Privacy and Confidentiality of your Medical Records:
Your medical record is a lifelong history of your consultations, illnesses, investigations, prescriptions and other treatments. Your GP is responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of your medical record whether it is a paper or computer held record. You can help to keep this information accurate by informing your GP of any change in your name, address, telephone number or marital status, and by ensuring your GP is informed about any changes in your health, or treatment that you receive.
If you move to another area or change GP, we will send your medical records to Primary Care Support England (Preston), to be passed on to your new practice. However, a copy of all computer entries made onto your record during the time you were registered will be retained by the practice. If you are under 16 years of age, you have rights to confidentiality where it is appropriate for your needs. For further information, please ask at your surgery.
How can I find out what is in my Medical Record?
We are required by law to allow you access to your medical record. If you wish to see your records, please contact the surgery for further advice. All requests to view your records should be made in writing to the practice. We are entitled to charge a small fee to cover our administrative costs.
Your GP has a duty to keep your medical record accurate and up to date. Please inform us of any errors of fact that have been made over the years.
What GPs will not do: To protect your privacy and confidentiality, GPs will not normally disclose any of your medical information over the telephone or fax, unless we are sure that we are talking to you. GPs will not normally disclose any information to your family, friends or colleagues about any medical matters at all, unless they know that they have your consent to do so.
To protect your privacy: practice staff have been instructed not to disclose any patient information over the phone. Please do not ask them to do so. If you have any queries, comments or complaints about privacy, confidentiality or your medical records, please contact your practice manager, or talk to your GP.
Disclosure of your details to a third party: As a patient you have rights to be seen in confidence. It is our duty to ensure that we protect these rights. If you would like us to disclose information to a third party, then you must inform us in advance and this information will be recorded. If you have not informed us then we will not share with any other family member or friend. This includes details of whether you are on the premises.
Who can see my medical records?
Anyone authorised to see your medical records has a legal, ethical and contractual duty to protect your privacy and confidentiality.
Doctors, practice nurses, health visitors, district nurses and midwives who are providing health care and treatment: It is our policy to have a single medical and nursing record for each patient. We firmly believe that this offers the best opportunity for delivering the highest quality of care from a modern primary care team. Access to records will only be given to professionals directly involved in the treatment or investigation of your health needs.
Therapists and technicians: Access to records will only be given to professionals directly involved in the treatment or investigation of your health needs.
Notes summarising project: We are slowly summarising everyone medical notes so that past medical details are available on our computer. The doctor doing the summary has signed a legal contract to protect your privacy and confidentiality. Your computerised medical records are held to the same level of confidentiality as your paper ones, are only accessible to practice staff and fully comply with the data protection act.
Medical students, GP trainees: From time to time we are involved in the teaching and training of medical students and doctors. We will always ask for your permission before allowing a medical student or trainee to be present. They may be given supervised access to your health records at that consultation.
Practice staff: Staff have access only to information that they need to perform their role within the practice, informing the Health Authority of registration and claim details, and performing various administrative tasks.
Government: We are required by law to notify the Government of certain infectious diseases for public health reasons.
Law courts: The law courts can insist that doctors disclose medical records. When we are asked for medical reports from solicitors, we will only provide them if we can obtain signed consent to disclose information from the patient.
The primary care agency (Previously the health authority): We provide them with limited information so that they can organise national health care programmes such as childhood immunisations, cervical smear tests and breast screening. GP’s also inform the primary care agency of registration changes and certain procedures that they carry out on patients.
Social services, benefits agencies and local authorities: We would not normally release any information without your signed consent. This is sometimes needed in order for benefits or other support to be provided.
Life assurance companies: We provide information only when we have received your signed consent to do so.
The National Health Service: Anonomised statistical information on the quantity and quality of health care provision and need is collected from our medical records to help plan and manage the NHS. It also helps us to review the standard of care provided, and helps us to train and educate staff and undertake research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee.
Our Service to You
Our Charter and Your Rights
As a patient of this practice you can expect:
- To register with us, if you live within our catchment area.
- To be seen the same day for conditions you and the doctor agree are urgent.
- For routine or non urgent problems to be seen by a doctor of your choice within the next 7 working days when that doctor is conducting surgery.
- To have your records treated confidentially.
- To be seen at home at your doctors discretion.
- To have your long term medication and treatment reviewed at agreed intervals.
- To be informed (through leaflets, posters etc) of the practices services and how best to use them.
- To receive health care in clean, comfortable and appropriate surroundings.
- To be treated with courtesy.
- To be told to whom you are speaking when you make a call to the surgery.
Help Us to Help You
As a patient of this practice we expect you:
- To treat the doctors and practice staff with courtesy.
- To be punctual for your appointment time.
- To give the practice as much notice as possible if you are unable to keep a booked appointment
- To make more than 1 appointment if more than 1 person needs to be seen.
- To be prepared to make further appointments if you have numerous or complicated problems.
- To be patient if appointment times are running late. It may be you who needs extra time on another occasion.
- To ask for a home visit only if the illness prevents you from attending the surgery – Children can usually be brought to the surgery.
- Only to contact the doctor out of surgery hours in the case of an emergency which cannot wait until the next working day.
As a patient you have the right to:
- Be registered with a GP and to change your doctor easily and quickly. .
- Be offered a health check on joining a doctor’s list for the first time.
- Ask for a health check if you are between 16 & 74 years old and have not seen a GP in the last three years.
- Receive emergency care at any time through a GP.
- Receive health care on the basis of clinical need, regardless of ability to pay.
- Be given a clear explanation of any treatment proposed, including any visits and any alternatives, before you decide whether you will agree to the treatment.
- Have appropriate drugs and medicine prescribed.
- Be referred for a second opinion if you and GP agree this to be desirable.
- Have access to your health records, subject to any limitations in the law, and know that those working for the NHS are under legal duty to keep the contents confidential.
- Choose whether or not to take part in medical research or medical student training.
- Be given detailed information about local family doctor services through Wandsworth PCT local directory.
- Receive a copy of your doctors practice leaflet, setting out the services he or she provides.
- Receive a full and prompt reply to any complaints you make about NHS services.