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 practices are consistent with the Medical Council guidelines and the privacy principles of the Data Protection Acts.
We see our patients' consent as being the key factor in dealing with their health information.
This document is about making consent meaningful by advising you of our policies and practices on dealing with your medical information.
Disclosures Required or Permitted Under Law:
- The law provides that in certain instances personal information (including health information) can be disclosed, for example, in the case of infectious diseases.
- Disclosure of information to Employers, Insurance Companies and Solicitors
- In general, work related Medical Certificates from your GP will only provide a confirmation that you are unfit for work with an indication of when you will be fit to resume work. Where it is considered necessary to provide additional information, we will discuss that with you. However, Social Welfare Certificates of Incapacity for work must include the medical reason you are unfit to work.
- In the case of disclosures to insurance companies or requests made by solicitors for your records we will only release the information with your signed consent.
Use of information for training, teaching and quality assurance
- It is usual for GPs to discuss patient case histories as part 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, except with your consent.
- 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.
Use of information for research, audit and quality assurance
- It is usual for patient information to be used for these purposes in order to improve services and standards of practice.
- In fact GPs on the specialist GP register of the Medical Council are now required to perform audits. In general, information used for such purposes is done in an anonymous 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.
Your right of access to your health information
- 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 it is beneficial to discuss this with your doctor who will outline the information in the record with you). You can make a formal written access request to the practice and the matter can be dealt with formally.
Transferring to another practice
- 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.
We hope this document has explained any issues that might arise. If you have any questions, please speak to the practice manager/secretary or your doctor.