Patient confidentiality

Confidentiality of patient information is an essential part of medical care. Because the NHS is large and complex, confidentiality issues are regulated. This is because confidential information needs to be shared amongst different people and those working in the NHS have to keep it safe.

For instance. When your doctor refers you to a hospital specialist, he or she has to write a letter to that specialist with your personal and medical details. But it is not just the doctors concerned who see that information, it is also the secretary who types the letter, the clerk who files it in your records at the hospital, and the nurse who may be assisting the doctor that you see. The are also numerous others. And when the specialist sends a report back to us, that letter is seen by clerical staff at this Medical Practice who scan it into our computer system. That makes the information accessible by all the doctors and nurses and some others who work here.

We and the whole NHS recognise that patients have the right to confidentiality, and the right to know what its limitations are, and how he look after your personal information. We also recognise that you have a right to have a say in who sees your information and to be able to control it.

Some time ago an NHS committee led by Dame Fiona Caldicott drew up recommendations on how the NHS should deal with patient identifiable information. The report is known as the Caldicott Report and one of the recommendations is that each NHS unit should have an identifiable person who is responsible for the policy on these issues. That person is known as the Caldicott Guardian and for the Keyworth Medical Practice it is Dr Hamilton . For Community staff it is Jane Wilson, a Health Visitor at East Bridgford Health Centre.

More information about Caldicott at www.doh.gov.uk/confiden/crep.htm

There is a notice in the Keyworth Medical Practice waiting room detailing general NHS policy on these issues.

Because this a new area for most people we would welcome feedback from you if you have questions or issues you have views about and want to make them known. You are welcome to email us by clicking here. We will reply.

Confidentiality notice