From November this year, patients using the NHS app will be able to view all new entries made in their GP records. This is an NHS initiative to give patients greater access to their health information.
Upon reviewing your records, you may feel that certain notes made by our clinicians are incorrect and you may wish to request that they are removed.
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 state that an individual has the ‘right to be forgotten’, which is sometimes called the ‘right to erasure’, however medical records are slightly different in that they hold special category data. The GP’s (or other clinician’s) opinion at the time will not alter, therefore we cannot remove information simply at the patient’s request.
In line with the General Medical Council’s (GMC) guidance, Doctors have an obligation to:
- Keep clear, accurate and legible records.
- Make records at the time the events happen, or as soon as possible afterwards.
The NHS constitution states that as a patient, “You have the right to have any factual inaccuracies in your health record corrected, however there are limited exceptions to this right, there is no obligation to amend something in a health record that is a professional opinion”, i.e. the GP’s opinion at the time.
This also applies to data that forms part of your medical record, for example letters and forms issued by other Healthcare organisations involved in your care that have supplied copies to us as your General Practice/registered GP. Data on your record is only to be used in relation to direct care purposes, and if considered to be used for anything else, it would need to have the relevant lawful basis and other data protection principles applied.
Should you request any corrections or redactions we will review your request and if we decide we are not able to comply we will inform you of this decision. We will also ensure we add details of your request to your record and the reasons why we have not been able to comply. Please make any such requests in writing or via the Online Consultations our website.
Understanding your Health Record
You can view some commonly used abbreviations here, which may help you understand your records.
Whilst we will endeavour to respond to any queries about your records, please bear in mind that we must prioritise our workload and deal with patients that are unwell and need us. You can book appointments online via the NHS app but please do not use appointments purely to request something is removed from or changed within your notes. As above, please contact us in writing or via the Online Consultations our website and we will liaise with the clinical team and respond within an appropriate time frame – as with most administrative requests this can be up to 28 days.
We aim to keep our surgery clean and tidy and offer a safe environment to our patients and staff.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness or infection control, please report these to our Reception staff.
Our GPs and nursing staff follow our Infection Control Policy to ensure the care we deliver and the equipment we use is safe.
We take additional measures to ensure we maintain the highest standards:
- Encourage staff and patients to raise any issues or report any incidents relating to cleanliness and infection control. We can discuss these and identify improvements we can make to avoid any future problems.
- Carry out an annual infection control audit to make sure our infection control procedures are working.
- Provide annual staff updates and training on cleanliness and infection control.
- Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are adequate and meet national guidance.
- Maintain the premises and equipment to a high standard within the available financial resources and ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove all infection risk.
- Use washable or disposable materials for items such as couch rolls, modesty curtains, floor coverings, towels etc., and ensure that these are laundered, cleaned or changed frequently to minimise risk of infection.
- Make Alcohol Hand Rub Gel available throughout the building.
- Follow COVID infection control guidance including encouraging the wearing of masks in the practice.
All individuals with access to your data have a professional and/or contractual duty of confidentiality.
Confidential patient data will be shared within the practice health care team and with other health care professionals to whom you are referred for care. Your data may also be used by those clinical teams providing your care for the essential purpose of clinical audit. Confidential patient data may also be required for the broader purposes of public health and audit, research, the provision of health care services, teaching and training. Data disclosed will be kept to the minimum required to serve the purpose and if possible will be anonymised before disclosure.
Confidential and identifiable patient information will not otherwise be disclosed without explicit consent unless:
- it is a matter of life and death or serious harm to you or to another individual
- it is overwhelmingly in the public interest to do so
- there is a legal obligation to do so.
In all of these circumstances the minimum identifiable information that is essential to serve the purpose may be revealed to someone with a legal entitlement to access the data for that purpose. If you are concerned about any of the ways in which your confidential data are managed, further information is available from the practice manager. You are entitled to register an objection and this will be respected if possible.