Access to Your Medical Notes
You have a right to apply for access to your health records. You can view your records online if you are signed up to the online services. Please ask our receptionists if you wish to have access to online services, where you can request repeat medication, book appointments and view your records. Requests can be made to the practice manager.
The practice operates a strict policy of patient confidentiality. We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and are compliant with all current data guidance. Please also refer to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) document under the ‘Our Documents ‘ tab for more information. You should therefore feel comfortable in disclosing any information that you think is important. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you, e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
- To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires consent.
- When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases ononymised patients information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know. Reception and administation staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
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
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)
All patients will be treated fairly on the basis of need and not on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practitioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.
How to Complain
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice. However, we are aware that things go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they havea genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably as possible.To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the Complaints Procedure from reception.
In Times of Bereavement
If Death Occurs At Home
1. Telephone the doctor who will visit to confirm that death has taken place.
2. Contact a funeral director.
3. Arrange to collect the doctor’s Medical Certificate of Death (usually from the surgery).
4. Take this to the Registrars Office, (together with the deceased’s Medical Card and Birth Certificate, if available) for the area in which the death took place. Alternatively you can register by declaration at any convenient Registrars Office but certificates will not be available as these will have to be posted to you a few days later.
5. The Registrar will normally issue a Green coloured certificate for you to give to your funeral director who will look after necessary arrangements for the funeral. The Registrar will also issue a white notification certificate for the DSS. They will also enquire as to the number of Certified Copies you require for dealing with the deceased finances (a fee is payable for each copy).
If The Death Occurs In Hospital
1. Contact a funeral director to inform him his services are required.
2. Collect the certificate from the hospital then follow 4 – 5 as above
Note For Cremation
Your funeral director will usually liaise directly with the surgery regarding the additional certification required.
If you are not a good English speaker, you may bring someone with you to translate for you, please do not ask your child to interpret for you as this is inappropriate. Alternatively ask at reception for translator services, please allow up to 2 weeks for this to be arranged if possible. If you would like this leaflet in a larger font size- please request at the reception or by phone and we can do this for you.
Sharing Your Health Information
The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you, e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
- To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
- When we have a duty to others e.g.in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used is such a way, please let us know.Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
We will only give your relatives, friends and carers information if you want us to. You may ask us to share your health record with agencies e.g. solicitors, insurance companies, we will only do this with your written consent, and you may ask to view this information before it is provided. Please refer to the ‘GDPR’ document for more information, you can find this under the ‘Our Documents’ page.
You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate if you have been ill for seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certifacation form (SC2) which is available from your eompliyer or on the HMRC webiste.
Evidence That You Are Sick
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay). It is up to your employer to devoid whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate is now called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will devide whether or not this eveidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
Statement of Fitness for Work ‘Fit Note’
The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer’s support, ,the note will help you to return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury. For more information see the Direct Gov webiste (where this information was sourced).
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR).The Summary Care Record is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medication and allergies. Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’-SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases. As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of the NHS Staff wish to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out. For further information visit the HSCIC Website.
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bringit along to the surgery.
The Practice Charter
- We will treat all our patients with courtesy and respect and patients have a right to confidentiality
- We will offer an appointment for a routine matter within two working days and up to 2 weeks in some cases.
- We will try to see you within 30 minutes of your appointment time and if there is a delay it is due to a medical necessity.
- Prescription requests made in writing will be ready within two working days. Please do not use GP appointment to request repeat prescription medication- this can be done at the reception.
- We have zero tolerance towards violent or abusive patients or anyone with threatening behaviour. These patients will be removed from our list.
In Return we Would Expect you to:
- Treat the staff, doctors and premises with respect.
- Be on time for your appointment and give the practice adequate notice if you are unable to keep your appointment.
- Use the Out -of -Hours emergency service sensibly and for medical emergencies only.
- Please respond to letters we send to you and those sent to you by the CCG or NHSE
- Please inform us if you change your contact details, yhou can do this online
- Don’t forget you don’t always need to see your GP for advice on coughs and other minor health problems. You can visit your local pharmacy instead.
- Remember you don’t need a sick note if you are off work for less than seven days.You can self-certify. you can get these on the www.nhs.uk
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regards to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threated physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing with a written warning at first and if necessary of their removal from the list. We do have a practice policy which will be sent to you.