Why we ask for information about you, what we do with it and how we share it.
As a patient of ours, you will be giving us information about yourself and your condition which could be of a sensitive nature and which you may not wish to be widely known. We need to collect and record that information to help us provide you with the best care.
Your information will need to be shared with the health professionals who are directly involved in your care, but some of it will also need to be seen by administrative and financial staff.
Everyone working in the Specialist Medical Clinic has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
As healthcare professionals, we take confidentiality very seriously. We have policies and procedures in place to make sure information about you is managed carefully.
We have a duty to:
- Ensure all involved in your care know about you and your condition
- Maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you
- Keep all records about you accurate, confidential and secure
Why is information collected about you?
We must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided to you:
- To give you the best possible healthcare and treatment
- To help manage and plan services for you
- To help monitor and evaluate services
- To avoid delays in searching for your medical records
What information might you be asked for?
- Your personal details
- Your physical health
- Your mental health
- Treatments you have received.
If you are uncertain why a question is relevant to your healthcare, please ask a member of staff to explain this.
Where is the information kept?
Some information is kept in written records and some is kept on computer records. Sometimes information is kept both ways.
All computers are password controlled. All records are normally stored in secure areas when not in use.
How is your information shared and with whom?
Most information is only passed to healthcare professionals involved in your care.
They will use this to:
- Provide a good basis for all health decisions made about you
- Make sure your care is safe and effective
You may be receiving care from other healthcare organisations as well as in Specialist Medical Clinic. So that we can all work together for your benefit, we may share some information about you to help this.
General Practitioner (GP), staff at another specialist hospital, scans at other centres.
Confidentiality is your right
Information about you as an individual belongs to you and you are able to have access to your records if you request to see them. You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 2004.
All Specialist Medical Clinic employees have a confidentiality clause within their contract and have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal obligation to keep it confidential.
We will assume you are happy for staff to share information about you solely for the provision of care, unless you specifically request us not to do so.
How to request your clinical notes/results:
Your clinical notes can ONLY BE REQUESTED BY YOURSELF and be ordered:
- By email
- By telephone
- In person at reception desk
Two security questions will be asked to confirm your identity (Date of Birth and first line of your address).
A minimum of 24 hours is usually required in order to gather all your data as well as permission for the release of this information be given by your practitioner. Should a greater time period be necessary, one of the Clinic Managers will contact you and inform you of this fact.
After a blood test or CT/MRI scan or any other investigation you will be offered a follow up appointment so that you can discuss your results with the referring practitioner. Our receptionists are not authorized (or qualified) to comment on results – this can only be done with the requesting practitioner at a follow up appointment.
We only share information about you if there is a genuine need for it and it is in your interests. Whenever we can, we will remove details which identify you.
As with any rules there may be exceptions. We may have to pass on your details during a public health emergency or to the police when ordered to do so by a court.
Sometimes we need to share information without your consent, if by not doing so, there is a probable risk of serious harm to an individual or to the rest of the community at large.
If you have any questions about your information or about confidentiality, please speak to our Receptionist staff or your Clinician.