We understand how important it is to keep your personal information safe and secure and we take this very seriously. We have taken steps to make sure your personal information is looked after in the best possible way and we review this regularly. Please read this privacy notice (‘Privacy Notice’) carefully, as it contains important information about how we use the personal and healthcare information we collect on your behalf.
Why We Are Providing This Privacy Notice
We are required to provide you with this Privacy Notice by Law. It explains how we use the personal and healthcare information we collect, store and hold about you. If you are unclear about how we process or use your personal and healthcare information, or you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or any other issue regarding your personal and healthcare information, then please do contact our Data Protection Officer (details below).
DPO: Rachael Nicholson - Rachael.Nicholson@bradford.nhs.uk
“How the NHS and care services use your information”
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided
- research into the development of new treatments
- preventing illness and diseases
- monitoring safety
- planning services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made).
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and your information
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.'
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that this notice has now been revised and extended by a further notice from 10 September 2021 until 31st March 2022.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease. Additionally, the use of your information is now required to support NHS Test and Trace.
Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 31st March 2022 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be provided in writing and we will communicate the same to you.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
If you are concerned about how your information is being used, please contact our DPO using the contact details provided in this Privacy Notice.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Sharing information - Statement from the BMA GPC and the RCGP
At this time of global emergency it is essential that health and care professionals have immediate access to relevant clinical information that they need to provide the very best quality care for patients. Self-isolation and social distancing may mean that patients engage with health and care professionals outside of their usual context, and normal arrangements for providing access to records may not then be practical.
The action taken by NHSX and NHS Digital to make access to patient records quicker for direct care purposes is therefore important and necessary.As a result, professionals working at NHS 111, in urgent care settings or any GP practice will soon be able to access patient records on any other GP practice system using GP Connect to allow HTML access to records functionality.
NHS 111 clinicians will also be able to use GP Connect electronically to book patients who would benefit from further clinical follow up into a GP worklist following clinical assessment via the COVID-19 clinical assessment service (CCAS). They will also be able to send a message back to the GP practice regarding the outcome of consultation.
In addition, authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals across the wider health and care system will be able to access a patient’s Summary Care Record together with any additional information recorded in that SCR (SCR AI) where the patient has not dissented.
This will help health and care professionals to meet their legal obligations set out in the Notice issued on 20th March 2020 under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002 which “requires the processing and sharing of confidential patient information amongst health organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.”
We therefore support the actions being taken by NHSX and NHSD during this emergency period including a national “switch on” of data sharing of records between practices which could be vital if any practice has to close or shared care arrangements are operating specifically to care for patients with COVID-19 symptoms with patients then needing to be supported by others in the area.
We are assured that the use of these services will only be for the purposes as set out in the Notice and that this action is time limited to the period set out in the Notice, currently ending on 30th September 2020, but which is subject to possible further extension should the COVID-19 situation require it or revocation earlier.
We welcome the action being taken to avoid any unnecessary burden on practices including confirmation that no new Data Sharing Agreements will be required and the publication of a standard Privacy Notice addendum for practices to use. We will continue to engage with NHSX and NHSD during the emergency period to ensure that the action being taken is proportionate and strikes a balance between making information readily available to provide the best care we can, whilst protecting the rights and expectations of patients.
This practice is supporting vital health and care planning and research by sharing your data with NHS Digital. For more information about this see the GP Practice Privacy Notice for General Practice Data for Planning and Research."
Further information on the position of the Information Commissioners Office with regard to healthcare professionals is available at:
A statement from the National Data Guardian is available at:
Richard Vautrey - Chair, BMA General Practitioners Committee
Martin Marshall - Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners