How we use medical information to help everyone
What we record at Lower Clapton Group Practice
Information about you, your medical treatment and family background may be recorded, either on paper or in an electronic format. This is information is held to enable us to provide you with appropriate medical services.
All information about you is held securely and appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent accidental loss.
What you can do
Please read the rest of this leaflet in order to better understand how we use medical information about you. If you would like further information then please contact the Surgery using the details below:
The Practice Manager
Lower Clapton Group Practice
36, Lower Clapton Road
How we use your information
Doctors need to make notes about your diagnosis, medical history, medication and other information you may provide that is relevant to the treatment of your condition. We need this information in order to provide you with the best possible care.
Nurses and other health professionals may also need access to your medical record, and will also add their own notes as part of the overall package of healthcare provision you receive.
Secretaries and other administrative staff also need access to your records in order to book appointments; communicate with you, and ensure that referrals to secondary care are properly managed.
The Health Service
In order to manage the NHS some restricted information concerning treatment, prescribed drugs, vaccinations, numbers of patients seen, etc, is needed. Hospitals and general practices must provide this information in anonymised returns to the NHS. These returns do not include patient identifiable data and are summary in nature.
Some medical research may require your direct involvement (especially if you are taking part in clinical trials). Your express consent will be necessary before researchers are given any access to your medical record.
Most research deals with summary data, and the information provided by the practice will not reveal any of your personal details. For example, the surgery provides the government with information on the number of flu vaccinations administered during the year. This information is summary in nature (no specific patient details are provided).
Managing the data
When you move from one Surgery to another we need to move your electronic medical record from system to system. We may also need to share electronic information with other medical professionals directly involved in your care. For example, your secondary care consultant or surgeon.
Occasionally, tests will need to be made on the data to check that is has been transferred correctly. These tests will only be made under strict conditions that ensure your confidentiality is protected.
The NHS is not the only government service to provide you with the care you need. If may be necessary for us to provide information to other agencies directly involved in your care. Under these circumstances we will seek your consent before information in shared.
In some circumstances we may be required by law to release your details to statutory or other official bodies, for example if a court order is presented, or in the case of public health issues. In other circumstances you may be required to give written consent before information is released – such as for medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc.
How we protect your information
The sensitivity of patient information is well understood within the NHS. All staff and contractors are trained to respect their duty of confidentiality to you, and this obligation is written into all staff contracts and third party contracts.
We keep paper and electronic records in secure conditions to prevent unauthorised access. Wherever possible we remove references to personal details such as your name and address. We encrypt electronic information before it is transferred, and we also encrypt* any ‘back ups’ of the data we hold.
* (Encryption makes an electronic file unreadable without a secret password).
You can have a say in how the NHS uses information about you, and we are required by law to allow you access to your medical records. Please make any request for access in writing. An administrative fee will be charged to cover the cost of administration. If you want to find out more, or have any concerns, please contact the Practice Manager.