The Whalebridge Practice Patients Privacy
The Whalebridge Practice is a well-established GP surgery. Our General Practitioners and allied healthcare professionals provide primary medical care services to our practice population and are supported by our administrative and managerial team in providing care for patients.
This privacy notice explains how we use any personal data we collect about you as a patient of health care services provided by The Whalebridge Practice
Why do we collect your personal information?
Health care professionals who provide you with care are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within any NHS organisation.These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare and help us to protect your safety.
We collect and hold data for the purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and running our organisation which includes monitoring the quality of care that we provide. In carrying out this role we will collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We will keep your information in written form and/or in digital form. The records will include both personal and special categories of data about your health and wellbeing
What types of personal information do we collect about you?
- information about you, for example, your name, contact details and the services you are interested in, when you submit an enquiry or register an interest in one of our services
- information such as your name and contact details when you voluntarily complete customer surveys published on our website and provide feedback
- information about the website that users came from or are going to, which pages of our website users visit, IP addresses, the type of browser used and the times our website it accessed. However, this information is aggregated and is not used to identify individuals. We do not require personal data to be submitted in order to use our website.
How will we use the personal information we collect about you?
We collect information about you to enable us to process and respond to your enquiry or interest.
The information you provide to use when you complete a survey or provide feedback will be used to improve the services we provide.
If you are a user of our website and you want to delete any cookies already on your computer, please refer to the help and support area on your internet browser for instructions on how to locate the file or directory that stores cookies. You can block cookies by activating the setting on your internet browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. Please note that if you delete our cookies or disable future cookies, you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our website.
Links to other websites
Our website may contain links to other websites over which we have no control. We are not responsible for privacy policies or practices of other websites to which users choose to link from our website. We encourage users to review the privacy policies of those other websites to understand how they collect, use and share personal information.
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.
How we share information?
Only The Whalebridge Practice staff will have access to your information and will not share your data with any other third party. The Whalebridge Practice will not use or share your information for automated decision making, profiling or marketing purposes
We may use the services of a data processor to assist us with some of our data processing, but this is done under a contract with direct instruction from us that controls how they will handle patient information and ensures they treat any information in line with the General Data Protection Regulation, confidentiality, privacy law, and any other laws that apply.
How will we share your personal information?
We may share your personal information with other health and social care professionals and members of their care teams to support your ongoing health and or social care and achieve the best possible outcome for you. This may include:
With your agreement, we may refer you to other services and healthcare providers for services not provided by The Whalebridge Practice
Local Hospital, Community or Social Care Services
Sometimes the clinicians caring for you may need to share some of your information with others who are also supporting you
Summary Care Record (SCR)
Your Summary Care Record is an electronic record of important patient information created from the GP medical records. It contains information about medications, allergies and any bad reactions to medications in the past. It can be seen by staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in your direct care.
In order to comply with its legal obligations this practice may send data to NHS Digital when directed by the Secretary of State for Health under the Health and Social Care Act 2002.
This practice contributes to national clinical audits and will send the data, which are required by NHS Digital when the law allows. This may include demographic data, such as date of birth and information about your health, which is recorded in coded form. For example, the clinical code for diabetes or high blood pressure.
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 cancer screening.
Other NHS Organisations
Sometimes the practice will share information with other health care organisations that do not directly care for you, such as the Clinical Commissioning Group. However this information will be anonymous and does not include anything written as notes by the GP and cannot be linked to you.
Any medical or health related personal information will be treated with confidence in line with the common law duty of confidentiality and the Confidentiality NHS Code of Practice. We may be required to share information with people other than health and social care professionals and members of their care teams in order to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
We will not share your information with people other than health and social care professionals and members of their care teams without your consent unless the law allows or requires us to.
How long do we keep your personal information?
We follow the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 records retention schedule published by the Information Governance Alliance for the Department of Health which states that patient records should be retained for 10 years from the date of death. At that point, all personal data we hold on you will be securely deleted.
We have been commissioned by the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group to provide a GP surgery service and an improved access service and it is necessary for the performance of these tasks in the public interest for us to process your personal data.
We will use your special categories of personal data, such as that relating to your race, ethnic origin, and health for the purposes of providing you with health or social care or the management of health or social care systems and services. Such processing will only be carried out by a health or social work professional or by another person who owes a duty of confidentiality under legislation or a rule of law.
In some circumstances, we may process your personal information on the basis that:
- it is necessary to protect your vital interests;
- we are required to do so in order to comply with legal obligations to which we are subject;
- we are required to do so for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal claim;
- you have given us your explicit consent to do so.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and your information
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that this notice has now been revised and extended by a further notice from 29th July 2020 until 31st March 2021.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease. Additionally, the use of your information is now required to support NHS Test and Trace. Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 31st March 2021 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be will be provided in writing and we will communicate the same to you.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing. It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
If you are concerned about how your information is being used, please contact our DPO using the contact details provided in this Privacy Notice.
How we look after your personal information during the Covid-19 pandemic when staff work from home.
In accordance with government guidance and in order to protect the health and safety of our staff during this difficult period we will be requiring [insert all relevant staffing groups] staff to work from home.
This means that staff may have access to any necessary personal and/or medical information in order to look after your healthcare needs.
We would like to assure you that our staff will be subject to all relevant security procedures and policies of the Practice to ensure that any information is kept safe, secure and confidential at all times.
You have a right to:
- access the information we hold about you;
- correct inaccuracies in the information we hold about you
- withdraw any consent you have given to the use of your information;
- complain to the relevant supervisory authority in any jurisdiction about our use of your information
- in some circumstances:
- erase information we hold about you;
- receive a copy of your personal data in an electronic format and require us to provide this information to a third party;
- restrict the use of information we hold about you; and
- object to the use of information we hold about you.
- You can exercise these rights by contacting us as detailed below.
How to contact us
If you have any questions about our privacy notice, the personal information we hold about you, or our use of your personal information then please contact our Data Protection Officer at:
Data Protection Officer
The Whalebridge Practice
1 ISLINGTON Street
How to make a complaint
You also have the right to raise any concerns about how your personal data is being processed by us with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO):
Changes to our privacy notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review and we will place any updates on this webpage. This privacy notice was last updated on 13/10/2020