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Confidentiality and Data Protection

NHS - Sharing your Information

Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.

Sharing Information poster

To watch a video with information on how your information is shared click the link below -

Sharing your information video

For further information, please use the following links -




All patient information is considered to be confidential and we comply fully with the Data Protection Act. All employees have access to this information in relation to their role and have signed a confidentiality agreement. Information may be shared, in confidence, with other NHS organisations in the interests of patient care.

Please note that it is the Practices's policy to record all telephone calls for the purpose of patient and staff care, security, and dispute resolution. Recordings and their use will be at the partners' discretion and will also comply with practice's Data protection Registration.

The Practice will ask you for personal information so that you can receive appropriate care and treatment. This information is held on the Practice’s computerised Medical Information System. Information concerning your medical history may also be shared with relevant secondary care providers i.e. hospitals etc.

The Practice is registered under the Data Protection Act. The Practice will ensure that the patient confidentiality is maintained at all times by all the members of the Practice Team.

Linden Medical Centre's Responsiblity

Linden Medical Centre will ensure that employees fully understand all their responsibilities with regard to confidential data. The employees will sign a written statement of the responsibilities they are undertaking towards the security of the data.

The organisation will also ensure that arrangments are in place for the confidential disposal of any paper waste generated at work.

Linden Medical Centre will strictly apply the rules of confidentiality and in general will not release patient information to a third party without proper valid and informed consent, unless this is within the statutory exempted categories such as in the public interest, in which case the release of the information and the reasons for it will be individually and specifically documented and authorised by the responsible clinician.

We will not divulge your information to any organisation or body outside the NHS without you written consent



Privacy Notice

How we use your information

This privacy notice explains why the GP Practice collects information about you and how that information may be used. 

As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998.  In practice, this means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled in ways that are transparent and that you would reasonably expect.  The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way that personal confidential data are processed, therefore it is important that patients are made aware of, and understand these changes and that you have an opportunity to object and know how to do so.

The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within the NHS (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.).  These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.

NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both, and a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.  Records held by this GP Practice may include the following information:

 Details about you, such as address and next of kin

  •     Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
  •     Notes and reports about your health
  •     Details about your treatment and care
  •     Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
  •     Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you

The Practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that the information is kept confidential.  We can disclose personal information if:

  •     It is required by law
  •     You consent – either implicitly or for the sake of their own care or explicitly for other purposes
  •     It is justified in the public interest

Some of this information will be held centrally and used for statistical purposes.  Where we hold data centrally, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

Sometimes your information may be requested to be used for research purposes – the Practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.

Improvements in information technology are also making it possible for us to share data with other healthcare providers with the objective of providing you with better care.

Any patient can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way.  When the Practice is about to participate in any new data-sharing scheme we will make patients aware by displaying prominent notices in the surgery and on our website at least four weeks before the scheme is due to start.  We will also explain clearly what you have to do to ‘opt-out’ of each new scheme.

A patient can object to their personal information being shared with other health care providers but if this limits the treatment that you can receive then the doctor will explain this to you at the time.

Risk Stratification

Risk stratification is a process for identifying and managing patients who are at high risk of requiring emergency or urgent care.  Typically this is because patients have a long term condition such as COPD, cancer or other medical conditions which are at risk of sudden worsening.  NHS England (the national Commissioning Board) encourages GPs to use risk stratification tools as part of their local strategies for supporting patients with long-term conditions and to provide care plans and planned care with the aim to prevent avoidable admissions or other emergency care.

Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice.  A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your de-identified information using Johns Hopkins ACG software via GEMIMA as the data processor and is provided back in an identifiable form to your GP or member of your care team as data controller.  Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary your GP may be able to offer you additional services. 

Please note that you have the right to opt out of Risk Stratification.  

Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed, or wish to opt out of any data collection at the Practice, please contact the practice, or your healthcare professional to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be limited.  Patients have the right to change their minds and reverse a previous decision.  Please contact the practice, if you change your mind regarding any previous choice.

Invoice Validation

If you have received treatment within the NHS your personal information may be shared within a strictly monitored, secure and confidential environment in order to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group should pay for the treatment or procedure you have received.

Information such as your name, address and date of treatment may be passed on to enable the billing process.  These details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential. This information will only be used to validate invoices, and will not be shared for any further commissioning purposes.

How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?

We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (which is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office), Human Rights Act, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. 

All of our staff, contractors and committee members receive appropriate and on-going training to ensure they are aware of their personal responsibilities and have contractual obligations to uphold confidentiality, enforceable through disciplinary procedures.  Only a limited number of authorised staff have access to personal information where it is appropriate to their role and is strictly on a need-to-know basis.

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.


Who are our partner organisations?

We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used, with the following organisations:

  •     NHS Trusts
  •     Specialist Trusts
  •     Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
  •     Private Sector Providers
  •     Voluntary Sector Providers
  •     Ambulance Trusts
  •     Clinical Commissioning Groups
  •     Social Care Services
  •     Local Authorities
  •     Education Services
  •     Fire and Rescue Services
  •     Police
  •     Other ‘data processors’

Access to personal information

You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view information the Practice holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate.  This is known as ‘the right of subject access’.  If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’. please contact the Practice Manager in writing.  There may be a charge for this service.

Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and in the reception area.

The Practice is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998.  The registration number is Z6650482 and can be viewed online in the public register at


Further information

Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found in:

The NHS Care Record Guarantee: 

The NHS Constitution: programme:

Codes of practice for handling information in health and care including Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016, Code of practice on confidential information, HSCIC Guide to Confidentiality 2013

An independent review of information about patients is shared across the health and care system led by Dame Fiona Caldicott was conducted in 2012.  The report, Information: To share or not to share?  The Information Governance Review, be found at:

The NHS Commissioning Board – NHS England – Better Data, Informed Commissioning, Driving Improved Outcomes: Clinical Data Sets provides further information about the data flowing within the NHS to support commissioning.

Please visit the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s website for further information about their work.  Information about their responsibility for collecting data from across the health and social care system can be found at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the Regulator for the Data Protection Act 1998 and offer independent advice and guidance on the law and personal data, including your rights and how to access your personal information.  For further information please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website at




The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the Practice to produce a Publication Scheme. A publication Scheme is a guide to the ‘classes’ of information the Practice intends to routinely make available. You can view the current scheme by clicking on the link below:

FOI Publication Scheme


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