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Your Information

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

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.

Telephone Recording

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

Eclipse Service

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

Case Finding

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.


Information Technology

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

Ipswich Hospital 

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

North Cambridgeshire Hospital


Papworth 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

Nuffield Hospitals

Norwich Spire

Cambridge Spire

BMI Sandringham Hospital

Fakenham Weight Management

Gayton Road Health Centre

Tapping House

Social Services

Norfolk Community Health & Care

Norfolk and Suffolk Mental health Trust

Gender Identity Clinic

Bourn Hall Clinic


Point 1

Norfolk County Council Services


Leeway Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Anglian Community Eye Service

Care UK


St Nicholas Endoscopy Unit

Norfolk and Suffolk ME/CFS

Change, Grow, Live

St James Clinic

Allied Physiotherapy


East of England Ambulance Service


Healthy Child Program

Home Oxygen Service

RCGP (Extraction)

Fitzwilliam Hospital

Chatterton House

Terrington St Johns Surgery

West Norfolk Health Limited

West Norfolk Carers

West Norfolk Deaf Association

Kings Lynn Chiropractic Clinic

Marie Stopes

Norfolk Family Solutions

Childrens Services

Electronic Prescribing Services

Various pharmacies across Norfolk and Waveney

Coroner Reports

Norfolk Coroners

Ipswich Coroners

Commissioner/ Safety / Quality Reports

Care Quality Commission (CQC) 

West Norfolk Clinical Commisioning Group


NHS England

Norfolk County Council

Digital Retinal Screening Programme

Public Health

Anglia Health Protection Team (infectious diseases)

Police / Government

Norfolk Constabulary


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

Restore Datashred

Clinical Waste


Couriers / Delivery


ERS Medical

City Sprint


Multifunctional Devices

Mayday Ltd


Premier Voice

HealthCare Softwares


INR Star

Health Intelliegence

Child Health Provide

Eclipse Solutions (Safety Reports)

Open Exeter


Website Hosting / Mailing

NHS Choices

My Surgery Website.

Healthcare Hardware


IT Service Provider

Dionysys Ltd

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.

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