Confidentiality is central to trust between doctors and patients. Without assurances about confidentiality, patients may be reluctant to seek medical attention or to give doctors the information they need in order to provide good care.
Appropriate information sharing is essential to the efficient provision of safe, effective care, both for the individual patient and for the wider community of patients. Your medical records are held on our computer system. The Practice has a stringent security and confidentiality policy which fully complies with the Data Protection Act. Your details are only available to and used by those involved in your care. However this information may be used for research purposes but in such cases will be anonymised and encrypted.
All staff undertake annual training and assessment in the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality. You have the right to know what information we hold about you.
An example of our commitment to confidentiality is that we cannot divulge information about your appointments to anyone else (this includes telephone consultations). It may be that you share this information with family members but we cannot assume that is the case. Therefore if we contact you about an appointment or for a phone consultation we will not identify ourselves to anyone but you. This can at times appear excessive but is evidence that should there be occasions when you do not want anyone to know you have an appointment at the surgery you can be confident that we will not reveal that information.
There will be occasions when you will be asked to share your information with a 3rd party e.g. hospitals, clinics. This is so that the professional you are seeing has a good background knowledge of your health. When this relates to a referral, the service you are being referred to may refuse to process your referral if they do not have this access.