As a patient it is your right, with certain exceptions, to have all information regarding your health kept confidential, whether kept on paper or on the computer, and to this end all staff at BGS have a statement of confidentiality in their job contract, in addition to a separate practice policy on confidentiality, to ensure that the highest possible standards of confidentiality are maintained.
When you first register with BGS certain personal details, such as your name, address, NHS number and date of birth will be passed to the Health Authority and to the NHS Central Register. This enables your medical record to be located and transferred to BGS. Although the Health Authority database holds information on childhood vaccinations and immunisations, and cervical cytology no other clinical information is held either there or at the Central Register.
It is possible that it may be necessary to share information regarding your medical history with other health care professionals such as hospital consultants, and health professionals at the extended access service, to ensure you receive safe and appropriate treatment. In addition there are certain statutory requirements that require a practice to pass on information to the authorities, for example notification of births or deaths, certain infectious diseases and gunshot wounds.
In other cases, such as releasing medical records to solicitors when dealing with complaints or legal claims, information is only released with your written authority to do so. When a report about your medical condition is requested, we insist, in accordance with the law, that you have signed to confirm that you have had your statutory rights explained to you, and you give your permission for us to release confidential information about you. We would always recommend that you elect to read the report before it is sent. You normally have 21 days in which to do this.
If you do have any concerns regarding the confidentiality of your personal medical history or you would like further information, please do not hesitate to discuss this with your doctor or Practice Manager.
For more information go to www.dh.gov.uk, choose managing your organisation, then choose information policy then patient confidentiality and access to health records.
Any patient is entitled to seek access to their records. We will require identification and a written request (we have printed forms at reception if that's easier for you) before access is granted. In the first instance access will be for a period of seven days. If you need access for longer please ask. If you would like further information please contact the Practice Manager.