Practice Policies

Confidentiality & Medical Records

Locked blue folderThe 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 in 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.

Freedom of Information

Information about the General Practioners 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.

PRACTICE PRIVACY NOTICE

 

How we use your information

 This privacy notice explains why we as a Practice collect information about our patients and how we use that information.

 The Murree Medical Centre manages patient information in accordance with existing laws and with guidance from organisations that govern the provision of healthcare in England such as the Department of Health and the General Medical Council.

 We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:

 

  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
  • Health and Social Care Act 2012
  • NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Information Security

 As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998. In practice, this means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled clearly and transparently, and in a reasonably expected way.

 The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way that personal confidential data is processed, therefore it is important that our patients are aware of and understand these changes, and that you have an opportunity to object and know how to do so.

 The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any NHS treatment or care you have received (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.

 NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both; a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Records held by this GP practice may include the following information:

 

  • Details about you, such as address and next of kin
  • Any contact the practice has had with you, including appointments (emergency or scheduled), clinic visits, etc.
  • Notes and reports about your health
  • Details about treatment and care received
  • Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you

The practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential. However, we can disclose personal information if:

  • It is required by law  
  • You provide consent – either implicitly or for the sake of their own care, or explicitly for other purposes
  • It is justified to be in the public interest

Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we hold data centrally, we take strict and secure measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

Information may be used for clinical audit purposes to monitor the quality of service provided, and may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this we ensure that patient records cannot be identified.

Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for clinical research purposes – the practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.

Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare providers with the objective of providing you with better care.

Patients can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way. When the practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start. We will also explain clearly what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of each new scheme.

A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other health care providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive then the doctor will explain this to you at the time.

Mobile Telephone

If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about any appointments or other health screening information being carried out.

Access to Records

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager and may be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Complaints

Customer service formWe make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a 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.

Violence Policy

The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard 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 threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.

About us

With effect from 26.05.2021 Surgery Connect replaced our existing telephone system at Murree Medical Centre and X-ON is the data processor regarding voice call recordings.
All recordings and call recording equipment will be stored securely, and access to these will be controlled and managed by senior staff as detailed above.
Calls will be retained by the Practice for up to 12 months.

Patients who wish to opt out of call recording will be asked to come to the practice and speak in person.

                                            Call Recording Policy 

 

   Introduction

This policy outlines the practice’s call recording process. The purpose of call recording is to provide a record of incoming and outgoing calls which can:

  •      Identify practice staff training needs
  •      Protect practice staff from nuisance or abusive calls
  •      Establish facts relating to incoming/outgoing calls made (e.g. complaints)
  •      Identify any issues in practice processes with a view to improving them
  •      Support clinicians with a record of telephone consultations.

 

   Purpose

 

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that call recording is managed in line with DPA & Data Retention requirements. This will generally involve the recording of telephone conversations which is subject to the Telecommunications Act 1984.

 

The practice will make every reasonable effort to advise callers that their call may be recorded and for what purpose the recording may be used. This will normally be via a pre-recorded message within the telephone system and on the website. All recordings will be held securely by the systems provider and can be uploaded as an audio file to the clinical record if required, via the integration app, or downloaded to the local practice network. By downloading the recording to their local network, the security of this recording then becomes the responsibility of the practice.

 

Where a patient requests to listen to a recording then this should be allowed within the general provision of a data subject access request under the Data Protection Act and GDPR regulations.

 

   Scope

 

This policy applies to all practice staff including any contracted or temporary workers.

All calls via the telephone systems used in the practice will be recorded, including:

  •      All external incoming calls
  •      All external outgoing calls made by practice staff
  •      All internal incoming and outgoing calls made by the practice staff
  •      Call transfers

 

Recording will automatically stop when the practice staff member terminates the call.

 

Callers must be advised that the call will be recorded for quality/training purposes - this can be in the form of an automated voice message or similar and on the practice websites

 

 

   Playback / Monitoring of Recorded Calls

 

Monitoring of the call recordings will be undertaken by the partners and/or senior staff (General Manager, Office Administrator/Nurse Manager).  Any playback of recordings will take place in a private setting and where applicable, individuals should be given the opportunity to listen to the relevant recordings to receive feedback and developmental support.

All recordings and call recording equipment will be stored securely, and access to these will be controlled and managed by senior staff as detailed above.

Recordings will be accessed by logging into a dedicated, password protected computer system.

Calls will be retained by the Practice for up to 12 months.

Patients who wish to opt out of call recording will be asked to come to the practice and speak in person.

 


   Confidentiality


The Data Protection Act allows access to personal information that is held about them and their personal data. This includes recorded telephone calls. Recordings should be stored in such a way that will enable easy access to the information relating to one or more individuals.

 

Requests for copies of telephone conversations can be made under the Data Protection Act as a “Subject Access Request”. This must be done in writing and after assessing whether the information can be released, the requestor can be invited to the practice premises to hear the recording.

 

If there is a request from an external body relating to the detection or prevention of a crime (e.g. police), then requests for information should be directed to the practice manager to carry out the request for the recording.

Under GDPR, organisations are prohibited from recording the personal conversations of staff, even with consent, and therefore need to ensure that while business calls are recorded, personal calls always remain private.



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