If you would like to speak to a receptionist privately, please ask at reception.
All patient notes are treated with the strictest confidentiality and we comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Our staff are very aware of this. We do ask details of visits and emergencies to be disclosed to our staff in order to ensure appropriate use of resources. You have the right to see the records kept about you. Please ask at reception if you have any questions about this.
Members of the Primary Care Agency and qualified teams from local health bodies and the Care Quality Commission come into the practice from time to time to carry out inspections and audits. This is to check that the Practice is offering a robust service that meets all contractual obligations. The practice undergoes regular verification and revalidation checks and some medical records will be inspected at random to facilitate this. If you would rather your notes are not included in this process please inform your doctor.
Click here to download the Balmoral Surgery Information Security and Confidentiality Policy.
Your Data Matters to the NHS
Information about your health and care helps the NHS improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments.
In May 2018, the strict rules about how this data can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
What should patients do if they do not wish their data to be used for this purpose?
The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.
Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
If you wish to change your national data opt-out choice, it's helpful if you know your NHS number and please also ensure they you have an up-to-date email address or mobile phone number in your GP practice record, as this will be used to verify your identity when you use this service.
I have already have a type 2 opt out in my record, do I need to do anything else?
Where a patient had a type 2 opt-out registered on or before 11 October 2018, this was automatically converted to a national data opt-out and if they were aged 13 or over they were sent a personal letter explaining the change and a handout with more information about the national data opt-out.
Where can I go to find out further information?
To find out more information download an informative leaflet
Confidentiality For Young People
The policy of confidentiality extends to our younger patients consulting on their own (the basis of this policy is defined in law). Any matter discussed by a younger patient during a consultation will not be disclosed to a third party. We believe that most of our younger patients are competent enough to make an informed choice on their own and we would usually encourage them to discuss matters with their parents. In very rare circumstances if the young person is considered to be at risk, it may be necessary to disclose information to an appropriate third party.
The General Data Protection Regulations
The GDPR is a set of data protection laws passed in the European Union which came into effect from 25.5.18.We already do a lot of work involving Information Governance due to the nature of the information we keep about our patients so a lot of this is just building on what we have in place already.
If you would like to know anything about how we collect, keep and share your data, we will be happy to provide you with more information. Please keep an eye on our website and in reception where the updated privacy notices will be available to view.
To view our Privacy Notice, please click here.
Privacy Notice Children
Privacy Notice for Kent & Medway GP's
NHS Digital General Practice Transparency Notice for Pandemic Planning and Research
Privacy Notice for Diabetic eye screening
Candidate Privacy Notice
Privacy Notice for Employees
Coronavirus COVID-19 Privacy Notice
Download our COVID-19 Privacy Notice
Privacy Notice for National COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Programmes
General Practice Data for Planning and Research
Patient data from general practice has significantly contributed to the improvement of health and care services and treatments for many years. Patients rightly trust their GP to safeguard their data, a role that we know that all general practitioners take very seriously. This is why I am writing to share more information with you about how we are working to improve how this data is collected.
NHS Digital is making improvements to how data is collected from general practice, with a new framework for data extraction called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) collection.
You will have seen the announcement to pause the collection of this data, to provide more time to engage with GPs, patients, health charities and others, and to strengthen the plan.
We are working in collaboration with a range of partners including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the British Medical Association (BMA). I want to reassure you that we have heard your concerns loud and clear and will continue to listen.
I am writing now to provide an update on the four key areas of work to strengthen the plan. We hope this will foster your trust in the system and provide a strong basis for you and your patients to participate in the scheme with confidence.
Most importantly, I can confirm today that, while we are continuing to work on the infrastructure, and communication for the project, we are not setting a specific start date for the collection of data. Instead, we commit to start uploading data only when we have the following in place:
- the ability to delete data if patients choose to opt-out of sharing their GP data with NHS Digital, even if this is after their data has been uploaded
- the backlog of opt-outs has been fully cleared
- a Trusted Research Environment has been developed and implemented in NHS Digital
- patients have been made more aware of the scheme through a campaign of engagement and communication
Here each of these adjustments are set out, all of which are critical to the success and impact of the programme, including through better understanding of the huge benefits the programme will have to the NHS and to our ability to provide the best and safest possible care for patients.
For more information please click on the following link that will take you to the NHS Digital website:
We want to make the position around opt-out much simpler. While 1 September has been seen by some as a cut-off date for opt-out, after which data extraction would begin, I want to reassure you that this will not be the case and data extraction will not commence until we have met the tests.
We are introducing three changes to the opt-out system which mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:
- Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1 September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded
- NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out
- The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running, and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian
Together, these changes mean that patients can have confidence that they will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the system, and that the dataset will always reflect their current preference. And we will ensure it is easy for them to exercise the choice to opt out.
Click the link before for the Type 1 Opt out form:
National Diabetes Prevention Programme
NHS England has commissioned a provider, Xyla Health and Wellbeing, to provide the ‘Your local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme’ for patients at risk of type 2 diabetes. Once a patient is referred, they will be contacted for a motivational interview with the provider (Xyla) to help them enrol onto the course and to have an opportunity to ask any questions they have at this time, including if you don’t want to enrol in the programme. Xyla Health and Wellbeing is part of the Acacium Group and sometimes, if required and legally allowed, Xyla may share some of your basic details such as your name and contact details with providers who have been identified as suitable to contact you to provide support for you during this programme. Any sharing of your data is done as little as possible, under due diligence and in compliance with applicable laws. For full details on how Xyla would use your data for the diabetes prevention programme, see their privacy notice at: https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-prevention-privacy-policy/ For general information on the national diabetes prevention programme, please visit the NHS England website on this at: https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/