We may ask you for information about yourself to ensure that you can receive care and treatment that is right for you. We keep this information, together with details of your care, because it may be needed if we see you again.
We may use some of this information for other reasons: for example, to help us protect the health of the public generally and to see that the NHS runs efficiently, plans for the future, training staff, pays its bills and can account for its actions. Information may also be needed to help educate tomorrow’s clinical staff and to carry out medical and other health research for the benefit of everyone.
Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information, for instance to notify a birth.
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS. So that we can all work together for your benefit, we may need to share some information about you.
We can only use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone’s interest. Whenever we can, we remove details which identify you. The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law. Anyone who receives information from us is under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and you have the right to say no if you do not want information about you given to others.
Please also note that the Primary Care Trust makes routine visits to GP surgeries for the purpose of financial audit. This may involve their representatives needing access to patient records. If you do not wish your records to be used for this purpose, please let us know so that we can make a suitable note on your records.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person. Young people aged under 16 years can choose to see health professionals, without informing their parents or carers. If a GP considers that the young person is competent to make decisions about their health, then the GP can give advice, prescribe and treat the young person without seeking further consent.
However, in terms of good practice, health professionals will encourage young people to discuss issues with a parent or carer. As with older people, sometimes the law requires us to report information to appropriate authorities in order to protect young people or members of the public.
We therefore respectfully ask parents, relatives and guardians not to request information regarding their relatives/friends or to complain on their behalf unless we have their written consent that you may do so. If consent is required we advise that the person concerned attends the Practice to complete the required form.