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Confidentiality and Access to Medical Records

All content of medical consulations and of medical records is considered confidential. Indeed, the mere fact of registration or your attendance at our practice can be considered confidential. All our staff are trained and obliged to maintain your confidentiality at all times and in perpetuity.

Access to your own medical records can always be obtained by contacting our practice manager. Should you wish to obtain copies of the same a fee might be required.

There are some statutory requirements to share medical information e.g. with the benefits office or with social work in some situations, e.g. in the course of applications for incapacity benefit or an assessment for Community Care.

Medical Records are confidential. They are only shared with good reason, with your consent or for statutory purposes.

With growing computerisation of the NHS more and more sharing of clinical records becomes increasingly the norm. This can take the wholly beneficial form of your doctor or your nurse being able to obtain laboratory or investigation results over the (secured) internet. It can also be a way of making the job of out-of-hours doctors safer and easier by providing them with access to summaries of medical histories. At the same time though there are valid concerns that such data sharing might not always be in the best interests of individuals or simply be against their wishes. Should you have any concerns in this matter please feel free to discuss them with the practice staff.

Anyone else (e.g. insurance companies, employers etc) requesting access to your medical information would normally require your fully informed consent. Sometimes some such agencies will request access to your records in a fashion or for details which the doctor might not feel is in your best interest or without what appears to be fully informed consent. Under such circumstances the doctor will discuss with you what and how information should be shared.

If you are a temporary resident, the fact that you attended and the notes of your consultation will be forwarded to your normal doctor. This can take a few months though.

Emergency Care Summaries are a new way of allowing the Out of Hour Services (NHS24 and Accident & Emergency departments) access to important information on your GP medical files - currently allergies and prescribed medications. Essentially a piece of software will be installed on the practice computers to extract this information and upload it onto a central server. Not everybody is entirely happy with such information sharing, however beneficial it might be. It is important that you notify any objections to the practice, so that we can ensure that your information is not shared.

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