Last revised 8th November 2023
Your Personal Information – what you need to Know
Your information, what you need to know
This privacy notice explains why we collect information about you, how that information will be used, how we keep it safe and confidential and what your rights are in relation to this.
Why we collect information about you
Healthcare professionals who provide you with care are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare and help us to protect your safety.
We collect and hold data for the purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and running our organisation which includes monitoring the quality of care that we provide. In carrying out this role we will collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We will keep your information in written form and/or in digital form.
Our Commitment to Data Privacy and Confidentiality Issues
As a GP practice, all of our GPs, staff and associated practitioners are committed to protecting your privacy and will only process data in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation. This includes the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) now known as UK GDPR, the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018, the Law Enforcement Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/680) (LED) and any applicable national Laws implementing them as amended from time to time. The legislation requires us to process personal data only if there is a legitimate basis for doing so and that any processing must be fair and lawful.
In addition, consideration will also be given to all applicable Law concerning privacy, confidentiality, the processing and sharing of personal data including the Human Rights Act 1998, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 as amended by the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015, the common law duty of confidentiality and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations.
Data we collect about you
Records which this GP Practice will hold or share about you will include the following:
- Personal Data – means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
- Special Categories of Personal Data – this term describes personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.
- Confidential Patient Information – this term describes information or data relating to their health and other matters disclosed to another (e.g. patient to clinician) in circumstances where it is reasonable to expect that the information will be held in confidence. Including both information ‘given in confidence’ and ‘that which is owed a duty of confidence’. As described in the Confidentiality: NHS code of Practice: Department of Health guidance on confidentiality 2003.
- Pseudonymised - The process of distinguishing individuals in a dataset by using a unique identifier which does not reveal their ‘real world’ identity.
- Anonymised – Data in a form that does not identify individuals and where identification through its combination with other data is not likely to take place
- Aggregated - Statistical data about several individuals that has been combined to show general trends or values without identifying individuals within the data.
How we use your information
Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare organisations for the purpose of providing you, your family and your community with better care. For example it is possible for healthcare professionals in other services to access your record with or without your permission when the practice is closed. This is explained further in the Local Information Sharing in Appendix A.
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided by the service
- research into the development of new treatments and care pathways
- preventing illness and diseases
- monitoring safety
- planning services
- risk stratification
- Population Health Management
Safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults
If we have significant concerns or hear about an individual child or vulnerable adult being at risk of harm, we may share relevant information with other organisations, such as local authorities and the Police, involved in ensuring their safety.
Sometimes we are duty-bound by laws to disclose information to organisations such as the Care Quality Commission, the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency, the General Medical Council, HM Revenue and Customs, and Counter Fraud services. In these circumstances we will always try to inform you before we are required to disclose and we only disclose the minimum information that the law requires us to do so.
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
A full list of details including the legal basis, any Data Processor involvement and the purposes for processing information can be found in Appendix A.
How long do we hold information for?
All records held by the Practice will be kept for the duration specified by national guidance from NHS Digital, Health and Social Care Records Code of Practice. Once information that we hold has been identified for destruction it will be disposed of in the most appropriate way for the type of information it is. Personal confidential and commercially confidential information will be disposed of by approved and secure confidential waste procedures. We keep a record of retention schedules within our information asset registers, in line with the Records Management Code of Practice for 2021
Individuals Rights under GDPR
Under UK GDPR 2016 the Law provides the following rights for individuals. The NHS upholds these rights in a number of ways.
- The right to be informed
- The right of access
- The right to rectification
- The right to erasure (not an absolute right) only applies in certain circumstances
- The right to restrict processing
- The right to data portability
- The right to object
- Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling.
Your right to opt out of data sharing and processing
The NHS Constitution states ‘You have a right to request that your personal and confidential information is not used beyond your own care and treatment and to have your objections considered’.
Type 1 Opt Out
This is an objection that prevents an individual's personal confidential information from being shared outside of their general practice except when it is being used for the purposes of direct care, or in particular circumstances required by law, such as a public health screening, or an emergency like an outbreak of a pandemic disease. If patients wish to apply a Type 1 Opt-Out to their record they should make their wishes known to the practice manager.
National data opt-out (NDOO)
The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.
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, for Planning or Research. Any patient that had a type 2 opt-out recorded on or before 11 October 2018 has had it automatically converted to a national data opt-out. Those aged 13 or over were sent a letter giving them more information and a leaflet explaining the national data opt-out. For more information go to National data opt out programme
To find out more or to register your choice to opt-out, please visit NHS Your Data Matters
On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
Right of Access to your information (Subject Access Request)
Under Data Protection Legislation everybody has the right have access to, or request a copy of, information we hold that can identify them, this includes medical records. There are some safeguards regarding what patients will have access and they may find information has been redacted or removed for the following reasons;
- It may be deemed to risk causing harm to the patient or others
- The Information within the record may relate to third parties who are entitled to their confidentiality, or who have not given their permission for the information to be shared.
Patients do not need to give a reason to see their data. And requests can be made verbally or in writing. Although we may ask you to complete a form in order that we can ensure that you have the correct information you require.
Where multiple copies of the same information is requested the surgery may charge a reasonable fee for the additional copies.
Patients will need to provide proof of identity to receive this information. We will not share information relating to you with other individuals without your explicit instruction or without sight of a legal document.
Patients may also request to have access to their data, they may do this via the NHS App, or via Patient Access. If you would like to access your GP record online click here.
COVID Passport Access
Patients may access their Covid Passport via the NHS Website, the practice cannot provide this document as it is not held in the practice record. If you have any issues gaining access to your Covid Passport or letter you should call 119
Change of Details
It is important that you tell the surgery if any of your contact details such as your name or address have changed, or if any of your other contact details are incorrect including third party emergency contact details. It is important that we are made aware of any changes immediately in order that no information is shared in error.
Mobile telephone number
If you provide us with your mobile phone number, we may use this to send you text reminders about your appointments or other health related information. It is within our legal duty as a public authority to keep our patients updated with important information. If you do not wish to receive communications via mobile please let us know.
We also use the NHS Account Messaging Service provided bt NHS England to send you messages relating to your health and care. You need to be an NHS App user to recieve these messages. Further information about the service can be found at the Privacy notice for the NHS App managed by NHS England.
Where you have provided us with your email address, we will use this to send you information relating to your health and the services we provide. If you do not wish to receive communications by email please let us know.
Data Protection Legislation requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information.
We are registered as a Data Controller and our registration can be viewed online in the public register via the ICO website
Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and in a prominent area at the Practice.
Data Protection Officer
Should you have any data protection questions or concerns, please contact our Data Protection Officer via the surgery at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the right to know?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives people a general right of access to information held by or on behalf of public authorities, promoting a culture of openness and accountability across the public sector. You can request any non-personal information that the GP Practice holds, that does not fall under an exemption. You may not ask for information that is covered by the Data Protection Legislation under FOIA. However, you can request this under a right of access request – see section above ‘Access to your information’.
Right to Complain
If you have concerns or are unhappy about any of our services, please contact the Operations Manager. Or via the ICO details below.
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact:
The Information Commissioner
Phone: 0303 123 1113
The NHS Constitution
The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out the rights patients, the public and staff are entitled to. These rights cover how patients access health services, the quality of care you’ll receive, the treatments and programs available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong.
Appendix A – The Practice will share your information with these organisations where there is a legal basis to do so.
Commissioning and contractual purposes
Purpose – Anonymous data is used by the Integrated Care Board (ICB) for planning, performance and commissioning purposes as directed in the practice's contract, to provide services as a public authority.
Patients may opt out of having their personal confidential data used for planning and research. Please contact the surgery to apply for a Type 1 Opr out, or log on to NHS: Your Data Matters to apply a National Data Opt Out.
Summary Care Record
Including Additional Information
Purpose – The NHS in England uses a national electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR) to support patient care. It contains key information from your GP record. Your SCR provides authorised healthcare staff with faster, secure access to essential information about you in an emergency or when you need unplanned care, where such information would otherwise be unavailable.
Processor – NHS England and NHS Digital
Purpose – We may share anonymous information with research companies for the purpose of exploring new ways of providing healthcare and treatment for patients with certain conditions. This data will not be used for any other purpose.
Where identifiable data is required for research, patient consent will be needed, unless there is a legitimate reason under law to do so or there is support under the Health Service (Control of Patient Information Regulations) 2002 (‘section 251 support’) applying via the Confidentiality Advisory Group in England and Wales.
|Individual Funding Requests
Purpose – We may need to process your personal information where we are required to fund specific treatment for you for a particular condition that is not already covered in our standard NHS contract.
Data processor – Sussex ICB
Purpose – We will share personal confidential information with the safeguarding team where there is a need to assess and evaluate any safeguarding concerns and protect the safety of individuals.
Data Processor – Sussex Integrated Care System and relevant health and social care organisations
|Purpose – We will share children’s personal information where there is a need to assess and evaluate any safeguarding concerns and to protect the safety of children.
Legal Basis -
Data Processor – West Sussex County Council hosted Safeguarding Team
|Risk Stratification Prevention Care
Purpose - ‘Risk stratification for case finding’ is a process for identifying and managing patients who have or may be at risk of health conditions (such as diabetes) or who are most likely to need healthcare services (such as people with frailty). Risk stratification tools used in the NHS help determine a person’s risk of suffering a particular condition and enable us to focus on preventing ill health before it develops.
Data Processor – Sussex ICB
|Public Health Screening Programmes (identifiable),
Notifiable disease information (identifiable),
Smoking Cessation (anonymous),
Sexual Health (anonymous)
Purpose – Personal identifiable and anonymous data is shared.
Data Processors – West Sussex County Council
|Direct Care, NHS Trusts, Community Providers, Pharmacies, Enhanced Care Providers, Nursing Homes, Other Care Providers
Purpose – Personal information is shared with other secondary care trusts and providers in order to provide you with individual direct care services. This could be hospitals or community providers for a range of services, including treatment, operations, physio, and community nursing, ambulance service.
Legal Basis - The processing of personal data in the delivery of direct care and for providers’ administrative purposes in this surgery and in support of direct care elsewhere is supported under the following:
Data Processors – Local, Regional and Tertiary Specialist NHS Trusts
|Direct Care - Emergencies
Purpose - There are occasions where intervention is necessary in order to save or protect a patient's life or prevent them from serious immediate harm, for instance during a collapse or diabetic coma or serious injury or accident. In many of these circumstances, the patient may be unconscious or unable to communicate.
|Care Quality Commission
Purpose – The CQC is the regulator for the English Health and Social Care services to ensure that safe care is provided. They will inspect and produce reports back to the GP practice on a regular basis. The Law allows the CQC to access identifiable data.
Processors – Care Quality Commission
|Population Health Management
|Purpose - Health and care services work together as "Integrated Care Systems" (ICS) and are sharing data in order to:
(NB this links to the Risk Stratification Activity identified above.)
Type of Data - Identifiable / Pseudonymised / Anonymous / Aggregate Data. NB only organisations that provide your care will see your identifiable data.
Legal Basis -
|Payments, Invoice validation
Purpose - Contract holding GPs in the UK receive payments from their respective governments on a tiered basis. Most of the income is derived from baseline capitation payments made according to the number of patients registered with the practice on quarterly payment days. These amounts paid per patient per quarter varies according to the age, sex and other demographic details for each patient. There are also graduated payments made according to the practice’s achievement of certain agreed national quality targets known as the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), for instance the proportion of diabetic patients who have had an annual review. Practices can also receive payments for participating in agreed national or local enhanced services, for instance opening early in the morning or late at night or at the weekends. Practices can also receive payments for certain national initiatives such as immunisation programs and practices may also receive incomes relating to a variety of non patient related elements such as premises. Finally there are short term initiatives and projects that practices can take part in. Practices or GPs may also receive income for participating in the education of medical students, junior doctors and GPs themselves as well as research. In order to make patient based payments basic and relevant necessary data about you needs to be sent to the various payment services. The release of this data is required by English laws.
Data Processors – NHS England, ICB, Public Health
|Patient Record data base
Purpose – Your medical record will be shared, in order that a data base can be maintained, this is managed in a secure way and there are robust processes in place to ensure your medical record is kept accurate and up to date. Your record will follow you as you change surgeries throughout your life.
Processor – EMIS and PCSE
|Medical reports, Subject Access Requests
Purpose – Your medical record may be shared in order that:
Processor – Solicitors, Insurance Organisations, iGPR
|Medicines Management Team
Purpose – your medical record is shared with the medicines management team, in order that your medication can be kept up to date and any changes can be implemented.
Processor – West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
services they provide:
GP Extended Access
Minor injuries services
|Purpose – Your medical record will be shared with the Alliance for Better Care (Federation of GP Practices) in order that they can provide direct care services to the patient population – Improved Access Services (extended in and out of hours GP services). This could be in the form of video consultations, Minor injuries clinics, GP extended access clinics. Alliance for Better Care will be acting on behalf of the GP Practice.
Legal Basis -
Purpose – Your medical record will be shared with the (East Grinstead & Crawley Down PCN) in order that they can provide direct care services to the patient population.
Processor – Judges Close, Ship Street and Crawley Down
Purpose – personal information is shared in order for the smoking cessation service to be provided.
Processor – West Sussex County Council
Purpose – Access to medical records is provided to social prescribers to undertake a full service to patients dependent on their health social care needs.
Processor – East Grinstead & Crawley Down PCN
Purpose – Personal confidential information may be shared with the Police Authority for certain purposes. The level of sharing and purpose for sharing may vary. Where there is legal basis for this information to be shared, consent will not always be required.
Processor – Police Constabulary
|Purpose – Personal health records, or information relating to a deceased patient may be shared with the coroner or medical examiner upon request.
Legal Basis – UK GDPR Article 6(1)(c) - to comply with a legal obligation and article 9(2)(h) health data
Processor – The Coroner, Medical Examiner.
|Medical Examiner Service
Purpose - Medical records associated with deceased patients are outside scope of the UK GDPR. However, next of kin details are within the scope of the UK GDPR. We will share specified deceased patient records and next of kin details with the Medical Examiners
Legal Basis -
Processor Medical Examiners service
|Non-Commissioned, Private Healthcare Providers
Purpose – Personal information shared with private health care providers in order to deliver direct care to patients at the patient’s request. Consent from the patient will be required to share data with Private Providers.
Legal Basis – Articles 6(1)(a) and 9(2)(a) Consented and under contract between the patient and the providerProvider – Nuffield Hospital Haywards Heath, Gatwick Park Hospital, North Downs Hospital
Purpose – Personal identifiable information shared with the messaging service in order that messages including appointment reminders, results, campaign messages related to specific patients health needs and direct messages to patients can be transferred to the patient in a safe way.
Provider - AccuRX - NHS App, Mjog
|Remote Consultation Including - Video Consultation Clinical Photography
Purpose – Personal information including images may be processed, stored and with the patient's consent shared, in order to provide the patient with urgent medical advice.
Patients may be videoed or asked to provide photographs with consent. There are restrictions on what the practice can accept photographs of. No photographs of full face, no intimate areas, no pictures of patients who cannot consent to the process. No pictures of children.
Purpose – For some long-term conditions, the practice participates in meetings with staff from other agencies involved in providing care, to help plan the best way to provide care to patients with these conditions. Personal Data will be shared with other agencies in order that mutual care packages can be decided.
Processor – MS Teams
|General Practice Extraction Service (GPES)
1. At-risk patients data collection Version 5
2. CVDPREVENT Audit
4. Physical Checks for people with Severe Mental Illness
Purpose – GP practices are required by law to provide data extraction of their patients' personal confidential information for various purposes to NHS Digital. The objective of this data collection is on an ongoing basis to identify patients registered at General Practices who fit within a certain criterion, in order to monitor and either provide direct care or prevent serious harm to those patients. Below is a list of the purposes for the data extraction, by using the link you can find out the detail behind each data extraction and how your information will be used to inform this essential work:
Legal Basis - All GP Practices in England are legally required to share data with NHS Digital for this purpose under section 259(1)(a) and (5) of the 2012 Act
Purpose: Prescriptions containing personal identifiable and health data will be shared with organisations who provide medicines management including chemists/pharmacies, in order to provide patients with essential medication regime management, medicines and or treatment as their health needs dictate. This process is achieved either by face-to-face contact with the patient or electronically. Pharmacists may be employed to review medication, Patients may be referred to pharmacists to assist with diagnosis and care for minor treatment, patients may have specified a nominated pharmacy they may wish their repeat or acute prescriptions to be ordered and sent directly to the pharmacy making a more efficient process. Arrangements can also be made with the pharmacy to deliver care and medication.
Patients will be required to nominate a preferred pharmacy.
Purpose – We are a GP training surgery. Our clinical team are required to be exposed to on-the-job, clinical experience, as well as continual professional development. On occasion, you may be asked if you are happy to be seen by one of our GP registrars or other clinical team to assist with their training as a clinical professional. You may also be asked if you would be happy to have a consultation recorded for training purposes. These recordings will be shared and discussed with training GPs at the surgery, and also with moderators at the RCGP and HEE.
Recordings remain the control of the GP practice and they will delete all recordings from the secure site once they are no longer required.
Processor – RCGP, HEE, iConnect, Fourteen Fish
Purpose - The practice uses an internet based telephony system that records telephone calls, for their own purpose and to assist with patient consultations. The telephone system has been commissioned to assist with the high volume and management of calls into the surgery, which in turn will enable a better service to patients.
Provider - Surgery Connect - X-ON
|Learning Disability Mortality Programme LeDer
|Purpose: The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme was commissioned by NHS England to investigate the death of patients with learning difficulties and autism to assist with processes to improve the standard of care for people living with a learning disability and Autism.
Legal Basis: It has approval from the Secretary of State under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 to process patient identifiable information who fit within a certain criteria.
Processor: ICB, NHS England
|Shared Care Record
Purpose - In order for the practice to have access to a shared record, the Integrated Care Service has commissioned a number of systems including GP Connect, which is managed by NHS Digital, to enable a shared care record, which will assist in patient information to be used for a number of care related service. These may include Population Health Management, Direct Care, and analytics to assist with planning services for the use of the local health population.
Processor - NHS Digital
|Local Shared Care Record
Sussex Community Trust. Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Brighton Housing Trust
Purpose - Health and social care services are developing shared systems to share data efficiently and quickly. It is important for anyone treating you to be able to access your shared record so that they have all the information they need to care for you. This will be during your routine appointments and in urgent situations such as going to A&E, calling 111 or going to an Out Of Hours appointment. It is also quicker for staff to access a shared record than to try to contact other staff by phone or email.
Processor - Sussex Community Trust, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Brighton Housing Trust.
Purpose - Personal Confidential data is shared with INRStar in order to provide an anticoagulation clinic to patients who are on anticoagulation medication. This will only affect patients who are within this criteria.
Reviews of and Changes to our Privacy Notice
We keep our Privacy notice under regular review. This notice was last reviewed on 8th November 2023