We will always respect your privacy, dignity and your religious and cultural beliefs particularly when intimate examinations are advisable – these will only be carried out with your express agreement and you will be offered a chaperone to attend the examination if you so wish.
You may also request a chaperone when making the appointment or on arrival at the surgery (please let the receptionist know) or at any time during the consultation.
You can be assured that anything you discuss with any member of the surgery staff, whether doctor, nurse or receptionist, will remain confidential. Even if you are under 16, nothing will be said to anyone, including parents, other family members, care workers or teachers, without your permission. The only reason why we might want to consider passing on confidential information without your permission would be to protect either you or someone else from serious harm. In this situation, we would always try to discuss this with you first.
If you have any worries or queries about confidentiality, please ask a member of staff.
If you would like to discuss matters of a confidential nature, either with our receptionists or a member of the dispensary team, we have a side room available in reception for this purpose.
In order to provide the right level of care, we are required to hold personal information about you on our computer systems and in paper records to help us to look after your health needs, and your doctor is responsible for their accuracy and safe-keeping. Please help to keep your record up to date by informing us of any changes to your circumstances.
Confidentiality and Personal Information
Doctors and staff in the practice have access to your medical records to enable them to do their jobs. From time to time information may be shared with others involved in your care if it is necessary. Anyone with access to your record is properly trained in confidentiality issues and is governed by both legal and contractual duty to keep your details private.
All information about you is held securely and appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent accidental loss.
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 circumstance you may be required to give written consent before information is released – such as for medical reports for insurance, solicitors etc.
To ensure your privacy, we will not disclose information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. Information will not be disclosed to family, friends or spouses unless we have prior written consent, and we do not, leave messages with others.
You have a right to see your records if you wish. Please ask at reception if you would like further details about our patient information leaflet. An appointment may be required. In some circumstances a fee may be payable.
We make every effort to make the surgery accessible for disabled patients. There is access through the main door and we have a wheelchair available for use in surgery.
If you are experiencing hearing difficulties when being called in to see the doctor or nurse, please do let us know in order for us to set up an alert on your medical records and personally collect you from the waiting room. Alternatively, we do have the facility of a portable induction loop. If you would like to use this, please ask at reception for assistance.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Bridgewater Surgeries for the year ended 31 March 2020
All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (eg average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice. The average pay for GPs who worked for six months or more in Bridgewater Surgeries in the last financial year was £62,544 before Tax and National Insurance. This is for 4 full-time GP’s and 20 part-time GP’s.
GP Practice Transparency Notice
General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)
This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital.
The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health, social care and other public services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the coronavirus outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations. This practice is supporting vital coronavirus planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital, the national safe haven for health and social care data in England.
Our legal basis for sharing data with NHS Digital
NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse patient data from all GP practices in England to support the coronavirus response for the duration of the outbreak. NHS Digital will become the controller under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) of the personal data collected and analysed jointly with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who has directed NHS Digital to collect and analyse this data under the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020 (COVID-19 Direction).
All GP practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for this purpose under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (2012 Act). More information about this requirement is contained in the data provision notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices.
Under GDPR our legal basis for sharing this personal data with NHS Digital is Article 6(1)(c) – legal obligation. Our legal basis for sharing personal data relating to health, is Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest, for the purposes of NHS Digital exercising its statutory functions under the COVID-19 Direction.
The type of personal data we are sharing with NHS Digital
The data being shared with NHS Digital will include information about patients who are currently registered with a GP practice or who have a date of death on or after 1 November 2019 whose record contains coded information relevant to coronavirus planning and research. The data contains NHS Number, postcode, address, surname, forename, sex, ethnicity, date of birth and date of death for those patients. It will also include coded health data which is held in your GP record such as details of:
- diagnoses and findings
- medications and other prescribed items
- investigations, tests and results
- treatments and outcomes
- vaccinations and immunisations
How NHS Digital will use and share your data
NHS Digital will analyse the data they collect and securely and lawfully share data with other appropriate organisations, including health and care organisations, bodies engaged in disease surveillance and research organisations for coronavirus response purposes only. These purposes include protecting public health, planning and providing health, social care and public services, identifying coronavirus trends and risks to public health, monitoring and managing the outbreak and carrying out of vital coronavirus research and clinical trials. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the National Data Guardian are all supportive of this initiative.
NHS Digital has various legal powers to share data for purposes relating to the coronavirus response. It is also required to share data in certain circumstances set out in the COVID-19 Direction and to share confidential patient information to support the response under a legal notice issued to it by the Secretary of State under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI Regulations).
Legal notices under the COPI Regulations have also been issued to other health and social care organisations requiring those organisations to process and share confidential patient information to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Any information used or shared during the outbreak under these legal notices or the COPI Regulations will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis for organisations to continue to use the information.
Data which is shared by NHS Digital will be subject to robust rules relating to privacy, security and confidentiality and only the minimum amount of data necessary to achieve the coronavirus purpose will be shared. Organisations using your data will also need to have a clear legal basis to do so and will enter into a data sharing agreement with NHS Digital. Information about the data that NHS Digital shares, including who with and for what purpose will be published in the NHS Digital data release register.
For more information about how NHS Digital will use your data please see the NHS Digital Transparency Notice for GP Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19).
National Data Opt-Out
The application of the National Data Opt-Out to information shared by NHS Digital will be considered on a case by case basis and may or may not apply depending on the specific purposes for which the data is to be used. This is because during this period of emergency, the National Data Opt-Out will not generally apply where data is used to support the coronavirus outbreak, due to the public interest and legal requirements to share information.
Your rights over your personal data
To read more about the health and care information NHS Digital collects, its legal basis for collecting this information and what choices and rights you have in relation to the processing by NHS Digital of your personal data, see:
This practice is committed to preserving, as far as is practical, the security of data used by our information systems. This means that we will take all reasonable actions to;
Maintain the Confidentiality of all data within the practice by:
- Ensuring that only authorised persons can gain access to our systems
- Not disclosing information to anyone who has no right to see it
Maintain the integrity of all data within the practice by:
- Taking care over input
- Ensuring that all changes are reported and monitored
- Checking that the correct record is on the screen before updating
- Reporting all apparent errors and ensuring that they are resolved
Maintain the availability of all data by:
- Ensuring that all equipment is protected from intruders
- Ensuring that backups are taken at regular, predetermined intervals
- Ensuring that contingency is provided for possible failure or equipment theft and that any such contingency plans are tested and kept up to date
Additionally we will take all reasonable measures to comply with our legal responsibilities under:
Over The Counter (OTC) Medication Policy
In line with national and local NHS guidelines the approach to prescribing medicines available OTC has changed. Patients are now required to purchase these medications from their local pharmacy or authorised supermarket.
Common medicines include:
- pain medication (eg paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin for short term pain)
- antihistamine tablets or creams
- nappy rash
- simple acne and dry skin creams
- colic and simple indigestion remedies
- treatment to help alleviate the symptoms of simple coughs, colds, minor eye infections and sore throats
- simple verrucas, warts and athletes foot
- minor fungal nail infections
- threadworm, ringworm, head lice
- simple constipation, haemorrhoids and diarrhoea
- vitamins, supplements & probiotics
- simple thrush
- travel sickness
Please see this link for further information
The following IT systems are in use at the practice:
- Referral Management (using NHS numbers in referrals)
- Electronic Appointment Booking (the facility to book routine appointments online and, similarly, to cancel appointments
- Online booking of repeat prescriptions
- Summary Care Record (uploading details of your current medication and allergies to the national “spine” so that these are available for doctors involved in your care elsewhere)
- GP to GP transfers (the electronic transfer of records from practice to practice when you re-register
- Patient Access to records (the facility to view your medical records online).
If you are not already registered for online access and would like to be please complete our online form.
If you would like access to your medical records enabled or would like to opt out of the local or national summary care record, please contact reception.
As per Bridgewater Surgeries prescribing policies, a maximum of 2 months medication is standard from age 18 – 60 years old (expection for contaceptive, HRT which may be up to six month’s supply).
For patients over the age of 60 or those receiving free prescriptions, the practice policy is for a maximum of 1 month’s medication to be supplied at a time.
Where possible the practice will try to prescribe batches of prescriptions for 6-12 months for your convenience. This is called REPEAT DISPENSING and allows you to nominate a regular pharmacy who can hold supplies of your prescriptions and issue them on a regular basis until your next review is due.
HVCCG medicine landing page
This privacy notice lets you know what happens to any personal data that you give to us, or any that we may collect from or about you.
This privacy notice applies to personal information processed by or on behalf of the practice.
This Notice explains
- Who we are, how we use your information and our Data Protection Officer
- What kinds of personal information about you do we process?
- What are the legal grounds for our processing of your personal information (including when we share it with others)?
- What should you do if your personal information changes?
- For how long your personal information is retained by us?
- What are your rights under data protection laws?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was incorporated into the UK’s Data Protection Act on 25th May 2018. This is a single EU-wide regulation on the protection of confidential and sensitive information.
For the purpose of applicable data protection legislation (including but not limited to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (the “GDPR”), and the Data Protection Act 2018 (currently in Bill format before Parliament) the practice responsible for your personal data.
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.
The practice will be what’s known as the ‘Controller’ of the personal data you provide to us.
We collect basic personal data about you which does not include any special types of information or location-based information. This does however include name, address, contact details such as email and mobile number etc.
We will also collect sensitive confidential data known as “special category personal data”, in the form of health information, religious belief (if required in a healthcare setting) ethnicity, and sex during the services we provide to you and or linked to your healthcare through other health providers or third parties.
Why do we need your information?
The health care 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.
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. Records which the Practice hold about you may include the following information;
- Details about you, such as your address, carer, legal representative, emergency contact details
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
- 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
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided.
How do we lawfully use your data?
We need to know your personal, sensitive and confidential data in order to provide you with Healthcare services as a General Practice, under the General Data Protection Regulation we will be lawfully using your information in accordance with: –
Article 6, 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, (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 a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information is only provided back to your GP as data controller in an identifiable form. 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.
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:
- Data Protection Act 2018
- The General Data Protection Regulations 2016
- 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 General Data Protection Regulations (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 the practice an appropriate contract (art 24-28) 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 Data Protection Officer in 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 to
We would however like to use your name, contact details and email address to inform you of services that may benefit you, with your consent only. There may be occasions were authorised research facilities would like you to take part on innovations, research, improving services or identifying trends.
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 DPO as below.
Where do we store your information Electronically?
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 3rd parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so and appropriate safeguards have been put in place. We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal and or special category (sensitive, confidential) data.
Who are 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
- eMBED Health
- 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)
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Police & Judicial Services
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Private Sector Providers
- 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.
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 the practice an appropriate contract (art 24-28) will be established for the processing of your information.
How long will we store your information?
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 online at (https://digital.nhs.uk/article/1202/Records-Management-Code-of-Practice-for-Health-and-Social-Care-2016)
How can you access, amend move the personal data that you have given to us?
Even if we already hold your personal data, you still have various rights in relation to it. To get in touch about these, please contact us. We will seek to deal with your request without undue delay, and in any event in accordance with the requirements of any applicable laws. Please note that we may keep a record of your communications to help us resolve any issues which you raise.
Right to object: If we are using your data because we deem it necessary for our legitimate interests to do so, and you do not agree, you have the right to object. We will respond to your request within 30 days (although we may be allowed to extend this period in certain cases). Generally, we will only disagree with you if certain limited conditions apply.
Right to withdraw consent: Where we have obtained your consent to process your personal data for certain activities (for example for a research project), or consent to market to you, you may withdraw your consent at any time.
Right to erasure: In certain situations (for example, where we have processed your data unlawfully), you have the right to request us to “erase” your personal data. We will respond to your request within 30 days (although we may be allowed to extend this period in certain cases) and will only disagree with you if certain limited conditions apply. If we do agree to your request, we will Delete your data but will generally assume that you would prefer us to keep a note of your name on our register of individuals who would prefer not to be contacted. That way, we will minimise the chances of you being contacted in the future where your data are collected in unconnected circumstances. If you would prefer us not to do this, you are free to say so.
Right of data portability: If you wish, you have the right to transfer your data from us to another data controller. We will help with this with a GP to GP data transfer and transfer of your hard copy notes
Access to your personal information
Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR): 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. To request this, you need to do the following:
- Your request should be made to the Practice – for information from the hospital you should write direct to them
- There is no charge to have a copy of the information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within one month
- You will need to give adequate information (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 located information we hold about you at any time.
What should you do if your personal information changes?
You should tell us so that we can update our records please contact the Practice Manager 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.
Sharing Your Medical Record
Increasingly, patient medical data is shared e.g. between GP surgeries and District Nursing, in order to give clinicians access to the most up to date information when attending patients.
The systems we operate require that any sharing of medical information is consented to by patients beforehand. Patients must consent to sharing of the data held by a health provider out to other health providers and must also consent to which of the other providers can access their data.
e.g. it may be necessary to share data held in GP practices with district nurses but the local podiatry department would not need to see it to undertake their work. In this case, patients would allow the surgery to share their data, they would allow the district nurses to access it but they would not allow access by the podiatry department. In this way access to patient data is under patients’ control and can be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). The Summary Care Record is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medications and allergies.
Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’ – SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases.
As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out.
The Practice staff shall always show due respect and courtesy when dealing with patients and their representatives. We respectfully request that patients and their representatives do the same when dealing with members of the practice team.
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons.
No form of aggression (whether verbal or physical in nature) will be tolerated – any instances of such behaviour on the practice premises may result in the perpetrator being reported to the Police and removed from the practice’s List of Registered Patients.
Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.