The Hart Surgery

York Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2DR

Telephone: 01491 843200

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GDPR | Data Protection | Privacy | Confidentiality

Please click to see our Privacy Notice


Patient confidentiality is embedded in all that we do. Every single staff member has regular training on information governance/patient confidentiality and a deliberate breach of confidentiality is considered a disciplinary offence.  This means that we cannot share information outside the NHS including with family members, partners or carers without direct permission from the patient.

Your Patient Record

The information we collect from you helps ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. It is important that the details you provide are accurate and you let us know of any changes, for example, if you change your address. Information may be written down (manual records), or held on computer (electronic records). The information we hold will include:

  • Basic details about you, such as name; date of birth; address; NHS number and next of kin.
  • Contacts we have had with you, such as clinic visits.
  • Notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you receive.
  • Results of investigations such as laboratory and x-ray results.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives, or those who care for you and know you well.

How do we use the information?

Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive and this will ensure that:

  • Your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professionals involved in your care have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and make decisions about the care you need.
  • We can contact you for health checks (for example, immunisation, cervical smears, blood tests or other preventative treatment).
  • Information is available if you see another doctor, or are referred to a specialist in another part of the NHS.
  • Your GP practice and the hospital have enough information to ensure continuity of care; therefore information will be passed from your GP practice to the hospital providing care and back again. In some cases, this is an automatic process.
  • There is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received.
  • Your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain.

Who has access to the information?

Doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals need access to your records. However, this is on a strict need-to-know basis and only includes those directly involved in your care. Secretaries, receptionists, and other admin staff will need limited access in order to carry out administrative tasks such as typing letters and booking appointments. All staff employed by the NHS organisations have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure.

What else do we do with the information?

Your information may also be used for one of the purposes listed below. This would normally be anonymised so that your name, address and anything else which could identify you are not visible.

  • To pay your GP for the care they provide
  • To review the care we provide to ensure this is of the highest quality
  • To plan services to meet future healthcare needs
  • To prepare statistics on NHS performance
  • To teach and train other health professionals
  • To conduct health research and development. You will be specifically asked for consent to any research project in which you participate directly
  • To help plan your ongoing care with other agencies, for example, Social Services
  • To audit NHS accounts and services, which may be carried out by external quality assurance teams.

The NHS is also required to have processes in place to manage patient information (e.g. keeping and updating records) and your medical information will be included within these processes.

The NHS is required by law to report certain information to the relevant authorities. Examples of this are:

  • Certain infectious diseases such as, measles and meningitis must be notified (this does not include HIV/AIDS)
  • Notification of births and deaths, and
  • A court of law can insist that medical information be disclosed to them in certain circumstances and they will guide you through the process. There may be a fee charged for this.

Information Sharing within the NHS

Please see here for further information.

Confidentiality does not mean that information cannot be shared aross the NHS but it important that the patient understands what is proposed and that you do not object. Information will only be shared on a need-to-know basis. We may need to share information within the NHS when it directly effects your care (eg when making referrals to secondary care) but we will never share patient identifiable information with a third party without your permission. The only exception to this if required to do so by a court order or if you or someone else is considered to be at risk of death or serious harm.

Summary Care Records

Summary Care Records (SCRs) are an electronic record of key information from a patient’s GP practice and as a minimum contain the ‘core’ dataset of medication, allergies and adverse reactions. 96% of patients have an SCR and it is accessible to out of hours services such as 111, A & E and emergency services.  It is assumed that patients consent to their SCR being shared.

GPs have enhanced functionality to add additional information to an SCR to make it more useful to other healthcare professionals. eg for patients with long term conditions, who are exceptionally frail or at end of life it may be of value to know more about the patient’s medical conditions or preferences.

Patient Choice: If you would like to object/dissent to your SCR being shared across the NHS or would like to consent to your enhanced SCR being shared please fill in the administrative help form on our home page to let us know

Research and Analysis

Patient data is collected from general practice to support a wide range of research and analysis to help run and improve health and care services.  This is done by the NHS digital who for the last 10 years, used a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) but was replaced in 2021 by the General Practice Data for Planning & Research.  However, this will also help to support the planning and commissioning of health and care services, the development of health and care policy, public health monitoring and interventions (including coronavirus COVID-19) and enable many different areas of research such as

  1. Research the long-term impact of coronavirus on the population
  2. Analyse healthcare inequalities
  3. Research and develop cures for serious illnesses