THE COWAL MEDICAL PRACTICE has a legal duty to explain how we use any personal information we collect about you, as a registered patient at the practice. Staff at this practice maintain records about your health and the treatment you receive in electronic and paper format.
What information do we collect about you?
We will collect information such as personal details, including name, address, next of kin, records of appointments, visits, telephone calls, your health records, treatment and medications, test results, X-rays, etc. and any other relevant information to enable us to deliver effective medical care.
How we will use your information
Your data is collected for the purpose of providing direct patient care; however, we can disclose this information if it is required by law, if you give consent or if it is justified in the public interest. The practice may be requested to support research; however, we will always gain your consent before sharing your information with medical research databases when the law allows.
Sometimes the also uses relevant information about your health to help improve services and public health in Scotland – for example, to find out how many people have a particular illness or disease. If so, information that identifies you is removed if possible. If the uses information that does identify you (for example, to include it in a disease register), they must explain how and why your information will be used.
Processing your information in this way and obtaining your consent ensures that we comply with Articles 6(1)(c), 6(1)(e) and 9(2)(h) of the GDPR.
Maintaining confidentiality and accessing your records
We are committed to maintaining confidentiality and protecting the information we hold about you. We adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the NHSScotland Code of Practice, as well as guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You have a right to access the information we hold about you, and if you would like to access this information, you will need to complete a Subject Access Request (SAR). Please ask at reception for a SAR form and you will be given further information. Furthermore, should you identify any inaccuracies, you have a right to have the inaccurate data corrected.
Risk stratification is a mechanism used to identify and subsequently manage those patients deemed as being at high risk of requiring urgent or emergency care. Usually this includes patients with long-term conditions, e.g. cancer. Your information is collected by a number of sources, including THE COWAL MEDICAL PRACTICE ; this information is processed electronically and given a risk score which is relayed to your GP who can then decide on any necessary actions to ensure that you receive the most appropriate care.
Your information may be shared if you have received treatment to determine which health board is responsible for paying for your treatment. This information may include your name, address and treatment date. All of this information is held securely and confidentially; it will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any third parties.
You have a right to object to your information being shared. Should you wish to opt out of data collection, please contact a member of staff who will be able to explain how you can opt out and prevent the sharing of your information; this is done by writing to NSS, preventing your information from being shared outside this practice.
In accordance with the Records Management NHS Codes of Practice (Scotland), your healthcare records will be retained for the duration of your life and for 3 years after your death.
What to do if you have any questions
The Data Protection Officer (DPO) for THE COWAL MEDICAL PRACTICE is based at Highland Health Board.
In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with any element of our data-processing methods, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the ICO. For further details, visit ico.org.uk and select ‘Raising a concern’.