This leaflet explains why Highgate Group Practice collects information about you, how we keep it safe and private and how we may use that information. This leaflet was last updated September 2022.
Why do we collect information about you?
Doctors and nurses have to keep a record about your health and any treatment that we give you. This is called your “GP record”, and helps us to really look after you.
Your GP record is only used to help doctors and nurses keep you well and make you better when you are not so well.
What do we record?
We keep a record of every time that you see someone at the surgery, as well as times that you have been seen somewhere else, such as in the Accident and Emergency department of a hospital.
We keep a record of:
- Your name, address, and information about those looking after you (such as your mum and dad).
- Your home telephone and mobile number (if you have one), and your email address if you want us to.
- Details of the times that you saw a doctor or nurse, here at the surgery and at other places
- Any tests that you have had (such as an x-ray)
How we keep your information safe and private
Your GP record is kept on a really secure computer system. Only doctors, nurses and receptionists that we give permission can look at your information. No one else.
And it’s really, really difficult to hack into that system. We make sure of that.
If you are old enough to have a mobile phone, or an email address, then we will only use that to contact you when it’s about “medical stuff” – like reminding you about an appointment that you might have to see your doctor at the surgery. If you don’t want us to text you anything at all, then just tell us and we will make sure that doesn’t happen.
Unless you want us to, we won’t use your email address to tell you about other things happening at the surgery, like new doctors and nurses working at the surgery. Or cake sales.
All your info is very private and we won’t tell anyone else about it unless they are also looking after you, or trying to get you better. And only if they really need to know about it.
So, at the surgery, the doctors, nurses, and receptionists can look at your GP record, if they need to. And if they do, they are not allowed to tell anyone else about it.
And if the doctors and nurses at the surgery don’t know what’s wrong with you, we will ask someone at the hospital to see you – and we will give that doctor or nurse information about you and what’s making you feel unwell. But sometimes we have to tell other people about stuff in your GP record.
Sometimes, “it’s the law”, and we will get in big trouble if we don’t.
So, if a judge tells us to, then we will have to give them information about you.
If the police tell us to, then sometimes we have to tell them as well.
If you’re ill, and that illness could be spread to all your friends and classmates, then we might need to let the right people know – so that they can try to make sure that no-one else catches that illness as well.
And sometimes we have to tell other people if we are worried that you, or someone else in your family, could be in danger.
Whenever we can, we would always tell you if we were going to tell someone else about you and GP record.
Some other medical places, such as the Accident and Emergency department at our local hospital, or other doctors and nurses that you might see when the surgery is closed, can take a peek at your GP record – but they will always try to ask you (or your mum or dad) first. The information in your GP record could be very helpful to them when they are trying to make you better.
You don’t have to say yes if they ask you, and you can ask the surgery not to allow anyone else to be even able to look at your GP record like this if you want.
The doctors and nurses at the surgery can also look at some of your hospital records – for example, when you went to Accident and Emergency with your broken arm. We can see what the x-ray showed. That information can be very useful to us when we see you in the surgery ourselves.
If you have any questions then please do ask someone at the surgery.