The Practice is aware of its obligations regarding protection of data as governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) which applies to manually recorded as well as printed data. We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about our employees and our patients in order to provide safe and appropriate dental care. We also need to process personal data in order to provide care under NHS arrangements. This document sets out our policy for maintaining confidentiality and all members of the practice must comply with these safeguards as part of their contract of employment in accordance with the GDPR.
If confidentiality is breached, it is the patient’s dentist who is responsible to the General Dental Council. An enrolled hygienist whose act or omission has breached confidentiality may also be called before the council.
Employees may be required to give certain information relating to themselves in order that the Practice may properly carry out its duties, rights and obligations as an employer. Such information will be processed and controlled principally for personnel, administrative and payroll purposes.
In order to provide a high standard of dental care and attention we need to hold certain personal information about our patients. This personal data comprises:
Personal information about a patient:
The term ‘processing’ may include the Practice obtaining, storing or holding the information or data or carrying out any set of procedures on the information or data; including organising, altering, retrieving, consulting, using, disclosing or destroying the information or data. The practice will adopt appropriate technical and organisational measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful access to, processing or disclosure of the information.
We will process personal data that we hold about patients in the following way:
There are certain restricted circumstances where the wider public interest outweighs the rights of the patient to confidentiality. This might include cases where disclosure would prevent a serious future risk to the public or assist in the prevention or prosecution of serious crime.
Disclosures can be made:
NHS payment authorities,
The Benefits Agency, where exemption from NHS charges is claimed,
Private dental schemes of which the patient is a member;
A general medical practitioner
A hospital or the community dental services
Other healthcare professionals
Disclosure will take place on a ‘need to know’ basis. Only that information that the recipient needs to know will be disclosed and the personnel concerned are covered by the same strict confidentiality rules.
Employees have the right to have access to information held about them and to have that information amended or deleted where appropriate.
Patients have the right of access to their health records held on paper or on computer. A request from a patient to see records or for a copy must be referred to their dentist. Access may be obtained by making a request in writing and the payment of a fee for access of £10. We will provide a copy of the record within 40 days of the request together with an explanation of the record should it be required.
The fact that patients have a right to the access to their records makes it essential that information is properly recorded. Records must be:
Any patient not wishing personal data held about them to be disclosed or used in the way that is described in the Code of Practice should discuss the matter with their dentist. They have the right to object, but this may affect our ability to provide them with dental care.
The principles of confidentiality give rise to a number of practice rules that everyone in the practice must abide by:
If after investigation, a member of staff is found to have breached confidentiality or this policy, he/she shall be liable to summary dismissal in accordance with the practices disciplinary policy.
These guidelines have been approved by the undersigned and will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Name: L Goodrick
Date approved: 16/05/2019
Review Date: May 2020
Information Security Policy
Information Governance Legal Compliance Policy
Freedom of Information Publication
Information Governance Policy
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