processing your personal data in order to answer the questions in the Tool and to record the risk score in your health record. This is to provide you with safe care and treatment. Under the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UKGDPR) we are allowed to process your personal information using the Tool for the purposes of providing you with healthcare services. This is called “Public Task” under the UKGDPR and is allowed under Article 6(1)(e). We are also processing personal information about your ethnicity and health conditions to use the Tool. This is also for a healthcare purpose and this is allowed under Article 9(2)(h) of the UKGDPR and under Schedule 1 of Paragraph 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018.
4. Categories of personal information we process when using the Tool
Your clinician will input the following about you into the Tool using information you have provided or taken from your health record:
• Age (19-100) • Sex registered at birth • Ethnic group • Living arrangements (whether you live in your own home, in a care home or are homeless) • Postcode (to identify a Townsend deprivation score, a well-known way of measuring deprivation based on data from the 2011 Census). Your postcode is deleted from the Tool once the Townsend score is created. • Health information, including • Height (cm), Weight (Kg) – used to calculate BMI • Cardiovascular diseases • Respiratory diseases and treatment • Metabolic, renal and liver conditions • Neurological and psychiatric conditions • Autoimmune and haematological conditions • Cancer and Immunosuppressants– If you have a diagnosis of certain cancers and you have been prescribed if you have been prescribed 4 or more times with certain immunosuppressants in the last 6 months.
The Tool takes the answers we have provided to the questions above and generates a risk assessment result which will allow your clinician to provide personalised advice to you about your risk and otherwise for your healthcare.
5. Who we share your information with
We do not include any personal information that would identify you when we are answering the questions in the Tool.
The only information which could be used to potentially identify you is your postcode. For most people, postcode alone would not identify them because usually a number of different people live within a postcode area. However, just in case you are the only person who lives at your postcode, the Tool immediately converts your postcode to a number which relates to a Townsend deprivation score, a well-known way of measuring deprivation based on data from the 2011 Census. This number, which cannot identify you, is used by the Tool to generate risk assessment results and your postcode is then deleted from the Tool.
Anonymous data, which is the information provided to answer the questions in the Tool and which cannot identify you, will be collected by NHS Digital who provide the Tool. This anonymous data may be shared with the University of Oxford and the Department of Health and Social Care to help develop and improve the Tool and the QCovid® model developed by the University which is used in the Tool.
6. More information
For more information about:
• how long we keep your personal information for • where we store your personal information • your rights and choices in relation to how we process your personal information • how to contact us; and • how to complain to the Information Commissioner if you are unhappy about the way we are processing your personal information
please see our full Privacy Notice which is available on our website or on request.
7. Changes to this privacy notice
This privacy notice may change from time to time and the latest version number and date will be shown at the top and on the version published on our website so you know when it was last updated.