It is a legal requirement that confidentiality of patients' records is maintained at the highest level by all members of staff. The staff at this Practice record information about you and your health so that you can receive the right care and treatment. We need to record this information, together with the details of the care you receive, because it may be needed if we see you again.
We may use some of this information for other reasons, fo example, to help us to protect the health of the general public generally, to plan for the future, to train staff and to carry out medical and other health research for the benefit of everyone.
We are currently involved in research studies for which we provide anonymised information from patients' notes. The risk of you being identified from this information is extremely low as all directly identifiable details (name, address, post code, NHS number, full date of birth) are removed from your notes before they are collected for research, and automatic programs to de-personalise any free text (non structured or coded data) are run after information is collected. Individual patients' records are passed into a much larger anonymous database, containing records from millions of patients across the UK. This information is used by researchers outside this Practice.
The database to which we contribute anonymised records is known as The Health Improvement Network (THIN) and Clinical Practice Research Datalink. This data may be anonymously linked to other data, such as hospital data. This database is managed by a company outside the NHS which does not have access to your personal details, only to anonymous medical records. The data is used for research into such topics as drug safety, disease patterns, prescribing patterns, health economics and public health. Many of these studies provide useful information to medical staff on diseases, the use of drugs or outcomes of disease or treatment.
These studies may be performed by academic researchers or commercial companies amongst others. However, no researcher has access to your full details such as your name and address, initials or your full date of birth. The researchers are not given information about the GP nor the Practice name, address or post code.
If you would like to opt out of this data collection scheme, please let your doctor know and no data from your records will be collected for use in research. This will not affect your care in any way.
If anything to do with the research would require that you provide additional information about yourself, you will be contacted to see if you are willing to take part. You will not be identified in any published results.
A list of published research using the THIN database can be found at http://csdmruk.cegedim.com/THINBibliography.pdf or please contact Michelle Page on telephone number 0207 554 0663 or email email@example.com for a paper copy.
This GP practice is taking part in an important national project about diabetes care and treatment in the NHS.
The project is called the National Diabetes Audit (NDA).
To take part, your GP practice will share information about your diabetes care and treatment with the NDA. The type of information, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and enforced by strict rules of confidentiality and security. Taking part in the NDA shows that this GP practice is committed to improving care for people with diabetes. For a leaflet explaining more click here.
For general information on how using health records please click here
We meet quarterley with other health professionals including district nurses, palliative care nurses, social workers and mental health professionals. Patient care is discussed at these meetings. Because the patient in question being discussed may not have been officially referred to some of the team members, there is no valid relationship and therefore any patient who would want to opt out of having their care discussed at such meetings would need to let us know. We would point out that it is often an invaluable method of getting a good care plan in place, getting other professionals involved who are not currently and working together in the best interests of the patient. Patients who are discussed at these meetings tend to be highly dependent either because of age and frailty, mental health issues or because they have cancer and/or are end of life so often the more care professionals involved the greater help to the patient and their families.