Howdale Group Practice and Your Information
Howdale Group Practice takes your privacy very seriously. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller and our registration number is Z6925832
If you have any questions or wish to make a request in relation to your information, please contact us at;
Howdale Group Practice, Howdale Road, Downham Market, Norfolk, PE38 9AF
Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
Howdale Group Practice aims to provide you with the highest quality health care. To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you, such as nurses or physiotherapists, keep records about your health and treatment so that they are able to provide you with the best possible care.
These records are called your ‘health care record’ and may be stored in paper form or on computer and electronic systems and may include Personal Data;
- basic details about you, such as address, date of birth, NHS number, and next of kin
as well as Sensitive Personal Data;
- contact we have had with you, such as clinical visits
- notes and reports about your health
- details and records about your treatment and care
- results of x-rays, laboratory tests etc.
Healthcare providers are permitted to collect, store, use and share this information under Data Protection Legislation which has a specific section related to healthcare information.
What do we do with your information?
- Refer you to other healthcare providers when you need other service or tests
- Share samples with laboratories for testing (like blood samples)
- Share test results with hospitals or community services (like blood test results)
- Allow out of hours or extended hours GPs to look at your health record when you are going to an appointment
- Send prescriptions to a pharmacy
- Text patients in relation to healthcare services
- Samples are provided to the courier for delivery to pathology
- Share reports with the coroner
- Receive reports of appointments you have attended elsewhere such as with the community nurse or if you have had a stay in hospital
- Produce medical reports on request from third parties such as the DVLA or your employer
- Movement of Patient records to Primary Care Support England
A list of the partners that we usually share with is included at the end of this information.
What else do we do with your information?
Along with activities related directly to your care, we also use information in ways which allow us to check that care is safe and provide data for the improvement and planning of services.
- Quality / payment / performance reports are provided to service commissioners
- As part of clinical research – information that identifies you will be removed, unless you have consented to being identified
- Undertaking clinical audits within the practice
- Supporting staff training
- Incident and complaint management
CCTV is in place at the Howdale Surgery over spill waiting room only. The images are only for patient and staff safety only and are not recorded. There is also no audio facility so it is image only.
There are signs in the practice telling you that CCTV is in place.
We have followed the CCTV guidelines produced by the Information Commissioners’ Office.
The Howdale Group Practice records telephone calls at both sites for quality control and training purposes.
Sharing when Required by Law
Sometimes we will be required by law to share your information and will not always be able to discuss this with you directly. Examples might be for the purposes of detection or prevention of crime, where it is in the wider public interest, to safeguard children or vulnerable adults, reporting infectious diseases or where required by court order.
Care Quality Commission Access to Health Records
CQC has powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to access and use your health information where it is necessary to carry out their functions as a regulator.
This means that inspectors may ask to look at certain records to decide whether we are providing safe, good quality care.
More information about the CQC can be obtained on their website
We are required by law to provide additional information where practice use algorithms or profiling technology on patient data. For more information please use the link below to see a video clip of what this means.
Information Access and Rights
Data protection law provides you with a number of rights that the practice is committed to supporting you with;
Right to Access
You have the right to obtain:
- confirmation that your information is being used, stored or shared by the practice
- a copy of information held about you
We will respond to your request within one month of receipt or will tell you when it might take longer.
We are required to validate your identity including the identity of someone making a request on your behalf.
Right to Object or Withdrawn Consent
We mainly use, store and share your information because we are permitted in order to deliver your healthcare but you do have a right to object to us doing this.
Where we are using, storing and sharing your information based on explicit consent you have provided, you have a right to withdraw that consent at any time.
Our Data Protection Officer will be happy to speak with you about any concerns you have.
Right to Correction
If information about you is incorrect, you are entitled to request that we correct it.
There may be occasions, where we are required by law to maintain the original information – our Data Protection Officer will talk to you about this and you may request that the information is not used during this time
We will respond to your request within one month of receipt or will tell you when it might take longer.
You also have the right to make complaints and request investigations into the way your information is used. Please contact our Data Protection Officer or visit the link below for more information.
For more detailed information on your rights visit https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/
Sometimes your information will be used to identify whether you need particular support from us.
Those involved in your care might look at particular ‘indicators’ (such as particular conditions) and contact you or take action for healthcare purposes. For example, this might be to prevent you from having to visit accident and emergency by supporting you in your own home or in the community.
We will use automated technology to help us to identify people that might require support but ultimately, the decision about how or whether to provide extra support to you is made by those involved in your care.
Our Data Protection Officer will be happy to speak to you about this if you have concerns or objections.
Partnerships and Federations
Our practice uses West Norfolk Health to support us to deliver some of our services such as providing appointments when our practice is closed or community based services.
Here is some more information about who they are and what they do.
The practice will use third parties to provide services that involve your information such as;
- Removal and destruction of confidential waste
- Provision of clinical systems
- Provision of connectively and servers
Data analytics or warehousing (these allow us to make decisions about care or see how effectively the practice is run – personal data will never be sold or made available to organisations not related to your care delivery).
We have contracts in place with these third parties that prevent them from using it in any other way that instructed.
These contracts also require them to maintain good standards of security to ensure your confidentiality.
How do we Protect your Information
We are committed to ensuring the security and confidentiality of your information. There are a number of ways we do this;
Staff receive annual training about protecting and using personal data
Policies are in place for staff to follow and are regularly reviewed
We check that only the minimum amount of data is shared or accessed
We use ‘smartcards’ to access systems, this helps to ensure that the right people are accessing data – people with a ‘need to know’
We use encrypted emails and storage which would make it difficult for someone to ‘intercept’ your information
We report and manage incidents to make sure we learn from them and improve
We put in place contracts that require providers and suppliers to protect your data as well
We do not send your data outside of the EEA
How Long Do We Keep Your Information?
In line with the Department of Health Code, we will retain / store your health record for your lifetime. When a patient dies, we will review the record and generally it will be destroyed 10 years later, unless there is a reason to keep it for longer.
If you move away or register with another practice, we will send your records to the new practice.
Sharing Partners and Providers
Below is a list of our routine sharing Partners and Providers, please click on the name for more information
Referral / Test Results
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
North Cambridgeshire Hospital
Norwich Community Hospital
Guys and St Thomas Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital
West Suffolk Hospital
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
Norfolk Community Eating Disorder Service
Southgates Medical Centre
BMI Sandringham Hospital
Fakenham Weight Management
Gayton Road Health Centre
Norfolk Community Health & Care
Norfolk and Suffolk Mental health Trust
Gender Identity Clinic
Bourn Hall Clinic
Norfolk County Council Services
Leeway Domestic Violence and Abuse Services
British Pregnancy Advisory Service
Anglian Community Eye Service
St Nicholas Endoscopy Unit
Norfolk and Suffolk ME/CFS
Change, Grow, Live
St James Clinic
East of England Ambulance Service
Healthy Child Program
Home Oxygen Service
Terrington St Johns Surgery
West Norfolk Health Limited
West Norfolk Carers
West Norfolk Deaf Association
Kings Lynn Chiropractic Clinic
Norfolk Family Solutions
Electronic Prescribing Services
Various pharmacies across Norfolk and Waveney
Commissioner/ Safety / Quality Reports
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
West Norfolk Clinical Commisioning Group
Norfolk County Council
Digital Retinal Screening Programme
Anglia Health Protection Team (infectious diseases)
Police / Government
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS Pensions (NHS Business Services Authority)
Individual Funding Requests / Medicines Management
Norfolk Medicines Support
North Norfolk CCG
Confidential Waste Removal
Couriers / Delivery
Child Health Provide
Eclipse Solutions (Safety Reports)
Website Hosting / Mailing
My Surgery Website.
IT Service Provider
Arden and GEM CSU (IT)
Payroll / Finance
IRIS Accounting Software
Elizabeth Matthews Accountants
Associations / Groups / Providers
National Pharmacy Association
AGEM Medicines Optimisation
Medical Protection Society
Medical Defence Union
Provision of Clinical System
Out of Hours Provider
West Norfolk Health
This list is not exhaustive; should you need further information on other sharing Partners & Providers, please contact the Information Governance Lead.