The practice and health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment or care you receive. Your records are private and you have the right to expect that they are kept secure and confidential. Different organisations within the NHS sometimes have to share information about you, for example when you are referred by the GP to a hospital specialist.
The NHS and local council services (such as social care) are also working more closely together to ensure you receive the most appropriate care, and may also need to share information. This will only be done with your consent and knowledge and you have the right to ask for this information not to be shared.
To read the Practice Privacy Notice explaining why we collect information about our patients and how we use that information, Click here for our Privacy Notice.
National Data and Type 1 Opt Out
NHS Digital's daily collection of GP data will support vital health and care planning and research.
The data held in the GP medical records of patients is used every day to support health and care planning and research in England, helping to find better treatments and improve patient outcomes for everyone.
NHS Digital has developed a new way to collect this data, called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection. The new data collection reduces burden on GP practices, allowing doctors and other staff to focus on patient care.
NHS Digital has engaged with the British Medical Association (BMA), Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) to ensure relevant safeguards are in place for patients and GP practices.
For more information please see: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research
National Data Opt-out
The National Data Opt-out is a service that allows patients to opt-out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning. Once again the deadline has been extended to enable health and care organisations to focus their resources on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The deadline to comply with the national data opt-out is now 30 September 2021
Please click here to opt out of the NHS Digital National Data Opt out
Type 1 opt-out
In addition for non-direct care, a patient can tell their GP practice if they do not want their confidential patient information shared outside of the practice for purposes other than their individual care.
Please complete and return the form below to our surgery by post should you wish to register a Type 1 Opt Out.
Click here to download the Type 1 Opt Out Form
Please note that our telephone system records all in-coming AND out-going telephone calls.
We only use these recordings for training and monitoring purposes.
Freedom of Information Act
How much does it cost?
The information is free unless otherwise indicated.
Where information is provided at cost, you will be informed of any costs.
What are the timescales for responding to a request for information?
Your main obligation under the Act is to respond to requests promptly, with a time limit acting as the longest time you can take. Under the Act, most public authorities may take up to 20 working days to respond, counting the first working day after the request is received as the first day. For schools, the standard time limit is 20 school days, or 60 working days if this is shorter.
Working day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays and bank holidays; this may or may not be the same as the days you are open for business or staff are in work.
The time allowed for complying with a request starts when your organisation receives it, not when it reaches the freedom of information officer or other relevant member of staff.
Certain circumstances (explained in this guidance and in When can we refuse a request?) may allow you extra time. However, in all cases you must give the requester a written response within the standard time limit for compliance.
Your Rights to Information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.
We are only able to provide information that we hold, and you will be informed if this is the case.
The surgery is registered with the Data Protection Agency as appropriate and whilst maintaining high standards to protect patient confidentiality, patients have a right to look at their own medical records. For any further information please contact the Practice Manager or follow this link https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you and you can contact any practice where your records are held to do this.
If you have any comments about the Operation of the Publication Scheme, or how we have dealt with your request for information from the scheme, please write to: Church Street Partnership, 30a Church Street, Bishop's Stortford, Herts, CM23 2LE
If you wish to make a Freedom of Information Request, this must be in writing, with your full name and a correspondence address.
ICO Registration number: Z7368916
Subject Access Requests
As part of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), patients have a right to access their health records. You can have access to your records by one of the following methods:
- Online Access - We advise this option as you can simply log-in online and view your up-to-date record at any time you wish along with sharing it with whoever you wish to. By having online access to your record you can also take advantage of being able to request your repeat medication and book / cancel appointments too.
- Printed report – We can print your health record for you. Please submit a written request for
- Via a Third Party, i.e. a solicitor. We will require full written consent to release your health records to any third party acting on your behalf
Can we refuse to comply with a request?
We can refuse to comply with a subject access request if it is manifestly unfounded or excessive, taking into account whether the request is repetitive in nature. If we consider that a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive we can:
• Request a “reasonable fee” to with the request; or
• Refuse to deal with the request.
In either circumstance we will justify our decision. If we decided to charge a fee we will contact you promptly and inform you of the likely costs. We do not need to comply with the request until the fee is received.
How long do we have to comply?
We will act on the subject access request without undue delay and at the latest within one month of receipt. We will calculate the time limit from the day after we receive the request (whether the day is a working day or not) until the corresponding calendar date in the next month.
Can we extend the time for a response?
We can extend the time to respond by a further two months if the request is complex or we have received a number of requests from the patient. We will let you know within one month of receiving your request and explain why the extension is necessary.
Please see here for Privacy Notice COVID-19 for the Privacy Notice relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic and your records