The following explains who we are, why information is collected about you, the ways in which this information may be used, who it is shared with and how we keep it safe.
It also explains how the practice uses the information we hold about you, how you go about accessing this information if you wish to see it and to have any inaccuracies corrected or erased.
Who we are
Courtside Surgery is a well-established GP surgery based in Yate, South Gloucestershire. Our staff of General Practitioners and Nurses provides primary medical care services to our practice population of 14,500 patients and our administrative and managerial staff support the team in providing care for patients.
What Information Do We Collect On You?
GP Records are stored electronically and on paper and include personal details about you such as your address, carers, emergency contact details, as well as:
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments and telephone calls
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about your treatment and care
- Details about any medication you are taking
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you
Why Do We Collect This Information?
Your records are used to ensure you receive the best possible care from our nurses and doctors. It enables the staff to see previous treatments, medications and enables them to make informed decisions about future decisions about your care. It helps the doctors to see lists of previous treatments and any special considerations which need to be taken into account when care is provided.
Important information is also collected to help us to remind you about specific treatment which you might need, such as health checks, or reminders for screening appointments such as cytology reminders.
Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us to improve NHS services. Information may be used within the GP practice for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided.
Staff at the practice use your information to help deliver more effective treatment to you and to help us to provide you with proactive advice and guidance.
Who Might We Share This Information With?
There are a number of ways information collected about you is shared, which includes:
1. Patient referrals
With your agreement, your GP or Nurse may refer you to other services and healthcare providers not provided by the practice, or they may work with other services to provide your care in the practice. Once you have been seen for your referral, the other health care provider will normally tell us about the treatment they have provided for you and any follow up which the GPs need to provide. This information is then included in your GP record.
2. Local Hospital, Community or Social Care Services
Sometimes the clinicians caring for you need to share some of your information with others who are also supporting you. This could include hospital or community based specialists, nurses, health visitors, therapists or social care services.
3. Summary Care Record (SCR)
A Summary Care Record is an electronic record of important patient information, created from the GP medical records. It contains information about medication you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medications you have previously had. It can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in your direct care. Giving healthcare staff access to this information can prevent mistakes being made when caring for you in an emergency or when your GP practice is closed. Your Summary Care Record also includes your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS Number to help identify you correctly. If you and your GP decide to include more information it can be added to the Summary Care Record, but only with your express permission. For more information visit NHS Digital.
4. National Services
There are some national services like the National Cancer Screening Programme that collect and keep information from across the NHS. This is how the NHS knows when to contact you about services like cervical, breast or bowel cancer screening. Often you have the right to not allow these organisations to have your information.
You can find out more about how the NHS holds and shares your information for national programmes on the NHS website.
5. Other organisations
Sometimes the practice shares information with other NHS organisations that do not directly treat you, for example, Clinical Commissioning Groups or Primary Care Networks. Normally, it will not be possible to identify you from this information. This information is used to plan and improve services. The information collected includes data such as the area patients live, age, gender, ethnicity, language preference, country of birth and religion. The CCG also collects information about whether patients have long term conditions such as diabetes; blood pressure, cholesterol levels and medication. However, this information is anonymous and does not include anything written as notes by the GP and cannot be linked to you.
Other organisations that we may share your information with include dentists, opticians and pharmacies, ambulance services, private sector providers (eg care homes, hospices, private hospitals) and voluntary sector providers who are directly involved in your care.
6. The practice currently has a number of Local Data Sharing Agreements covering:
- Community nurses and other health care professionals employed by Sirona are able to access GP information about people on their caseload who have recently been discharged from hospital, or who are housebound, or who require longer term rehabilitation from the GP record. This information can be read by the healthcare professional to improve the patients care, but they are not able to amend the GP medical record;
- Connecting Care enables a range of health care organisations, including local NHS hospital, the Ambulance Service and the Out of Hours service provided by Brisdoc. This information can be read by the healthcare professional to improve the patients care, but they are not able to amend the GP medical record;
- One Care – this agreement allows patients from the surgery to be seen and treated by GPs from other surgeries in the evening and at weekend. The agreement allows a GP in other Yate and Frampton Cotterell surgeries to access the GP record securely and allows information about the consultation to be written into the record.
- St Peter’s Hospice – this agreement enables hospice staff to read the records of patients in their care. This information can be read by the healthcare professional to improve the patients care, but they are not able to amend the GP medical record.
- The practice also shares anonymised data with a number of research bodies to enable clinical research to be undertaken, but no personally identifiable data is shared. Information about your health and care helps the NHS improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan local services and research new treatments. You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning. To find out more visit: General Practice Data for Planning and Research: GP Practice Privacy Notice - NHS Digital
7. GP Connect
GP Connect makes patient information available to all appropriate clinicians when and where they need it, to support direct patients care, leading to improvements in both care and outcomes.
GP Connect is not used for any purpose other than direct care.
Authorised Clinicians such as GPs, NHS 111 Clinicians, Care Home Nurses (if you are in a Care Home), Secondary Care Trusts, Social Care Clinicians are able to access the GP records of the patients they are treating via a secure NHS Digital service called GP connect. The NHS 111 service (and other services determined locally e.g. Other GP practices in a Primary Care Network) will be able to book appointments for patients at GP practices and other local services.
More information is available on NHS Digital.
What Do We Do With Your Information?
The healthcare professionals who provide your care maintain records about your health. This is a record of your care history and allows health care professionals to review your care to help inform future decisions about your treatment. Sharing this information helps to improve the treatment you receive, such as a hospital consultant writing to your GP. We follow strict data sharing guidelines to keep your information safe and secure.
Risk stratification data tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition, preventing an unplanned admission or a re-admission and identifying a need for preventative intervention. Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from Courtside Surgery. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of you de-identified information using software and is only provided back to your GP in an identifiable form. Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If appropriate your GP may be able to offer you additional services.
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. This service is provided to local practices through BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group
Text (SMS) Messages
If you have provided your mobile telephone number, we may use this to send automatic appointment reminders, requests to complete surveys or to make you aware of services provided by the surgery that we feel will be to your benefit. If you do not wish to receive these text messages, please let the reception team know.
Recordings of calls made and received by the surgery may be used to support the learning and development of our staff and to improve the service we provide to our patients. They may also be used when reviewing incidents, compliments or complaints. Call recordings will be managed in the same way as all other personal information processed by us and in line with all current legislation.
Communicating with Patients
We use third party companies to assist us with communicating with patients via text, email or letter. Such companies are subject to strict data security and confidentiality regulations and are not permitted to retain any data.
We may also use your information for investigating concerns, complaints or legal claims, helping staff to review the care they provide to make sure it of the highest standards, training and educating staff.
How Long Do We Keep Your Information?
Health and social care records are subject to a nationally agreed code of practice which regulates the minimum period for which records must be kept. This specifies that GP record should be retained until 10 years after the patient’s death or after the patient has permanently left the country, unless they remain in the European Union. Electronic patient records must not be destroyed or deleted for the foreseeable future. For more information, see the NHS Records Management Code of Practice.
How Do We Keep Your Information Safe?
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential. We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- General Data Protection Regulations
- Data Protection Act 1998
- 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
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 such as a life or death situation, or where the law requires information to be passed, or where it is in the best interest of the patient to share the information.
In May 2018, a new national regulation called the General Data Protection Regulation came into force and the practice has a legal responsibility to ensure that we will also comply with these regulations.
Your Individual Rights
Data Protection laws give you rights with regard to your information, below are details of how we will manage requests you might make. If you have any concerns about the use of your data and your rights, please contact us.
1. How Can I Access The Information You Hold On Me?
You have a right under the Data Protection laws to have access to copies of the information the surgery holds about you and to have it amended should it be inaccurate. In order to request this, you need to do the following:
Write to us or inform reception staff that you want to access your record. For information from the hospital or other organisations you should contact them directly.
The practice will respond to your request within one month of receipt of your request. 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. For further information on this, please see our Subject Access Request Policy.
2. Have Inaccuracies Corrected Or Erased
If you feel that the personal data that the practice holds about you is inaccurate or incomplete then please let us know and we will update your records within one month of notification. If this incorrect information has been sent onwards, we will also inform any other organisations of this. If it is not possible to correct the information then we will write to you to let you know the reason behind the decision and inform you how you can complain about this.
3. Right to Object - Restrict Processing
As a patient, you have the right to object to personal data about you being used or shared. We will always listen to your concerns and endeavour to manage them to your satisfaction, however we have to balance your concerns with our ability to provide you with safe and effective care.
If you are a carer and have a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare then you can also object to personal data being used or shared on behalf of the patient who lacks capacity.
If you do not hold a Lasting Power of Attorney then you can raise your specific concerns with the patient’s GP. If you have parental responsibility and your child is not able to make an informed decision for themselves, then you can make a decision about information sharing on behalf of your child. If your child is competent then this must be their decision.
Data Protection Officer
The Data Protection Officer for local GP surgeries is:
Andrew Barge | GP Data Protection Officer (BNSSG) & Information Governance Manager | Governance Services
NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit, South Plaza
Objections / Complaints
Should you have any questions or concerns about how your information is managed at the practice, please contact the Practice Manager. If you are still unhappy following a review by the GP practice, you can then complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) via their website.
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