Covid-19 and your Patient Information
Firs House Surgery (the Practice)
Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients
This privacy notice lets you know what happens to any personal data that you give to us, or any information that we may collect from you or about you from other organisations.
This privacy notice applies to personal information processed by or on behalf of the practice. This Notice explains:
• Who we are and how we use your information
• Information about our Data Protection Officer
• What kinds of personal information about you we hold and use (process)
• The legal grounds for our processing of your personal information (including when we share it with others)
• What should you do if your personal information changes?
• For how long your personal information is retained / stored by us?
• What are your rights under Data Protection laws
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) became law on 25th May 2018. The GDPR is a single EU-wide regulation on the protection of confidential and sensitive (special) information, the DPA 2018 deals with elements of UK law that differ from the European Regulation, both came into force in the UK on the 25th May 2018, repealing the previous Data Protection Act (1998).
For the purpose of applicable data protection legislation (including but not limited to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (the "GDPR"), and the Data Protection Act 2018 the practice responsible for your personal data is Firs House Surgery.
This Notice describes how we collect, use and process your personal data, and how in doing so, we comply with our legal obligations to you. Your privacy is important to us, and we are committed to protecting and safeguarding your data privacy rights.
How we use your information and the law.
Firs House Surgery will be what’s known as the ‘Controller’ of your personal data.
We collect basic personal data about you and location-based information. NHS health records may be electronic, paper-based or a mixture of both. We use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.
Records about you may include the following information;
• Details about you, such as your address, your Carer or legal representative and emergency contact details.
• Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments.
• Notes and reports about your health.
• Details about your treatment and care.
• Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.
• Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you.
• Contact details (including email address, mobile telephone number and home telephone number)
We will also collect sensitive confidential data known as “special category personal data”, in the form of health information, religious belief (if required in a healthcare setting) ethnicity and sex life information that are linked to your healthcare, we may also receive this information about you from other health providers or third parties.
How do we lawfully use your data?
We need your personal, sensitive and confidential data in order to provide you with healthcare services as a General Practice, under the General Data Protection Regulation we will be lawfully using your information in accordance with: -
Article 6, e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller;”
Article 9, (h) processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems
This Privacy Notice applies to the personal data of our patients and the data you have given us about your carers/family members.
Why do we need your information?
The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare and treatment.
To ensure you receive the best possible care, your records are used to facilitate the care you receive, including contacting you. Information held about you may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the NHS and the services we provide. Limited information may be used within the GP practice for clinical Audit to monitor the quality of the service we provided.
How we keep your information confidential and safe
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised with consent given by the patient, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law. The NHS Digital Code of Practice on Confidential Information applies to all our staff and they are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared. All our staff are expected to make sure information is kept confidential and receive annual training on how to do this.
NHS health records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. Your records are backed up securely in line with NHS standard procedures. We ensure that the information we hold is kept in secure locations, is protected by appropriate security and access is restricted to authorised personnel.
We also make sure external data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully.
We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.
Risk stratification data tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a person’s risk of suffering a condition, preventing an unplanned or (re)admission and identifying a need for preventive intervention. Information about you is collected from several sources including NHS Trusts, NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in this area, and from this GP Practice. Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 provides a statutory legal basis to process data for risk stratification purposes. Further information about risk stratification is available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/ig/risk-stratification/
The identifying parts of your data are removed, analysis of your data is undertaken, and a risk score is then determined. This is then provided back to your GP as data controller in an identifiable form. Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary, your GP may be able to offer you additional services. Please note that you have the right to opt out of your data being used in this way in most circumstances, please contact the practice for further information about opt out.
Individual Risk Management at a GP practice level however is deemed to be part of your individual healthcare and is covered by our legal powers above.
The Practice may conduct Medicines Management Reviews of medications prescribed to its patients. This service performs a review of prescribed medications to ensure patients receive the most appropriate, up to date and cost-effective treatments. The reviews are carried out by the CCGs Medicines Management Team under a Data Processing contract with the Practice.
The Practice will like to use your name, contact details and email address to inform you of NHS services, or provide inform about your health/information to manage your healthcare or information about the management of the NHS service. There may be occasions where authorised research facilities would like you to take part in research in regard to your particular health issues, to try improve your health., Your contact details may be used to invite you to receive further information about such research opportunities.
The Practice is dedicated to ensuring that the principles and duties of safeguarding adults and children are holistically, consistently and conscientiously applied with the wellbeing of all, at the heart of what we do.
Our legal basis for processing For the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) purposes is: -
Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’.
For the processing of special categories data, the basis is: -
Article 9(2)(b) – ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law…’
Categories of personal data
The data collected by Practice staff in the event of a safeguarding situation will be as much personal information as is possible that is necessary to obtain in order to handle the situation. In addition to some basic demographic and contact details, we will also process details of what the safeguarding concern is. This is likely to be special category information (such as health information).
Sources of the data
The Practice will either receive or collect information when someone contacts the organisation with safeguarding concerns, or we believe there may be safeguarding concerns and make enquiries to relevant providers.
Recipients of personal data
The information is used by the Practice when handling a safeguarding incident or concern. We may share information accordingly to ensure duty of care and investigation as required with other partners such as local authorities, the police or healthcare professionals (i.e. their GP or mental health team).
Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose.
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) collects de-identified patient data from a network of GP practices across the UK. Primary care data are linked to a range of other health related data to provide a longitudinal, representative UK population health dataset. You can opt out of your information being used for research purposes at any time (see below), full details can be found here: - https://cprd.com/transparency-information
The legal bases for processing this information
CPRD do not hold or process personal data on patients; however, NHS Digital (formally the Health and Social Care Centre) may process ‘personal data’ for us as an accredited ‘safe haven’ or ‘trusted third-party’ within the NHS when linking GP data with data from other sources. The legal bases for processing this data are:
• Medicines and medical device monitoring: Article 6(e) and Article 9(2)(i) - public interest in the area of public health
• Medical research and statistics: Article 6(e) and Article 9(2)(j) - public interest and scientific research purposes
Any data CPRD hold or pass on to bona fide researchers, except for clinical research studies, will have been anonymised in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office Anonymisation Code of Practice. We will hold data indefinitely for the benefit of future research, but studies will normally only hold the data we release to them for twelve months.
Data Sharing with partner organisations
We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:
• NHS Trust
• Specialist Trusts
• Primary Care Networks
• Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
• Private Sector Providers
• Voluntary Sector Providers
• Ambulance Trusts
• Clinical Commissioning Groups
• Social Care Services
• Local Authorities
• Education Services
• Fire and Rescue Services
• Other ‘data processors’
We will never share your information outside of health partner organisations without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when the health or safety of others is at risk, where the law requires it or to carry out a statutory function.
Within the health partner organisations (NHS and Specialist Trusts) and in relation to the above mentioned themes – Risk Stratification, Invoice Validation, Supporting Medicines Management, Summary Care Record – we will assume you are happy to for your information to be shared unless you choose to opt-out (see below).
This means you will need to express an explicit wish not to have your information shared with the other NHS organisations; otherwise they will be automatically shared. We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. There are occasions when we must pass on information, such as notification of new births, where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS), and where a formal court order has been issued. Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strictest confidence.
Third party processors
In order to deliver the best possible service, the practice will share data (where required) with other NHS bodies such as other GP practices and hospitals. In addition, the practice will use carefully selected third party service providers. When we use a third party service provider to process data on our behalf then we will always have an appropriate agreement in place to ensure that they keep the data secure, that they do not use or share information other than in accordance with our instructions and that they are operating appropriately. Examples of functions that may be carried out by third parties include:
• Companies that provide IT services & support, including our core clinical systems; systems which manage patient facing services (such as our website and service accessible through the same); data hosting service providers; systems which facilitate appointment bookings or electronic prescription services; document management services etc.
• Delivery services (for example if we were to arrange for delivery of any medicines to you).
• Payment providers (if for example you were paying for a prescription or a service such as travel vaccinations).
Further details regarding specific third-party processors can be supplied on request to the Data Protection Officer as below.
Primary Care Network
The objective of primary care networks (PCNs) is for group practices together to create more collaborative workforces which ease the pressure of GP’s, leaving them better able to focus on patient care.
Primary Care Networks form a key building block of the NHS long-term plan. Bringing general practices together to work at scale has been a policy priority for some years for a range of reasons, including improving the ability of practices to recruit and retain staff; to manage financial and estates pressures; to provide a wider range of services to patients and to more easily integrate with the wider health and care system.
All GP practices are expected to come together in geographical networks covering populations of approximately 30–50,000 if they are to take advantage of additional funding attached to the GP contract. This size is consistent with the size of the primary care homes, which exist in many places in the country, but much smaller than most GP Federation. This means the practice may share your information with other practices within the PCN to provide you with your care and treatment.
Firs House Surgery is part of Cambridge Northern Villages PCN.
Where do we store your information electronically?
All the personal data we process is processed by our staff in the UK however for the purposes of IT hosting and maintenance this information may be located on servers within the European Union.
No third parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so and appropriate safeguards have been put in place such as a Data Processor as above). We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal and or special category (sensitive, confidential) data.
This practice operates a Clinical Computer System on which NHS Staff record information securely. This information can then be shared with other clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history, including allergies and medication.
To provide around the clock safe care, unless you have asked us not to, we will make information available to our Partner Organisation (above). Wherever possible, their staff will ask your consent before your information is viewed.
Shared Care Records
To support your care and improve the sharing of relevant information to our partner organisations (as above) when they are involved in looking after you, we will share information to other systems. You can opt out of this sharing of your records with our partners at anytime if this sharing is based on your consent.
We may also use external companies to process personal information, such as for archiving purposes. These companies are bound by contractual agreements to ensure information is kept confidential and secure. All employees and sub-contractors engaged by our practice are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. If a sub-contractor acts as a data processor for Firs House Surgery an appropriate contract will be established for the processing of your information.
How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with:
• Data Protection Act 2018
• The General Data Protection Regulations 2016
• Human Rights Act 1998
• Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
• Health and Social Care Act 2012
• NHS Codes of Confidentiality, Information Security and Records Management
• Information: To Share or Not to Share Review
Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential.
We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), where the law requires information to be passed on and / or in accordance with the information sharing principle following Dame Fiona Caldicott’s information sharing review (Information to share or not to share) where “The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality.” This means that health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients within the framework set out by the Caldicott principles.
Our practice policy is to respect the privacy of our patients, their families and our staff and to maintain compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and all UK specific Data Protection Requirements. Our policy is to ensure all personal data related to our patients will be protected.
All employees and sub-contractors engaged by our practice are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. The practice will, if required, sign a separate confidentiality agreement if the client deems it necessary. If a sub-contractor acts as a data processor for Firs House Surgery an appropriate contract will be established for the processing of your information.
In certain circumstances you may have the right to withdraw your consent to the processing of data. Please contact the Data Protection Officer in writing if you wish to withdraw your consent. If some circumstances we may need to store your data after your consent has been withdrawn to comply with a legislative requirement.
Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes. Where we do this, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the surgery will always gain your consent before releasing the information for this purpose in an identifiable format. In some circumstances you can Opt-out of the surgery sharing any of your information for research purposes.
With your consent we would also like to use your information
There are times that we may want to use your information to contact you or offer you services, not directly about your healthcare, in these instances we will always gain your consent to contact you. We would however like to use your name, contact details and email address to inform you of other services that may benefit you. We will only do this with your consent. There may be occasions where authorised research facilities would like you to take part on innovations, research, improving services or identifying trends, you will be asked to opt into such programmes if you are happy to do so.
At any stage where we would like to use your data for anything other than the specified purposes and where there is no lawful requirement for us to share or process your data, we will ensure that you have the ability to consent and opt out prior to any data processing taking place.
This information is not shared with third parties or used for any marketing and you can unsubscribe at any time via phone, email or by informing the practice DPO as below.
Sharing your information without consent
We will normally ask you for your consent, but there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent, for example:
• where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people;
• Safeguarding matters and investigations
• where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented;
• notification of new births;
• where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as Meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS);
• where a formal court order has been issued;
• where there is a legal requirement, for example if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence.
How long will we store your information?
We are required under UK law to keep your information and data for the full retention periods as specified by the NHS Records management code of practice for health and social care and national archives requirements.
More information on records retention can be found online at (https://digital.nhs.uk/article/1202/Records-Management-Code-of-Practice-for-Health-and-Social-Care-2016).
How can you access, amend move the personal data that you have given to us?
Even if we already hold your personal data, you still have various rights in relation to it. To get in touch about these, please contact us. We will seek to deal with your request without undue delay, and in any event in accordance with the requirements of any applicable laws. Please note that we may keep a record of your communications to help us resolve any issues which you raise.
- Right to object: If we are using your data and you do not agree, you have the right to object. We will respond to your request within one month (although we may be allowed to extend this period in certain cases). This is NOT an absolute right sometimes we will need to process your data even if you object.
- Right to withdraw consent: Where we have obtained your consent to process your personal data for certain activities (for example for a research project, or consent to send you information about us or matters you may be interested in), you may withdraw your consent at any time.
- Right to erasure: In certain situations (for example, where we have processed your data unlawfully), you have the right to request us to "erase" your personal data. We will respond to your request within one month (although we may be allowed to extend this period in certain cases) and will only disagree with you if certain limited conditions apply. If we do agree to your request, we will delete your data but will need to keep a note of your name/ other basic details on our register of individuals who would prefer not to be contacted. This enables us to avoid contacting you in the future where your data are collected in unconnected circumstances. If you would prefer us not to do this, you are free to say so.
- Right of data portability: If you wish, you have the right to transfer your data from us to another data controller. We will help with this with a GP to GP data transfer and transfer of your hard copy notes.
National Opt-Out Facility
You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning.
National Data Opt Out Leaflet
How the NHS and care services use your information
Firs House Surgery is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public .
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
• improving the quality and standards of care provided
• research into the development of new treatments
• preventing illness and diseases
• monitoring safety
• planning services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
Your right to withdraw consent for us to share your personal information (Opt-Out)
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
Type 1 Opt-Out
If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside the practice, for purposes beyond your direct care, you can register a ‘Type 1 Opt-Out’. This prevents your personal confidential information from being used other than in particular circumstances required by law, such as a public health emergency like an outbreak of a pandemic disease.
National data opt out
NHS Digital collects information from a range of places where people receive care, such as hospitals and community services. If you do not want your personal confidential information to be shared outside of NHS Digital, for purposes other than for your direct care, you can register a ‘National data opt out’. For further information about Opt outs, please contact NHS Digital Contact Centre at email@example.com referencing ‘National Data Opt Out’ in the subject line; or call NHS Digital on (0300) 303 5678; or visit the website
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
• See what is meant by confidential patient information
• Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
• Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
• Understand more about who uses the data
• Find out how your data is protected
• Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
• Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
• See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Access to your personal information
Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR): You have a right under the Data Protection legislation to request access to view or to obtain copies of what information the surgery holds about you and to have it amended should it be inaccurate. To request this, you need to do the following:
• Your request should be made to the Practice. (For information from a hospital or other Trust/ NHS organisation you should write direct to them.
• There is no charge to have a copy of the information held about you
• We are required to provide you with information within one month
• You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number and details of your request) so that your identity can be verified, and your records located information we hold about you at any time.
What should you do if your personal information changes?
You should tell us so that we can update our records please contact the surgery as soon as any of your details change, this is especially important for changes of address or contact details (such as your mobile phone number), the practice will from time to time ask you to confirm that the information we currently hold is accurate and up-to-date.
Mobile telephone number
If you provide us with your mobile phone number we may use this to send you reminders about your appointments or other health screening information. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive reminders on your mobile.
Objections / Complaints
Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed at the GP, please contact the GP, Practice Manager or the Data Protection Officer. If you are still unhappy following a review by the GP practice, you have a right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority: You have a right to complain to the UK supervisory Authority as below.
Tel: 01625 545745
If you are happy for your data to be used for the purposes described in this privacy notice, then you do not need to do anything. If you have any concerns about how your data is shared, then please contact the Data Protection Officer. For more information please click HERE https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/health-professionals/news-and-resources/information-governance/gdpr-and-the-data-protection-act-2018/
If you would like to know more about your rights in respect of the personal data we hold about you, please contact the Data Protection Officer as below.
Data Protection Officer:
The Practice Data Protection Officer is of Amanda Holloway of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG. Any queries regarding Data Protection issues should be addressed to her at: -
It is important to point out that we may amend this Privacy Notice from time to time. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our Privacy Notice, please contact the Data Protection Officer.