Privacy Notice for Patients

Information, Your Rights


Being transparent and providing accessible information to patients about how we will use your personal information is a key element of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).


The following notice reminds you of your rights in respect of the above legislation and how we as your GP Practice will use your information for lawful purposes in order to deliver your care and the effective management of the local NHS system.


This notice reflects how we use information for:

 The management of patient records;

 Communication concerning your clinical, social and supported care;

 Ensuring the quality of your care and the best clinical outcomes are achieved through clinical audit and retrospective review;

 Participation in health and social care research; and

 The management and clinical planning of services to ensure that appropriate care is in place for our patients today and in the future.


As your registered GP practice, we are the data controller for any personal data that we hold about you.


What information do we collect and use?


All personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully, whether is it received directly from you or from a third party in relation to your care. We will collect the following types of information from you or about you from a third party (provider organisation) engaged in the delivery of your care:

 ‘Personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified from the data. This includes, but is not limited to name, date of birth, full postcode, address, next of kin and NHS number


 ‘Special category / sensitive data’ such as medical history including details of appointments and contact with you, medication, emergency appointments and admissions, clinical notes, treatments, results of investigations, supportive care arrangements, social care status, race, ethnic origin, genetics and sexual orientation.


Your healthcare records contain information about your health and any treatment or care you have received previously (e.g. from an acute hospital, GP surgery, community care provider, mental health care provider, walk-in centre, social services). These records may be electronic, a paper record or a mixture of both. We use a combination of technologies and working practices to ensure that we keep your information secure and confidential.



Why do we collect this information?

The NHS Act 2006 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 invests statutory functions on GP Practices to promote and provide the health service in England, improve quality of services, reduce inequalities, conduct research, review performance of services and deliver education and training.


To do this we will need to process your information in accordance with current data protection legislation to:

 Protect your vital interests;

 Pursue our legitimate interests as a provider of medical care, particularly where the individual is a child or a vulnerable adult;

 Perform tasks in the public’s interest;

 Deliver preventative medicine, medical diagnosis, medical research; and

 Manage the health and social care system and services.


How is the information collected?

Your information will be collected either electronically using secure NHS Mail or a secure electronic transferred over an NHS encrypted network connection. In addition, physical information will be sent to the practice. This information will be retained within your GP electronic patient record or within your physical medical records.

See link for Fair Processing Policy, GDPR and Information Management Policies for NHS Mail:


Who will we share your information with?

In order to deliver and coordinate your health and social care, we may share information with the following organisations:

 Local GP Practices in order to deliver extended primary care services

 NHS Trusts/Hospitals/Health boards/Devon CCGs/Public Health/Child Health

 NHS 111 and Devon Doctors Out of Hours Service

 Social Services and Community Care services

 Organisations commissioned to provide health related services by Devon CCGs or NHS England including Voluntary Support Organisations


Your information will only be shared if it is appropriate for the provision of your care or required to satisfy our statutory function and legal obligations.


Your information will not be transferred outside of the European Union.

Whilst we might share your information with the above organisations, we may also receive information from them to ensure that your medical records are kept up to date and so that your GP can provide the appropriate care.


In addition, we provide data to NHS Digital (as directed by the Department of Health) such as the uptake of flu vaccinations and disease prevalence.


How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?

We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information that has been collected lawfully. Every member of staff who works for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential. We maintain our duty of confidentiality by conducting annual training and awareness, ensuring access to personal data is limited to the appropriate staff and information is only shared with organisations and individuals that have a legitimate and legal basis for access.


Information is not held for longer than is necessary. We will hold your information in accordance with the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016.



Consent and Objections


Do I need to give my consent?


The GDPR sets a high standard for consent. Consent means offering people genuine choice and control over how their data is used. When consent is used properly, it helps you build trust and enhance your reputation. However, consent is only one potential lawful basis for processing information. Therefore, the practice may not need to seek your explicit consent for every instance of processing and sharing your information, on the condition that the processing is carried out in accordance with this notice. We will contact you if we are required to share your information for any other purpose which is not mentioned within this notice. Your consent will be documented within your electronic patient record.


What will happen if I withhold my consent or raise an objection?


You have the right to write to withdraw your consent to any time for any particular instance of processing, provided consent is the legal basis for the processing. Please contact the Practice for further information and to raise your objection.

Type 1 Opt-out:  

You have the right to object to your confidential patient data being shared for purposes beyond your direct care by asking the practice to apply a Type 1 opt-out to your medical records. A type 1 opt-out prevents personal data about you, being extracted from your GP record, and uploaded to any other organisations without your explicit consent. If you wish for a Type 1 opt-out to be applied to your record, please contact The Foxhayes Practice and request the Type 1 opt-out form for patients to complete. 


Health Risk Screening / Risk Stratification

Health Risk Screening or Risk Stratification is a process that helps your GP to determine whether you are at risk of an unplanned admission or deterioration in health. By using selected information such as age, gender, NHS number, diagnosis, existing long-term condition(s), medication history, patterns of hospital attendances, admissions and periods of access to community care your GP will be able to judge if you are likely to need more support and care from time to time, or if the right services are in place to support the local population’s needs.


To summarise Risk Stratification is used in the NHS to:


 Help decide if a patient is at a greater risk of suffering from a particular condition;

 Prevent an emergency admission;

 Identify if a patient needs medical help to prevent a health condition from getting worse;


 Review and amend provision of current health and social care services.


As a practice we will use computer-based algorithms or calculations to identify registered patients who are at most risk, with support from the local Commissioning Support Unit and/or a third party accredited Risk Stratification provider. The risk stratification contracts are arranged by new Devon CCG or NHS England in accordance with the current Section 251 Agreement. [A Section 251 Agreement is where the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has granted permission for personal data to be used for the purposes of risk stratification, in acknowledgement that it would overburden the NHS to conduct manual reviews of all patient registers held by individual providers.]


Neither the CSU nor your local CCG will at any time have access to your personal or confidential data. They will only act on behalf of your GP to organise the risk stratification service with appropriate contractual technical and security measures in place.


Your GP will routinely conduct the risk stratification process outside of your GP appointment. This process is conducted electronically and without human intervention. The resulting report is then reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of staff within the Practice. This may result in contact being made with you if alterations to the provision of your care are identified.


As mentioned above, you have the right to object to your information being used in this way. However, you should be aware that your objection may have a negative impact on the timely and proactive provision of your direct care. Please contact Gillian Champion, Managing Partner, to discuss how disclosure of your personal data can be limited.


Sharing of Electronic Patient Records within the NHS


Electronic patient records are kept in most places where you receive healthcare. Our local electronic systems (such as SystmOne) enable your record to be shared with organisations involved in your direct care, such as:

 GP practices

 Community services such as district nurses, rehabilitation services, telehealth and out of hospital services.

 Child health services that undertake routine treatment or health screening

 Urgent care organisations, minor injury units or out of hours services

 Community hospitals

 Palliative care hospitals

 Care Homes

 Mental Health Trusts

 Hospitals

 Social Care organisations

 Pharmacies


In addition, NHS England have implemented the Summary Care Record which contains information including medication you are taking and any bad reactions to medication that you have had in the past. In most cases, particularly for patients with complex conditions and care arrangements, the shared electronic health record plays a vital role in delivering the best care and a coordinated response, taking into account all aspects of a person’s physical and mental health.


Many patients are understandably not able to provide a full account of their care, or may not be in a position to do so. The shared record means patients do not have to repeat their medical history at every care setting.


Your record will be automatically setup to be shared with the organisations listed above; however you have the right to ask your GP to disable this function or restrict access to specific elements of your record. This will mean that the information recorded by your GP will not be visible at any other care setting. You can also reinstate your consent at any time by giving your permission to override your previous dissent.


Invoice Validation


If you have received treatment within the NHS, the local Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) may require access to your personal information to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for payment for the treatment or procedures you have received. Information such as your name, address, date of treatment and associated treatment code may be passed onto the CSU to enable them to process the bill. These details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential. This information is only used to validate invoices in accordance with the current Section 251 Agreement and will not be shared for any further commissioning purposes.


Your Right of Access to Your Records


The Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulations allows you to find out what information is held about you including information held within your medical records, either in electronic or physical format. This is known as the “right of subject access”. If you would like to have access to all or part of your records, you can make a request in writing to the organisation that you believe holds your information. This can be your GP, or a provider that is or has delivered your treatment and care. You should however be aware that some details within your health records may be exempt from disclosure; however this will be in the interests of your wellbeing or to protect the identity of a third party. If you would like access to your GP record please submit your request in writing to: Gillian Champion – Managing Partner.




In the event that your feel we as your GP Practice have not complied with the current data protection legislation, either in responding to your request or in our general processing of your personal information, you should raise your concerns in the first instance in writing to Gillian Champion – Managing Partner.


If you remain dissatisfied with our response you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at:


Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Enquiry Line: 01625 545700 or online at


The Practice may collect, hold and share information about you in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to plan and manage services, check that care is being provided and prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

 Information about your COVID-19 status may be shared within the NHS and with other partners involved in your care and treatment, along with:

GP Online Consultation Service Privacy Notices


By law, all organisations that use personal information (personal data) must provide a clear description of how it is used and also provide any related information to ensure the processing is carried out lawfully and fairly. Your GPs main Privacy Notice is available on their website (or please contact their reception).

The additional information provided below describes only the use of your information when you use your GPs online consultation service. Where there are differences depending on the location of your Practice (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland), these are specifically noted below.

Please ensure you read your GPs main Privacy Notice and if you wish to use their online consultation service here, please also read the supplementary information below:

Online Consultation Service if your GP Practice is in England

Your GP Practice has engaged a specialised online consultation supplier which is approved to NHS England technical standards and has gone through stringent scrutiny and achieved all necessary requirements to provide Online Consultations. NHS England, on behalf of your GP, contracts with the supplier and acts as a Joint Controller with your GP for this system. However, NHS England will not receive any of your personal information, so your GP remains responsible for your data and will ensure that any data you provide to use this service is used for the online consultation purposes only.

The name of the organisation we have engaged to provide this service is eConsult Health Ltd. (eConsult), who will act as a Processor of your personal data under GDPR.

NHS Digital enables your connection to eConsult, your GPs specialised online consultation supplier through their secure authentication service known as NHS login. NHS Digital does this on behalf of your GP. If you use NHS login, NHS Digital will also act as a Processor under GDPR.

What is the lawful basis for your GPs online consultation service?

The following legal bases set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK Data Protection Act 2018 allow your GP to use your information when you use this online consultation service provided by them:

  1. When using your Personal Information (Personal Data):

Article 6 (1) (e) of the GDPR, which permits us to process your personal information that is necessary to provide a service which is in the public interest

  1. When using your Sensitive Personal Information (Sensitive Personal Data):

Article 9(2) (h) of the GDPR which permits us to process your health information which is necessary for the provision of health treatment.

What are the purposes of the processing?

Online consultations allow the GP’s patients to contact the Practice without having to wait on the phone or take time to come into the practice in person especially if a patient is not sure whether they need a face to face consultation. Online consultations enable patients to use a secure online system to ask questions, report symptoms and we can then respond by signposting patients to the right person e.g. a Doctor or to appropriate service or support.

What personal information is used?

Because this service is online, your GP’s need to ensure that they continue to provide you with a confidential and high-quality service. To do so, they need to properly identify you, accurately note both your request and their responses. If they were prevented from using this essential information, then they would be unable to provide the service securely and confidentially.

Information which is not needed for the service is not collected by eConsult.

Your GP uses the following information to identify and deal with your request.

  1. Identity and Contact Information: includes name, gender, date of birth, NHS number, email address and telephone number, postal address. If you have created an NHS login account you will already have verified who you are and you can, if you wish, use those details from your NHS login account to save you time and avoid having to manually enter your details to re-identify yourself to use the Online Consultation service.
  2. Special Categories of Personal Information: your health information such as your symptoms, conditions, medication and other details which are already held in your GP records and / or which you provide through the online consultation process.

Do we share your personal information?

Your GP controls your information

For GP Practices in England, NHS England confirms that they will only use your information to provide you with health services.

As mentioned earlier, your GP has engaged eConsult, a specialised organisation to provide this online consultation service on their behalf, so your personal data will be shared with them in order for them to provide this service to you.

If you are advised to seek urgent care, your information will not be shared with other health and care providers. 

The online consultation service is also made available to our patients who use the NHS App which can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. The NHS App is provided by NHS Digital and provides health services such as viewing your medical record. If you are logged into the NHS App, then you will also have access to your GPs online consultation service and the requests you make to them will be securely sent from the NHS App to their Practice system via NHS Digital. 

Whenever your GP shares your information, they will always comply with the law.

Where is your information processed and stored?

It is processed and stored within the United Kingdom.

How long is your personal information kept?

Your GP practice sets the retention periods for your information and instruct eConsult, their engaged contractor that provides this service on your GP practice’s behalf, to comply with these periods.  When your information has been copied to your GP’s own systems then your sensitive information will be deleted by eConsult. eConsult retain your contact details (name, email) for up to 5 weeks, in order to facilitate communication relating to the consultation, after which they are automatically deleted.

If you have been advised online to seek urgent care elsewhere, then your information will not be transferred to us and will not be retained after you have read the advice given.

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