The 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that we explain information we keep.
You have the right to know whether we hold information and how you can access this information.
You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO).
Some of the regulations seem still in development.
We hold your NHS medical records partly on computer and partly on paper and partly on CD.
We maintain the records to provide you with medical care, and also to document your treatment.
The medical records are recommended to be kept for at least 10 years after your passing, or for 30 years if they relate to childbirth or children.
The records are the property of the NHS and the practice is the data controller whilst you are registered with the practice for NHS care.
The records are returned to the NHS when you register with another practice, on embarkation and if you are in the services or held at her Majesty's pleasure.
You have always had a right to view the records, to have wrong entries corrected, and to have entries annotated if you think they are incomplete or misleading.
However you do not have the right to have entries deleted if they are correct, as the records are also used to verify what happened with your medical care.
We have been giving patients access to the electronic records for years without restrictions, free of charge, through a link and username / password login details.
We lodged a complaint with the software provider and the NHS in 2017 that some entries are not available to you (referrals and attachments). The current (2018) limit on file size of 5Mb of the software provider means some files are too large to attach. We can provide the entries and large files on CD.
If you wish to have copies to the paper records, please contact the reception to arrange a viewing appointment, feel free to bring a camera or phone to make copies. However the records are the property of the NHS and they cannot be removed or damaged. We spent 10 years putting the records in order, tagging and archiving old paper records and our filing system cannot be dismantled damaged or messed up.
If you wish us to make copies of the paper records for you, we have to charge for the time and materials used. We do not make a profit from these charges, they are lower than most practices and a lot lower than the charges for copies by Manchester civic court.
Please note that we are only obliged to provide the information once under the legislation, if you wish repeated copies or see the paper records again, we have to charge for time and any materials.
WHO ELSE HAS ACCESS TO YOUR RECORDS
We send some information to other healthcare organisations to help your treatment, for instance hospital specialists and physiotherapy.
We send some information to the social services and the police if it is essential for the protection of children or adults who cannot look after themselves. We may have to inform the DVLA if you are a danger and do not fulfil your legal obligation to report your condition yourself. Normally we get your agreement for any disclosures first.
The NHS (via what in 2018 is known as NHS Digital) can remove your information from our records and we are not able to stop this.
This removing of information is for payment purposes and to load some of your information (demographic and medical) onto a national database accessible to ~1,000,000 NHS staff. We have no control or knowledge what information is removed, where it is sent, or who accesses this.
The NHS has been (2018) passing some information to the home office and possibly to other organisations and has been using this information for research and monitoring purposes rather than for delivering healthcare to you. This use of your medical records is also outside our control.
Although you have provided the information to us for healthcare, the NHS does not view your demographic information as confidential and has been passing this to others. This is also outside our control.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT OPTING OUT
For opting out of NHS Digital passing your information to third parties, or to opt out of the central record store accessible to ~1,000,000 people see the state section page. It is difficult to find and difficult to complete these requests and the practice can no longer add codes to do this for you (see document on the right). Dr Beerstecher's understanding is that even though you dissent to having data shared or created as summary care record, your demographic information (name, address etc) will always be accessible to NHS digital.