This Practice wants to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients. We understand that a General Practice is a trusted community governed by an ethic of privacy and confidentiality. Our approach is consistent with the Medical Council guidelines and the privacy principles of the Data Protection Regulations. It is not possible to undertake medical care without collecting and processing personal data and data concerning health. In fact, to do so would be in breach of the MedicalCouncil’s ‘Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Doctors’. This leaflet is about advising you of our policies and practices on dealing with your medical information.
This practice has voluntarily signed up for the ICGP DataProtection Guideline for GPs. The processing of personal data in general practice is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the patient and for the provision of health care and public health. You can access the Guideline at http://www.icgp.ie/data. In most circumstances we hold your data until8 years after your death or 8 years since your last contact with the practice.There are exceptions to this rule and these are described in the Guideline referenced above.
In order to provide for your care here we need to collect and keep information about you and your health on our records.
We may need to pass some of this information to other health and social care professionals in order to provide you with the treatment and services you need. Only the relevant part of your record will be released.These other professionals are also legally bound to treat your information with the same duty of care and confidentiality that we do.
The law provides that in certain instances personal information (including health information) can be disclosed, for example, in the case of infectious diseases.
It is usual for GPs to discuss patient case histories aspart of their continuing medical education or for the purpose of training GPs and/or medical students. In these situations the identity of the patient concerned will not be revealed.
In other situations, however, it may be beneficial for other doctors within the practice to be aware of patients with particular conditions and in such cases this practice would only communicate the information necessary to provide the highest level of care to the patient.
Our practice is involved in the training of GPs and is attached to a General Practice Training Programme. As part of this programme GPRegistrars will work in the practice and may be involved in your care.
It is usual for patient information to be used for clinical audit in order to improve services and standards of practice. GPs on the specialist register of the Medical Council are required to perform yearly clinical audits. Information used for such purposes is done in an anonymised or pseudonymised manner with all personal identifying information removed.
If it were proposed to use your information in a way where it would not be anonymous or the Practice was involved in external research we would discuss this further with you before we proceeded and seek your written informed consent. Please remember that the quality of the patient service provided can only be maintained and improved by training, teaching, audit and research.
You have the right of access to all the personal information held about you by this practice. If you wish to see your records, in most cases the quickest way is to discuss this with your doctor who will review the information in the record with you. You can make a formal written access request to the practice and receive a copy of your medical records. These will be provided to you within thirty days, without cost.
If you decide at any time and for whatever reason to transfer to another practice we will facilitate that decision by making available to your new doctor a copy of your records on receipt of your signed consent from your new doctor. For medico-legal reasons we will also retain a copy of your records in this practice for an appropriate period of time which may exceed eight years.
You have other rights under data protection regulations in relation to transfer of data to a third country, the right to rectification or erasure, restriction of processing, objection to processing and data portability. Further information on these rights in the context of general practice is described in the Guideline available at http://www.icgp.ie/data. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data ProtectionCommissioner.
We hope this has explained any issues that may arise. If you have any questions, please speak to the practice secretary or your doctor.