Unit 1, Lister House Health Centre, Abercrombie Way, Harlow, Essex, CM18 6YJ

Online: Consult your Doctor online
Telephone: 01279 639 791 ( Out of Hours: 111 )

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Data Protection, Privacy and Confidentiality


COVID-19 Privacy Notice

General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)

This practice is supporting vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital.

The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health, social care and other public services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the coronavirus outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations. This practice is supporting vital coronavirus planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital, the national safe haven for health and social care data in England.

Our legal basis for sharing data with NHS Digital

NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse patient data from all GP practices in England to support the coronavirus response for the duration of the outbreak. NHS Digital will become the controller under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) of the personal data collected and analysed jointly with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who has directed NHS Digital to collect and analyse this data under the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020 (COVID-19 Direction).

All GP practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for this purpose under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (2012 Act). More information about this requirement is contained in the data provision notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices.

Under GDPR our legal basis for sharing this personal data with NHS Digital is Article 6(1)(c) - legal obligation. Our legal basis for sharing personal data relating to health, is Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest, for the purposes of NHS Digital exercising its statutory functions under the COVID-19 Direction.

The type of personal data we are sharing with NHS Digital

The data being shared with NHS Digital will include information about patients who are currently registered with a GP practice or who have a date of death on or after 1 November 2019 whose record contains coded information relevant to coronavirus planning and research. The data contains NHS Number, postcode, address, surname, forename, sex, ethnicity, date of birth and date of death for those patients. It will also include coded health data which is held in your GP record such as details of:

  • diagnoses and findings
  • medications and other prescribed items
  • investigations, tests and results
  • treatments and outcomes
  • vaccinations and immunisations

How NHS Digital will use and share your data

NHS Digital will analyse the data they collect and securely and lawfully share data with other appropriate organisations, including health and care organisations, bodies engaged in disease surveillance and research organisations for coronavirus response purposes only. These purposes include protecting public health, planning and providing health, social care and public services, identifying coronavirus trends and risks to public health, monitoring and managing the outbreak and carrying out of vital coronavirus research and clinical trials. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the National Data Guardian are all supportive of this initiative.

NHS Digital has various legal powers to share data for purposes relating to the coronavirus response. It is also required to share data in certain circumstances set out in the COVID-19 Direction and to share confidential patient information to support the response under a legal notice issued to it by the Secretary of State under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI Regulations).

Legal notices under the COPI Regulations have also been issued to other health and social care organisations requiring those organisations to process and share confidential patient information to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Any information used or shared during the outbreak under these legal notices or the COPI Regulations will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis for organisations to continue to use the information.

Data which is shared by NHS Digital will be subject to robust rules relating to privacy, security and confidentiality and only the minimum amount of data necessary to achieve the coronavirus purpose will be shared. Organisations using your data will also need to have a clear legal basis to do so and will enter into a data sharing agreement with NHS Digital. Information about the data that NHS Digital shares, including who with and for what purpose will be published in the NHS Digital data release register.

For more information about how NHS Digital will use your data please see the NHS Digital Transparency Notice for GP Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19).

National Data Opt-Out

The application of the National Data Opt-Out to information shared by NHS Digital will be considered on a case by case basis and may or may not apply depending on the specific purposes for which the data is to be used. This is because during this period of emergency, the National Data Opt-Out will not generally apply where data is used to support the coronavirus outbreak, due to the public interest and legal requirements to share information.

Your rights over your personal data

To read more about the health and care information NHS Digital collects, its legal basis for collecting this information and what choices and rights you have in relation to the processing by NHS Digital of your personal data, see:

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Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients

This practice handles medical records and complies in-line with laws on data protection and confidentiality.

We hold your medical record so that we can provide you with safe care and treatment.

We will also use your information so that this practice can check and review the quality of the care we provide. This helps us to improve our services to you.

We share medical records with those who are involved in providing you with care and treatment. You have the right to object to your medical records being shared with those who provide you with care.

In some circumstances we will also share medical records for medical research, for example to find out more about why people get ill. You have the right to object to your information being used for medical research and to plan health services.

We share information when the law requires us to do so, for example, to prevent infectious diseases from spreading or to check the care being provided to you is safe.

You have the right to be given a copy of your medical record.

You have the right to have any mistakes corrected and to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you wish to complain visit Information Commissioner’s Office website or call the helpline 0303 123 1113 or please speak to a member of staff for more information about your rights.

Our data protection officer's contact details are: Renier van Zyl, Stellar Healthcare, Building 1, Spencer Close, St Margaret's Hospital, The Plain, Epping, Essex, CM16 6TN. Telephone: 01992 660272.

Privacy Information for Children

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Data Choices

Your Data Matters to the NHS

Information about your health and care helps us to improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.

How your data is used

Information about your individual care such as treatment and diagnoses is collected about you whenever you use health and care services. It is also used to help us and other organisations for research and planning such as research into new treatments, deciding where to put GP clinics and planning for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital.  It is only used in this way when there is a clear legal basis to use the information to help improve health and care for you, your family and future generations.

Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.

You have a choice

You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your information is used. If you do not want your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you can choose to opt out securely online or through a telephone service. You can change your mind about your choice at any time.

Will choosing this opt-out affect your care and treatment?

No, choosing to opt out will not affect how information is used to support your care and treatment. You will still be invited for screening services, such as screenings for bowel cancer.

What do you need to do?

If you are happy for your confidential patient information to be used for research and planning, you do not need to do anything.

To find out more about the benefits of data sharing, how data is protected, or to make or change your opt out choice, see choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning.

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Fair Processing Notice

Fair Processing Notice
Our Fair Processing Notice explains why the Practice collects information about you and how that information may be used.

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Freedom of Information Act

Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.

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Medical Records & Confidentiality

The Practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:

  • To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
  • To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
  • When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.

If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.

Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.

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My Care Record

The people caring for you need access to your health and care record in order to make the best decisions about your diagnosis and treatment. For this to happen more quickly and to improve the care you receive, a new process has been put in place. With your permission, My Care Record will provide health and care professionals directly involved in your care, access to the most up to date information about you.

My Care Record Fair Processing Notice

My Care Record opt out form

My Care Record website

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NHS Summary Care Records

As part of a mandatory, national programme each GP Practice will have to make a summary care record for each patient (unless the patient has already opted out).

Please read the information regarding this.

If you wish to opt out download and complete the opt out form and return to the Practice (see below).

Information Website

Summary Care Record informatio on the NHS Digital website.

Information Leaflets & Opt-Out Form

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Transferring Your Electronic Health Record

Your GP practice holds copies of your patient health record electronically and in paper format. Both contain the healthcare information about you that your GP needs including your medical history, medications, allergies, immunisations and vaccinations.

If you have previously registered with a different GP in England, upon registering at this practice your electronic health record will, where possible, be transferred automatically from your previous practice through the use of an NHS system called GP2GP.

For further information please download the 'Transferring Your Electronic Health Record' information leaflet.