Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients
Read our Privacy Notice on Recording telephone calls
This privacy notice lets you know what happens to any personal data that you give to us, or any that we may collect from or about you.
This privacy notice applies to personal information processed by Tower Hamlets GP Care Group.
This Notice explains:
- Who we are, how we use your information
- The kinds of personal information about you that we process
- The legal grounds for our processing of your personal information (including when we share it with others)
- What you should do if your personal information changes
- How long your personal information is retained by us
- Your rights under data protection laws.
This notice describes how we collect, use and process your personal data, and how, in doing so, we comply with our legal obligations to you. Your privacy is important to us, and we are committed to protecting and safeguarding your data privacy rights.
How we use your information and the law
Tower Hamlets GP Care Group will be what’s known as the ‘Controller’ of the personal data you provide to us.
We collect basic personal data about you which does not include any special types of information or location-based information. This does however include name, address, contact details such as email and mobile number etc.
We will also collect sensitive confidential data known as “special category personal data”, in the form of health information, religious belief (if required in a healthcare setting) ethnicity, and sex during the services we provide to you and or linked to your healthcare through other health providers or third parties.
Why do we need your information?
The health care professionals who provide your care maintains records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. NHS Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records which we hold about you may include the following information;
- Details about you, such as your address, carer, legal representative, emergency contact details
- Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details about your treatment and care
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive. Information may be used for clinical audits to monitor the quality of the service provided.
How do we lawfully use your data?
We need to know your personal, sensitive, and confidential data in order to provide you with healthcare services, under the General Data Protection Regulation we will be lawfully using your information in accordance with: -
Article 6, e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller;”
Article 9, (h) processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment, or the management of health or social care systems
This Privacy Notice applies to the personal data of our patients and the data you have given us about your carers/family members.
National Data Opt-Out
The national data opt-out is a new service that allows people to opt-out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning. It was introduced on 25 May 2018, providing a facility for individuals to opt-out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes. The national data opt-out replaces the previous ‘type 2’ opt-out, which required NHS Digital not to share a patient’s confidential patient information for purposes beyond their individual care. Any patient that had a type 2 opt-out has had it automatically converted to a national data opt-out from 25 May 2018 and has received a letter giving them more information and a leaflet explaining the new national data opt-out. If a patient wants to change their choice, they can use the new service to do this.
You can find out more by speaking to a healthcare professional or by clicking this link: https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/
Tower Hamlets GP Care Group is dedicated to ensuring that the principles and duties of safeguarding adults and children are holistically, consistently, and conscientiously applied with the wellbeing of all, at the heart of what we do.
Legal Basis for processing your information
Our legal basis for processing For the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) purposes is:
Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’.
For the processing of special categories data, the basis is: -
Article 9(2)(b) – ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law…’
Categories of personal data
The data collected by Tower Hamlets GP Care Group staff in the event of a safeguarding situation will be as much personal information as is necessary or possible to obtain in order to handle the situation. In addition to some basic demographic and contact details, we will also process details of what the safeguarding concern is. This is likely to be special category information (such as health information).
How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 2018
- The General Data Protection Regulations 2016
- 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
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.
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 (i.e. life or death situations), where the law requires information to be passed on and/or in accordance with the information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (Information to share or not to share) where “The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality.” This means that health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients within the framework set out by the Caldicott principles.
Our policy is to respect the privacy of our patients, their families, and our staff and to maintain compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and all UK-specific Data Protection Requirements. Our policy is to ensure all personal data related to our patients will be protected.
All employees and sub-contractors engaged by our organisation are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.
In certain circumstances, you may have the right to withdraw your consent to the processing of data. In some circumstances, we may need to store your data after your consent has been withdrawn to comply with a legislative requirement.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes - we will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose in an identifiable format. In some circumstances, you can opt-out of your information for research purposes.
With your consent, we would also like to use your information
We would however like to use your name, contact details, and email address to inform you of services that may benefit you, with your consent only. There may be occasions were authorised research facilities would like you to take part in innovations, research, improving services or identifying trends.
At any stage where we would like to use your data for anything other than the specified purposes and where there is no lawful requirement for us to share or process your data, we will ensure that you have the ability to consent and opt-out prior to any data processing taking place.
This information is not shared with third parties or used for any marketing and you can unsubscribe at any time via phone, email or by informing the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group DPO as below:
Who are our partner organisations?
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations;
- NHS Trusts / Foundation Trusts
- NHS Commissioning Support Units
- Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- Private Sector Providers
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Ambulance Trusts
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Care Services
- NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Digital (NHSD)
- Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- Local Authorities
- Education Services
- Fire and Rescue Services
- Police & Judicial Services
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Private Sector Providers
- Other ‘data processors’ which you will be informed of.
You will be informed who your data will be shared with and in some cases asked for consent for this to happen when this is required.
To provide around-the-clock safe care, unless you have asked us not to, we will make information available to trusted organisations. Wherever possible, their staff will ask for your consent before your information is viewed.
We consider patient consent as being the key factor in dealing with your health information.
Shared Care Records
To support your care and improve the sharing of relevant information to our partner organisations when they are involved in looking after you, we will share information with other systems. The general principle is that information is passed to these systems unless you request this does not happen, but that system users should ask for your consent before viewing your record.
Telephone calls to Tower Hamlets GP Care Group are routinely recorded for the following purposes:
- To make sure that staff act in compliance with organisation procedures.
- To ensure quality control.
- Training, monitoring, and service improvement
- To prevent crime, misuse, and protect staff
Sharing your information without consent
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example:
- where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people;
- where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented;
- notification of new births;
- where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS);
- where a formal court order has been issued;
- where there is a legal requirement, for example, if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence.
How long will we store your information?
We are required under UK law to keep your information and data for the full retention periods as specified by the NHS Records management code of practice for health and social care and national archives requirements.
More information on records retention can be found online here.
How can you access, amend move the personal data that you have given to us?
Even if we already hold your personal data, you still have various rights in relation to it. To get in touch about these, please contact us. We will seek to deal with your request without undue delay, and in any event in accordance with the requirements of any applicable laws. Please note that we may keep a record of your communications to help us resolve any issues which you raise.
Right to object: If we are using your data because we deem it necessary for our legitimate interests to do so, and you do not agree, you have the right to object. We will respond to your request within 30 days (although we may be allowed to extend this period in certain cases). Generally, we will only disagree with you if certain limited conditions apply.
Right to withdraw consent: Where we have obtained your consent to process your personal data for certain activities (for example for a research project), or consent to market to you, you may withdraw your consent at any time.
Right to erasure: In certain situations (for example, where we have processed your data unlawfully), you have the right to request us to "erase" your personal data. We will respond to your request within 30 days (although we may be allowed to extend this period in certain cases) and will only disagree with you if certain limited conditions apply. If we do agree to your request, we will delete your data but will generally assume that you would prefer us to keep a note of your name on our register of individuals who would prefer not to be contacted. That way, we will minimise the chances of you being contacted in the future where your data are collected in unconnected circumstances. If you would prefer us not to do this, you are free to say so.
Right of data portability: If you wish, you have the right to transfer your data from us to another data controller. We will help with this with a GP to GP data transfer and transfer of your hard copy notes.
Access to your personal information
Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR): You have a right under the Data Protection legislation to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and to have it amended should it be inaccurate. To request this, you need to do the following:
- Your request should be made to the Data Protection Officer and we have a form which you will need to complete – for information from the hospital you should write directly to them
- There is no charge to have a copy of the information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within one calendar month
- 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 information we hold about you at any time.
What should you do if your personal information changes?
You should tell us so that we can update our records. Please contact any healthcare professional as soon as any of your details change, this is especially important for changes of address or contact details (such as your mobile phone number). Tower Hamlets GP Care Group will from time to time ask you to confirm that the information we currently hold is accurate and up-to-date.
Objections / Complaints
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the GP, please contact the Data Protection Officer as above. If you are still unhappy following a review by the Data Protection Officer, you have a right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority: You have a right to complain to the UK supervisory Authority as below.
Tel: 01625 545745
If you are happy for your data to be extracted and used for the purposes described in this privacy notice, then you do not need to do anything. If you have any concerns about how your data is shared, then please contact the Data Protection Officer.
If you would like to know more about your rights in respect of the personal data we hold about you, please contact the Data Protection Officer as below.
Data Protection Officer:
Tower Hamlets GP Care Group has appointed a Data Protection Officer. They can be contacted at the below email address.
It is important to point out that we may amend this Privacy Notice from time to time.