In general, medical information is treated as strictly confidential, what you tell us in the consultation is between you and us. In particular, you should be reassured that we will not divulge any information to your friends, resident tutors, academic departments or parents without your permission. However, it may be in your best interest for information to be shared. For example, you may ask us to write to your department to explain how ill-health has caused absence, or impaired your academic performance.
Please be aware that our staff are bound by the NHS code of confidentiality and all individuals working within the practice, whether permanently or temporarily, are required to sign a confidentiality statement. Our staff are therefore not permitted to discuss any of our patients medical history, this includes their registration status without their written consent to do so.
Once we have received consent, we can provide you with this information, this includes complaining on behalf of a patient, but excludes patients who are unable to act on their own behalf and already have a designated person or carer responsible for their medical care.
We therefore respectfully ask parents, relatives, and guardians not to request information regarding the relatives or to complain on their behalf unless we have their written consent to do so. If consent is required we advise that the person concerned attends the practice to complete the required form.
The Caldicott Principles govern the protection and sharing of confidential patient information between health professionals. The Data Protection Act lays down the law about confidentiality with particular regard to holding and processing electronic information.
Sharing & Protecting Private Medical Information
Your private medical information may be used more widely than you think and in certain cases we have a legal duty to disclose or report your information.
Examples of legal obligations to share medical information include:
- Registration of births
- Notification of infectious diseases such as meningitis, mumps, food poisoning
- Release of records demanded by a court order
We may use some of your information for other reasons; for example, to help us protect the health of the public generally and to see that the NHS runs efficiently, plans for the future, trains its staff, pays its bills and can account for its actions.
Information may also be needed to help educate tomorrow’s clinical staff and to carry out medical and other health research for the benefit of everyone. As far as possible, the information is anonymised.