Privacy Notice – COVID-19

Our contact details

Organisation NameShore Medical
Address7 Poole Road, BH2 5QR
Phone number01202 767271
Emailenquiries.shore@dorsetgp.nhs.uk
Data Protection OfficerEmily Hutchings and Helen Williams (CCG)
Data Protection Registration NumberZ6503704

Update: Covid-19 and the use of your information

To look after your healthcare needs during the current coronavirus pandemic, we may need to share your personal information including health and care records with clinical and non-clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that we may need to share your personal information for the purposes of treating you or a member of your family, and to allow us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk, track and manage the spread of the disease. We may also need to use your information and health data to enable digital consultations and diagnoses, although we will always do this with your security in mind. We will only share your personal information when it is necessary to meet your needs or to meet public healthcare needs. It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak. During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes National Data Opt-Outs. However, in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected.

Some of our staff may need to work from home during this time and may have access to any necessary personal and/or medical information in order to look after your healthcare needs. All staff are required to follow the necessary security policies of the Practice to ensure that all information is kept safe, secure and confidential.

NHS England and Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to inform the Covid-19 response. This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves. All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation.

These are temporary measures introduced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care under Regulation 3(4) of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 to enable organisations to respond to and deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Unless a further extension is required, these measures will expire on 30 September 2021.

If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

Please note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email, as these messages are not direct marketing.

GP Connect

GP Connect is a programme run by NHS Digital that makes information held in GP practice IT systems available across health and social care. This allows other health organisations such as the new NHS 111 service, Covid-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS), to see a ‘read only’ view of your record at this practice, and based on this information they will be able to directly book you a patient assessment at the Practice. The CCAS service has been set up to assess suspected COVID-19 patients needing further assessment from primary care, but not requiring hospital treatment.

Online Consultations

This Practice has reduced the number of face to face consultations available and during this period of emergency we may offer you a consultation via telephone or via video-conferencing using AccuRx . By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are agreeing to this. As part of the clinical assessment during these electronic consultations, patients may be asked to show intimate areas either during a video consultation, or by sending an image to the GP. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would be with any other consultation. AccuRx is secure, encrypted and approved for use by NHS England. It is also fully auditable and is held on hardware devices that are also encrypted and password protected.

The Practice does not record video consultations or store images received, unless your GP would ordinarily have taken an image during a face to face appointment. If your GP deems it necessary to take an image of your symptoms during a video consultation for your medical record, or to share with a specialist for a second opinion, they will ask your permission, as they would usually do during a face to face consultation. In this instance the image will be included in your record and shared securely if necessary. Images are retained as part of the medical record in line with standard retention periods for GP records. If your GP would normally have described your symptoms in writing for your medical record during the course of a face to face consultation, they will continue to do so from the video and/or image and then securely dispose of any video and/or images received.

Patients should not feel pressured into providing medical consent for the use of video consultations and/or images in place of face to face consultations and can request a face to face appointment instead. Refusal to take part in a video consultation or provide an image will not affect the care that you receive. Your GP may also request that a face to face appointment is made if it is felt that circumstances are not suitable for a video consultation, or provision of an image.

General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDfPR)

As well as using your information to support the delivery of care to you, your data may be used by NHS Digital to help improve the way health and social care is delivered to patients and service users throughout England.  From 1 July 2021, NHS Digital will securely extract your information to provide access to patient data to the NHS and other organisations who need to use it, to improve health and social care for everyone. 

NHS Digital will primarily use your information in a way that does not identify you (your information will be pseudonymised).  However, they will be able to use their software to identify you in certain circumstances, and where there is a valid legal reason to do so.  NHS Digital may also share your information with third parties such as Local Authorities, Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), research organisations, including universities and pharmaceutical companies.

At the time of publication (May 2021), patients who have a “type 1” opt- out, will  be excluded from this programme and will not have their data extracted for this purpose.  Further information about GPDfPR can be found here: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research/transparency-notice.

We will rely on Legal Obligation (Article (6)(1)(c)), Health and Social Care (Article 9(2)(h)) and Public Health (Article (9)(2)(i)) as the legal basis for processing your data for this purpose.