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GDPR and Confidentiality

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We respect your right to privacy and aim to keep all your health information confidential and secure. 

It is important that the NHS keeps accurate and up to date records about your health so that those supporting you can give you the best possible advice, treatment and care.  All staff sign a confidentiality agreement as part of their contract of employment.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data.  The regulation applies from 25th May 2018 and will apply even after the UK leaves the EU.  

So what does this mean for patients?  The GDPR sets out the key principles about processing personal data.

Data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently

It must be collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes

It must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed

Information must be accurate and kept up to date

Data must be held securely

It can only be retained for as long as it is necessary for the reasons it was collected

There are also stronger rights for patients regarding the information that Practices hold about them.  These include:

Being informed about how their data is used

Patients having access to their own data

Patients can ask to have incorrect information changed 

Restrict how their data is used

Move their patient data from one health organisation to another

The right to object to their patient information being processed (in certain circumstances)

To comply with this new regulation, we have reviewed our processes, procedures and protocols updating many of these to comply with the changes.

One of the core changes sees an update of our Fair Processing Notice (sometimes known as a Privacy Statement).  This statement discloses the way we gather, use, disclose, and manage the information we hold about you. It fulfils our legal requirement to protect your privacy.

Click here for a copy of our updated Fair Processing Notice.  This is also available in hardcopy from our reception areas.

The NHS Business Services Authority has also issued a Privacy Statement regarding the way in which that organisation manages the information it receives from GP Practices and Pharmacies on the prescriptions that are sent to them to fund the medication and appliances that are dispensed to you.  

Click here for a copy of the Privacy Statement from NHS Business Services Authority. 

One of the other changes linked to the new guidelines relates to data subject access requests (SARs).  An individual can make a SAR to any organisation that they believe is processing their personal data.  We ask that patients make their request in writing and we have a form available at the practice to complete for this process, . Under the new guidance, responses will be made within thirty days. An extension of 2 months can be allowed if necessary taking into account the complexity of the request.

If you have any questions around how we collect, manage and share your data, please speak with our Managing Partner, Mr. Gerard Whitfield.


Confidentiality is the duty of a person to not disclose anything learned from a patient who has attended, consulted or been treated, without that person's consent.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of health care and central to the work of everyone working in general practice.

All information about patients is confidential: from the most sensitive diagnosis, to the fact of having visited the practice or being registered at the practice.

The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person.

All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission (except in the most exceptional circumstances when disclosure is required when somebody is at grave risk of serious harm).

Responsibilites of Practice staff

All health professionals must follow their professional codes of practice and the law. This means that they must make every effort to protect confidentiality. It also means that no identifiable information about a patient is passed to anyone or any agency without the express permission of that patient, except when this is essential for providing care or necessary to protest somebody's health, safety or well-being.

All health professionals are individually accountable for their own actions. They should, however, also work together as a team to ensure that standards of confidentiality are upheld, and that improper disclosures are avoided.

Employer responsibilities

The GPs at Chet Valley Medical practice, as Employers

  • Are responsible for ensuring that everybody employed by the practice understands the need for, and maintains, confidentiality
  • Have overall responsibility for ensuring that systems and mechanisms are in place to protect confidentiality
  • Have vicarious liability for the actions of those working in the practice- including health professionals and non-clinical staff (i.e. those not employed directly by the practice but who work in the practice).

Sharing of Information

If there is the need for a clinician to refer patients to specialist clinics, the hospital or other health care providers involved in your care for example Social Services, it will be necessary to share relevant clinical or confidential information to be able to provide safe and effective treatment.  This is always done in the patients best interest and I some circumstances may take place at a multi-disciplinary meeting. All health and care providers know that medical information is sensitive, personal and should only be accessed when appropriate. By signing the registration form to join the Practice, we assume your agreement to this. This information is also contained within the Practice booklet.

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