How we keep your records confidential
The information we collect about you
Who are we? We are an NHS Business Partner – an independent organisation that supplies services to the NHS. All of our contact details can be found here.
Your dentist and other healthcare professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment you receive from the NHS. These help to ensure that we provide you with the best possible care.
The information we hold about you may include:
- Basic details about you, such as address and dentists name
- The name and address of your medical practitioner
- Notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you receive
- Results of investigations, such as X-rays and copies of those x-rays
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you and know you well
These types of data are both personal but also sensitive and therefore we have a significant duty of care to you to protect them. We take this very seriously.
Its important for you to know that we do not share any of your information with anyone other than those people who are responsible for your care. The only exception to this is described below in “secondary uses” and these data are completely anonymous.
We know that some of this can be confusing – so we have produced a very simple information sheet for you here, and if you have any questions – then please get in touch with us.
You can contact us by email at email@example.com or you can call us on 0845 8620841 (calling this number costs 2p per minute).
How & why we use your information
The information that we process on behalf of dentists allows us :
- ensuring the healthcare professionals involved in your care have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and plan your treatment
- enabling consistency in your care should you be referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS
- assessing the type and quality of care you have received
- investigating any concerns or complaints you may have about your care
- send you text messages to help you understand the referral process, and find out how your care was delivered. We will only do this if your dentist has indicated that you consent to this
We may also use your information to help us manage and plan services to ensure everyone has access to high quality healthcare. This is called secondary uses and only uses totally anonymised data. This means that we remove any aspect of the referral information that could identify an individual. Some of the things that we might use this anonymised information for includes:
- using information about treatment to ensure services meet the needs of patients for the future
- to prepare statistics on NHS performance and activity
- training and educating staff
- helping staff to review care standards to improve the patient experience
- paying for healthcare services or auditing the accounts of healthcare organisations
- investigating complaints or legal claims
- undertaking research
The information we process is collected on the basis that is necessary for your care, and we collect sensitive (health care information) in order to meet these requirements. When considering the new EU data regulations (known as General Data Protection Regulations, or GDPR) the lawful basis for data collection is Article 6 (1) f and Article 9 (2) h.
Cookies are text files that are placed on your computer to collect standard information and visitor behaviour. This helps us improve our website and make sure that the all the information is organised in an appropriate way.
You can find out more about cookies by visiting www.aboutcookies.org
We only keep your data as long as we need to. This is longer than most services as we need to comply with the law and the NHS medical records management guidelines. There is useful information on how long we are required to keep your data on the NHS website here.
We do not send your details to any other organisation other than those service providers who provide your direct care, for example Hospitals and Primary Care services and then only to meet the minimum requirements of the referral process.
How to contact us
Keeping your information confidential
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential in line with the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice. The General Data Protection Regulations sets out principles of handling information which all NHS organisations must adhere to. We have put in place technology and security policies, rules and measures to protect your information.
Sometimes we may need to share information about you with other agencies so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure.
Dental Referrals will only use information given to us in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. We have a legal duty to keep all information supplied by service users confidential. As a confidential service we will ask service users for their permission if we must contact other agencies, except where there are significant issues of risk such as child protection issues or harm to self or others. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
Accessing your health records
The General Data Protection Regulations allows you to find out what information about you is held in our records. This applies to both manual and computer processed records. This is known as ‘Subject Access Request‘. If you want to see information on your dental referrals then you can find our how to do this here. Under the new regulations there is no charge for us to supply this information to you. If you are interested in Freedom of Information requests, you can learn more about these here.
Its important to note that we don’t hold your dental records just information that your dentist has provided to refer you to other services.
When requesting your personal information from us, you should include the following information:
- your full name, address and contact telephone number;
- the URN number of the referral or referrals you are interested in
- details of the specific information you require and any relevant dates
You also have the right to ask about any logic involved in any automated decisions made about you. The dental referral service does not use any automated decision making processes in how you access care.
Please email this information to us using our secure email – firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post it to us at the address below. Please tell us how you would like us to send the information to you – using email or post. Both carry risks, so consider who else may have access your email or your post.
Subject Access Request Manager
Dental Referral Management Centre
6 The Offices, Stannian Fold,
For more detailed information
If you would like to know more about how we use your information, your rights under the General Data Protection Regulations, or if you would like to limit your information being used in this way, you can contact us at email@example.com or speak to your local patient experience team at www.pals.nhs.uk