Confidentiality Policy - Outline Privacy Notice
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is a law that determines how your personal data is processed, kept safe and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data. Personal data is information that is related to a single person, such as your name, age, medical history, diagnosis etc.
We use your personal data to provide a basis for all health decisions made by our care professionals and work effectively with others providing your care.
- must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
- collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes.
- must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.
- must be accurate and kept up to date.
- must be held securely.
- It can only be retained for as long as is necessary for the reasons it was collected.
- The right of being informed about how your data is used.
- The right to have access to your own data.
- The right to ask to have incorrect information changed.
- The right to restrict how their data is used.
- The right to have your data erased when no longer required by us.
- The right to move your data from one organisation to another.
- The right to object to their personal information being processed (in certain circumstances).
The changes in GDPR mean that we must get explicit permission from you when using their data for certain purposes. This is to protect your right to privacy and we may also ask you to provide consent to do certain things like contact you or record certain information about you in your clinical/staff records. You have a right to withdraw consent at any time. 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 at e.g. in accordance with the Caldicott principles, or to carry out a statutory function.
This is only a brief note of our privacy notice and an outline of why and how we use your data. For further information about how the practice complies with GDPR or a more detailed statement, please contact the Practice Manager.
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.
Access to Records
Under the General Data Protection Regulations, you are entitled to request access to the data we hold on you. This is called a Subject Access Request (SAR).
Please contact the practice manager if you wish to have a copy of this information. Without exception, you will need to provide photo ID to confirm your identity before the information is released to you. We will normally only release the information to you by collection at the surgery.
Once you have made your request, your GP will need to check your medical record to ensure that any sensitive information about third parties is removed before your record is released to you.
Please note: whilst the GDPR regulations state that a copy of your personal data should be provided free, we may charge for additional copies.
We 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.
If you have a complaint or concern about the Health Service treatment that you have received from the doctors or any of the personnel working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaint procedure as part of an NHS complaints system, which meets national criteria.
How to complain
We hope that we can sort most problems out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If this is not possible and you wish to make a formal complaint, please do so as soon as possible - ideally within a matter of a few days. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If doing that is not possible your complaint should be submitted within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem, or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem.
You should address your complaint to Mrs Margaret Gill (The practice manager), or any of the doctors. The complaints procedure will be explained to you and we will make sure that we deal with your concerns promptly and in the correct way. You should be as specific and concise as possible.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and aim to have it fully investigated within 10 working days of the date it was received. If we expect it to take longer we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to finish. When we look into your complaint we will aim to;
- Find out what happened and what went wrong,
- Enable you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this,
- Ensure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate,
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
You will receive a final letter setting out the result of any practice investigations.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are not the patient, but are complaining on their behalf, you must have their permission to do so. An authority signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness or infirmity) of providing this. A third party consent form can be provided if needed.
Complaining to your Health & Social Services Board
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe that this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. However, this does not affect your right to approach the Belfast Health & Social Services Board if you feel that you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of your investigation. You should contact Belfast HSC Trust, Complaints Office, 7th Floor, McKinney House, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, BT9 7JB (Telephone: 02895048000) (Email:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Contacting the Ombudsman
If you are still unhappy, you can refer your complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO). NIPSO will look at your complaint and decide whether they should investigate it.
Zero Tolerance Policy
We treat our patients with courtesy and respect and ask the same in return. We ask that you treat your GP and all other Practice Staff courteously – without violence, abuse or harassment.
GPs and their staff have the right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
Any behaviour verbal or physical which causes staff to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or threatened, is totally unacceptable.
The Zero Tolerance policy includes aggression or threats made in person, over the telephone or in written communication. The Practice considers threatening behaviour to be:
- Attempted or actual, aggressive threatening physical actions made towards any member of staff.
- The use of aggressive, threatening or abusive language, (including raising of the voice, swearing and cursing, shouting) which threatens of intimidates staff.
This policy applies throughout both premises, including any car park and grounds. It also applies to any employee or partner away from the practice but only in so far as it relates to the business of the practice.
Any instance or threat of physical abuse will be reported to the police. The offender will be removed from the premises by the police. The patient will then be removed from the practice list and BSO will be notified so they can inform the Patient that they must register elsewhere.
Other instances of abusive/threatening behaviour will be reported to the Practice Manager and recorded into an incident log book. The practice may report the incident to the police.
The patient may contact the Practice Manager to discuss any warning letter if they wish to do so. When the Incident Log Book shows a second recorded offence, the patient will be sent a final warning letter informing them of their breach of the Zero Tolerance Policy and they may be removed from the Practice list.