Data Sharing Measure in relation to the COVID pandemic
1) The secretary of state has served notice under the Health Service COPI (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 to require organisations to process confidential patient information during the COVID Pandemic and these measures will remain in place until September 2020. In addition, aggregate data which supports the planning and delivery of health care during the COVID pandemic will be processed securely through the Whole Systems Integrated Care database. Any such data will be formally identified as COVID related and used only for this purpose until Sep 2020.
2) Primary care staff across each CCG will be able to access your full medical record without consent during the COVID-19 pandemic but will only do so when this is necessary to provide you with care. They will be required to use a smartcard which confirms their identity, and which limits their access and actions to those appropriate for their role. They will all have been trained to understand their professional and legal responsibilities in providing you with care. Access to records by trained clinicians will be made available for example when patients:
- are asked to present to the Respiratory Hubs offering care for COVID related illness
- are directed to other hubs based services for routine face to face, or telephone or video consultation
- require community visiting services
3) The extension to smart card permissions is currently limited to CCG wide sharing, but in the event of the pandemic escalating we have taken measures to implement NWL wide sharing and will notify patients through this Fair Processing Notice, should that need arise.
4) The government have requested reinstatement of the “break glass” facility” previously available in TPP clinical systems so as to allow a declared access to patient records in the event of an emergency.
The practice complies with the Data Protection Act. All information about patients is confidential: from the most sensitive diagnosis, to the fact of having visited the surgery or being registered at the Practice. All patients can expect that their personal information will not be disclosed without their permission except in the most exceptional of circumstances, when somebody is at grave risk of serious harm.
All members of the primary health care team (from reception to doctors) in the course of their duties will have access to your medical records. They all adhere to the highest standards of maintaining confidentiality.
As our reception area is a little public, if you wish to discuss something of a confidential nature please mention it to one of the receptionists who will make arrangements for you to have the necessary privacy.
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as the duty owed to any other person. Young people aged under 16 years can choose to see health professionals, without informing their parents or carers. If a GP considers that the young person is competent to make decisions about their health, then the GP can give advice, prescribe and treat the young person without seeking further consent.
However, in terms of good practice, health professionals will encourage young people to discuss issues with a parent or carer. As with older people, sometimes the law requires us to report information to appropriate authorities in order to protect young people or members of the public.