Your information, what you need to know
This privacy notice explains why we collect information about you, how that information may be used and how we keep it safe and confidential.
Why we collect information about you
Healthcare professionals that provide you with care are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within any NHS organisation. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.
We collect and hold data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients. In carrying out this role we may collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We may keep your information in written form and/or in digital form. The records may include basic details about you, such as your name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and also information such as outcomes of needs assessments.
Details we collect about you
Primary Care Sheffield provides a number of different healthcare services. We have broken down this privacy notice on subsequent pages so that you can see the specific details we hold, dependent upon which of our services you have accessed. However, in general, we hold the information which is pertinent to our providing care to you.
How we keep your information confidential and safe
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised with consent given by the patient, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law. Primary Care Sheffield complies with the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct. All our staff are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared. We hold information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Act. We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.
How we use your information
We primarily use information to enable our clinicians to better treat you and provide your healthcare. However, we also use your information to improve our services by:
- Reviewing the care we provide through clinical audit
- Investigating patient queries, complaints and legal claims
- Ensuring we receive payment for the care you receive
- Preparing statistics on NHS performance
- Auditing NHS accounts and services
- Undertaking health research and development (with your consent – you may choose whether or not to be involved)
- Training and educating healthcare professionals.
Sharing your information
We share your personal information with other NHS organisations. For example, we may share your information for healthcare purposes with NHS trusts, General Practitioners and Ambulance Services where they are directly involved in your care. We may need to share information from your health records with other non-NHS organisations, including Social Services. However, we will not disclose any health information to third parties without your explicit consent to do so, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health and safety of others is at risk or where the law requires it.
We may also be asked by other statutory bodies to share basic information about you, such as your name and address, but not sensitive information from your health records. This would normally be to assist them to carry out their statutory duties. In these circumstances, where it is not practical to obtain your explicit consent, we are informing you through this notice, which is referred to as a Fair Processing Notice, under the Data Protection Act that we may share that data.
These non-NHS organisations may include, but are not restricted to:
- Social Services
- Education services
- Local authorities
- Voluntary sector providers
- Private sector providers
Sharing of information is, again, dependent upon which of our services you have accessed and this notice therefore breaks that information down by service over subsequent pages. However there are some common areas which apply to all our services.
Invoice validation is an important process. It involves using your NHS number to check that the CCG is responsible for paying for your treatment. We can also use your NHS number to check whether your care has been funded through specialist commissioning, which NHS England will pay for. The process makes sure that the organisations providing your care are paid correctly.
The legal basis to use information for invoice validation is provided under Regulations made under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 and is based on the advice of the Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality and Advisory Group (reference CAG 7-07(a) and (b)/2013).
We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. Primary Care Sheffield may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
Information may be used for clinical audit to monitor the quality of the service provided. Some of this information may be held centrally and used for statistical purposes e.g. the National Diabetes Audit. Where we do this we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
The NHS is a research organisation, and by extension so are GP practices. Research is therefore part of business as usual and accessing data for research by staff is part of clinical care. There may be occasions where authorised research facilities would like you to take part in innovations, research, improving services or identifying trends. At any stage where we would like to use your data for anything other than the specified purposes and where there is no lawful requirement for us to share or process your data, we will ensure that you have the ability to consent and opt out prior to any data processing taking place.
The use of data by the Cabinet Office for data matching is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice. You can view further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.
To ensure that adult and children’s safeguarding matters are managed appropriately, access to identifiable information will be shared in some limited circumstances where it is legally required for the safety of the individuals concerned.
We will approach the management of patient records in line with the Records Management NHS Code of Practice for Health and Social Care. This sets the required standards for managing records for those who work within or under contract to NHS organisations in England, based on current legal requirements and professional best practice. Any specific details of data retention by service are detailed in subsequent pages.
Access to your information
Under the General Data Protection Regulation everybody has the right to see, or have a copy of data we hold that can identify you, with some exceptions. You do not need to give a reason to see your data. If you want to access your data you must make the request in writing. Under special circumstances, some information may be withheld. If you wish to have a copy of the information we hold about you, please contact us in writing at:
Subject Access Requests
Primary Care Sheffield
722 Prince of Wales Road
Our Data Privacy Impact Assessments are available upon request. If you would like to have access please email firstname.lastname@example.org detailing which system you wish to see the detail for.
Your right to withdraw consent for us to share your personal information
At any time you have the right to refuse/withdraw consent to information sharing. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you and could include delays in receiving care. If you wish to discuss this, please contact either the reception at the service you are accessing or by emailing email@example.com detailing which services you currently access and the best way for us to contact you to discuss the consent withdrawal.
Mobile telephone number
The General Data Protection Regulation requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information. We are registered as a data controller and our registration can be viewed online in the public register at: http://ico.org.uk/what_we_cover/register_of_data_controllers
Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and in a prominent area at the Practice.
Complaints & Compliments
If you have concerns or are unhappy about any of our services, or should you wish to pass on compliments please contact us using the details below:
Primary Care Sheffield
722 Prince of Wales Road
0114 322 3100
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact:
The Information Commissioner
0303 123 1113 www.ico.gov.uk
The following individuals are our named leads for information handling within Primary Care Sheffield.
- Senior Information Responsible Officer: Dr Andy Hilton, Chief Executive Officer.
- Caldicott Guardian: Dr Lucy Cormack, Medical Director.
- Information Governance Lead: Laura Pattman, Director of Finance.
- Data Protection Officer: Caroline Million
Contact the Primary Care Sheffield Caldicott Guardian by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions or concerns about data protection at Primary Care Sheffield email: >Caroline.email@example.com
For information on specific data sharing purposes relating to the services we provide, please choose from the links below.
Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found here:
The NHS Care Record Guarantee for England sets out the rules that govern how patient information is used in the NHS, what control the patient can have over this, the rights individuals have to request copies of their data and how data is protected under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out the rights patients, the public and staff are entitled to. These rights cover how patients access health services, the quality of care you’ll receive, the treatments and programmes available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong.
NHS Digital collects health information from the records health and social care providers keep about the care and treatment they give, to promote health or support improvements in the delivery of care services in England.
(This Privacy Notice is to run alongside our standard PCS Privacy Notice)
Due to the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and we, Primary Care Sheffield face due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.
In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way we, may therefore need to share your personal information, including medical records, with staff from other GP Practices in Sheffield, as well as other health organisations (i.e. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, Local authorities etc.) and 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.
The Secretary of State has served notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) to require organisations to process confidential patient information in the manner set out below for purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI.
Purpose of this Notice
The purpose of this Notice is to require organisations such as PCS to process confidential patient information for the purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI to support the Secretary of State’s response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Purpose). “Processing” for these purposes is defined in Regulation 3(2) and includes dissemination of confidential patient information to persons and organisations permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI. This Notice is necessary to require organisations such as PCS to lawfully and efficiently process confidential patient information as set out in Regulation 3(2) of COPI for purposes defined in regulation 3(1), 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.
Requirement to Process Confidential Patient Information
The Secretary of State has served notice to recipients under Regulation 3(4) that requires Primary Care Sheffield to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.
Primary Care Sheffield is only required to process such confidential patient information:
- where the confidential patient information to be processed is required for a Covid-19 Purpose and will be processed solely for that Covid-19 Purpose in accordance with Regulation 7 of COPI
- from 20th March 2020 until 31 March 2021.
A Covid-19 Purpose includes but is not limited to the following:
- understanding Covid-19 and risks to public health, trends in Covid-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19 and such risks
- identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with or at risk of Covid-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to Covid-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of Covid-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from Covid-19
- understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services and the need for wider care of patients and vulnerable groups as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 and the availability and capacity of those services or that care
- monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about Covid-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
- delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with Covid-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services
- research and planning in relation to Covid-19.
Recording of processing
A record will be kept by PCS of all data processed under this Notice.
Sending Public Health Messages
Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop PCS 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.
Research and Pandemic Planning
The Secretary of State has directed NHS Digital to collect, process and analyse data in connection with COVID-19 to support the Secretary of State’s response to COVID-19 and support various COVID-19 purposes set out in the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020, 17 March 2020 (as amended) (COVID-19 Direction) and below. This enables NHS Digital to collect data and analyse and link the data for COVID-19 purposes with other data held by NHS Digital.
The purpose of the data collection is also to respond to the intense demand for Primary Care data to be shared in support of vital planning and research for COVID-19 purposes, including under the general legal notice issued by the Secretary of State under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI).
NHS Digital has therefore been requested by the joint co-chairs of the Joint GP IT Committee (JGPITC) (the BMA and RCGP) to provide a tactical solution during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic to meet this demand and to relieve the growing burden and responsibility on General Practices. On 15 April 2020 the BMA and RCGP therefore gave their support via JGPITC to NHS Digital’s proposal to use the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) to deliver a data collection from General Practices, at scale and pace, as a tactical solution to support the COVID-19 response in the pandemic emergency period.
It is a requirement of the JGPITC that all requests by organisations to access and use this data will need to be made via the NHSX SPOC COVID-19 request process, that will triage and prioritise these requests and refer appropriate requests on to the NHS Digital Data Access Request Service (DARS). NHS Digital will consult with representatives of the BMA and the RCGP on all requests for access to the data. An outline of the process for this agreed with the BMA and the RCGP is published here. Requests by organisations to access record level data from this collection will also be subject to Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) consideration. Data applicants will need to demonstrate they have a lawful basis to access the data for COVID-19 purposes.
Benefits of this sharing
Organisations, including the Government, health and social care organisations and researchers need access to this vital data for a range of COVID-19 purposes, to help plan, monitor and manage the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will help save lives. COVID-19 purposes for which this data may be analysed and used may include:
- understanding COVID-19 and risks to public health, trends in COVID-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19 and such risks
- identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with, or at risk of COVID-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to COVID-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of COVID-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from COVID19
- understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19, and the availability and capacity of those services • monitoring and managing the response to COVID-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about COVID-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
- delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with COVID-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services; and
- research and planning in relation to COVID-19.
Data may be analysed and linked to other data held by NHS Digital or held by other organisations to which access to the data is granted for COVID-19 purposes, through the process described above.
Data will be collected nationally from all GP Practices by NHS Digital every fortnight. All requests to access this data will be triaged through the NHSX SPOC COVID-19 request process and assessed and fulfilled by NHS Digital through DARS. This will significantly reduce the burden on General Practice at a time when demand on resources is high, enabling General Practice to focus on delivering health care and support to patients. It will also reduce compliance burden and risk for General Practice associated with sharing data and complying with the terms of the general legal notice issued under COPI, which applies to General Practices.
Legal Basis for this collection
NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State under section 254 of the 2012 Act under the COVID-19 Direction to establish and operate a system for the collection and analysis of the information specified for this service: GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19). A copy of the COVID-19 Direction is published here: https://digital.nhs.uk//about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/directions-anddata-provision-notices/secretary-of-state-directions/covid-19-public-health-directions-2020.
Details of the information to be collected can be found on the NHS Digital website – Specification of this DPN. Type 1 objections will be upheld in collecting this data from General Practices and therefore the data for those patients who have registered a Type 1 objection with their GP will not be collected. The Type 1 objection prevents an individual’s personal identifiable confidential information from being shared outside of their GP Practice except when it is being used for the purposes of their direct care. The National Data Opt-Out will not apply to the collection of the data, as this is a collection which is required by law.
This information is required by NHS Digital under section 259(1)(a) of the 2012 Act to comply with the COVID-19 Direction. In line with section 259(5) of the 2012 Act, all organisations in England that are within the scope of this Notice, as identified below under Health and Social Care Bodies within the scope of the collection, must comply with the requirement and provide information to NHS Digital in the form, manner and for the period specified in this Notice. This Notice is issued in accordance with the procedure published as part of NHS Digital’s duty under section 259(8) of the 2012 Act.
Visitors to our services
We have an obligation to protect our staff and employees’ health, so it is reasonable for staff at PCS to ask any visitors to our practice to tell us if they have visited a particular country, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This must only be in pre-approved circumstances and we would also ask all patients to consider government advice on the NHS 111 website and not attend the practice.
Where it is necessary for us to collect information and specific health data about visitors to our practice, we will not collect more information than we need, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.
Review and Expiry of this Notice
This Notice will be reviewed on or before 31 March 2021 and may be extended by The Secretary of State. If no further notice is sent to PCS by The Secretary of State, this Notice will expire on 31 March 2021.