Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act
The difference between the two Acts is that if you wish to obtain information about yourself then the Data Protection Act 1998 will apply and you should make an Access Request. If the information that you are looking for is in relation to a public authority, the the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2000 will apply.
Occasionally we have to share your medical information with other NHS or Private (e.g. Bupa) health providers such as hospitals when we refer you for further care by a Consultant or other Health Professional. We do not disclose your medical information to other third parties such as insurance companies or solicitors without your written consent.
Data Protection Act and GDPR
You have the right to expect that information about you will be held in confidence. You also have the right to have access to the medical records held about you. Please see our privacy notice, which details how and why your personal data / information is held, used and where appropriate shared.
Fair Processing of information and how personal information is used and shared
Fairwater Health Centre holds a lot of confidential information about you as a patient. All clinical and administrative staff will have access to the information, but it will only be used to help with your care. Information will occationally need to be shared with other people outside of the Health Centre. These might be hospital doctors who the GP has refered you to, community based health care providers or agencies such as social services. The information will only be shared when in your best interests and only information relevant and necessary will be share. Information maybe shared with non health and social care agencies such as insurance companies, but this is only done with your written concent. You can also request that information is not shared.
For further information on why the NHS holds personal information and what it is used for, click the following link:
Access to Medical Records
Please telephone the surgery to book an appointment with the Practice Manager to obtain access to your medical records. This is known as a Subject Access Request.
There is generally no charge for copies of your medical records requested by you personally unless a large amount of information has to be copied or you make frequent requests for copies of your medical records. If a charge is applied, it will be to cover our reasonable admisttrative costs for producing the copies.
If an instrance company or solicitors acting for you wish to obtain your medical records, they should normally make the request under the Access to Medical Records Act scheme.
Freedom of Information Act
FOI is all about the right of access to information held by public authorities. It came into force in full on 1 January 2005.
The FOI Act gives two related rights:
- The right to be told whether the information exists
- The right to receive the information
The Act places a duty on public authorities such as the Fairwater Health Centre to adopt and maintain publication schemes. The Health Centre has adopted the Information Commissioner's model publication scheme. Details of the scheme, the information available unde it and any associated charges are on the documents page of this website.
Requests for information must be made in writing, which includes email. The request must state the name and address of the person applying for the information and must clearly state the information required.
Fairwater Health Centre will respond to requests within 20 working days.
There is no charge for the Publication Scheme itself. However, Fairwater Health Centre may charge a fee for responding to your request for information within the FOI Act depending on the class of request. If there is a charge, this will be shown as a sign in the publication scheme. The 20 days for responding to requests is put on hold until the fee is paid. If the fee is not paid within 3 months, it is assumed the applicant no longer wants the information.