Confidentiality & Arnos Grove Medical Centre

We provide a confidential service to all our patients, including under 16s. This means that you can tell others about a visit to the surgery, but we won’t. You can be sure that anything you discuss with any member of this practice– family doctor, nurse or receptionist – will stay confidential.
Even if you are under 16 nothing will be said to anyone – including parents, other family members, care workers or tutors – without your permission. The only reason why we might have to consider passing on confidential information without your permission, would be to protect you or someone else from serious harm.

We would always try to discuss this with you first.
If you are being treated elsewhere – for example at a hospital or clinic – it is best if you allow the doctor or nurse to inform Arnos Grove Medical Centre of any treatment that you are receiving.
Confidential patient data will be shared within the health care team at the practice, including nursing staff, admin staff, secretaries and receptionists, and with other health care professionals to whom a patient is referred. Those individuals have a professional and contractual duty of confidentiality.

Confidential and identifiable information relating to patients will not be disclosed to other individuals (including NHS or CCG management staff) without their explicit consent, unless it is a matter of life and death or there is a serious risk to the health and safety of patients or it is overwhelmingly in the public interest to do so.
In these circumstances the minimum identifiable information that is essential to serve a legal purpose may be revealed to another individual who has a legal requirement to access the data for the given purpose. That individual will also have a professional and contractual duty of confidentiality. Data will otherwise be anonymised if at all possible before disclosure if this would serve the purpose for which the data is required.

We are sometimes asked to provide information for the purposes of education, audit or research or for the purposes of health care administration. In all cases the person to whom such information is released is bound by a duty of confidentiality. The information disclosed is kept to the minimum necessary for the purpose and is always anonymised if at all possible.

Arnos Grove Medical Centre is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998

Who Can Directly Access Your Surgery-held Electronic GP Medical Record, if Needed and if Appropriate?

  • All our GPs and locum doctors
  • All our Practice Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
  • All our Community (District) Nurses
  • All our Admin team and Receptionists
  • All our Phlebotomists/Health Care Assistants
  • Allied Healthcare Professionals
  • Our PCN Pharmacist
  • Our visiting Medicines Manager support staff
  • Our PCN Business Manager
  • Clinical staff from Royal Free, Chase Farm, Barnet General & North Middlesex Hospital A&E via data streaming
  • Clinical staff from Barndoc (GP out-of–hours centre) via data streaming
  • Support staff from EMIS (responsible for our GP software system)
  • Administrative staff from Docman 10

If you choose to make and attend an extended hours GP appointment (after 6:30 pm on weekdays, or on a Saturday morning) then you may be seen by one of the GPs, or nurses, from the Hub practices. That GP, or nurse, would have full access to your GP record, for the purpose of the appointment.

Who Cannot Access Your Surgery-held Electronic GP Medical Record Without Your Explicit Consent?
Anyone Else, in Particular:

  • The Department of Health
  • NHS England
  • NHS Digital
  • Medical Researchers,
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Journalists

You Have the Right to Object to Ways in Which Your Data is Used (or Processed)

We will always try to respect your wishes if you do not wish for your data to be used in a particular way, unless to do would mean that we could not provide you with safe and effective medical care. You have the right to object to (i.e. opt-out of) the uploading of your medical record to any or all of the NHS Databases (such as The Summary Care Record or NCL Health Record). You have the right to object to (i.e. opt-out of) primary uses of your medical record; that is the sharing of your data with health professionals outside of the surgery for the provision of direct medical care, if you so wish.

For example, you can opt-out of the Summary Care Record and/or the NCL Health Record, and/or the local data streaming project with A&E/NCL Primary Care Service. You have the right to object to (i.e. opt-out of) secondary uses of your medical record; that is the sharing of your data for purposes unrelated to your direct medical care (e.g.  health care planning, audit, research, commercial or political uses), if you so wish. Opting out of secondary uses will prevent all such extractions of data and their processing for secondary purposes, including the North Central London Health Record, national audits, risk stratification schemes, extraction of sick note data to the DWP, mandatory data extractions to NHS Digital, and any future secondary extractions and uses of your personal confidential data. You can opt-out of any or all of these data sharing schemes.

Opting Back into Data Sharing

You can opt back into any or all of these schemes, at any time, if you have previously opted out. To do so, please see our website for the opt in form, or contact Ms Rathai Thevananth, our Managing Partner, she can always tell you what you have, and have not, opted out of. Be careful opting back in to particular schemes – opting back into one scheme might automatically opt you back into another.

Your Right to See Your Health Records

A health record is any record of information relating to someone’s physical or mental health that has been made by (or on behalf of) a health professional. This could be anything from the notes made by a GP in your local surgery to results of an MRI scan or X-rays. Health records are extremely personal and sensitive. They can be held electronically or as paper files, and are kept by a range of different health professionals both in the NHS and the private sector.

How Can I Access my Records?

To do so, you will need to make your request in writing (or by email) to the Arnos Grove Medical Centre (address your letter to the Practice Manager, Ms Rathai Thevananth). This is known as a subject access request.

We will need your name, address, DOB, and ideally an up to date contact telephone number.
You do not have to give a reason for applying for access to your health records. However, to save the NHS time and resources, it would be helpful if you would inform us – if you do not need access to your entire health record – of the periods and parts of your health records that you require, along with details which you may feel have relevance (e.g. consultant name, location, diagnosis).

If the records you wish to see are held totally on computer, you can be charged up to £10 for a copy of these records. If the records you wish to see are on paper or a mixture of paper and computer records, you can be charged up to £50 for a copy of these records. You should receive a reply to your request within 21 days. You have the right simply to view your records (i.e. not receive a copy in a permanent form). For this, there is likely to be no charge (or at maximum, £10). You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons (e.g. to protect the privacy of third parties). You also have the right to have information explained to you where necessary (e.g. medical abbreviations). We can provide you with a printout of the information requested or export the information (e.g. as a .doc or .pdf file)