DATA PROTECTION POLICY and CODE OF PRACTICE
Why we have this Policy.
This practice collects and stores information and is therefore legally obliged to ensure that all personal data is protected. The practice is registered under the Data Protection Laws with the Information Commissioner and there are heavy penalties for infringement of the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR (May 2018)
It is important therefore that every team member understands how and why we use such data and how it must be stored and handled securely. We only hold information that is relevant and only for as long as it is needed.
Our data protection code of practice provides the required procedures to ensure that we comply with the 1998 Data Protection Act and GDPR 2018. It is a condition of engagement that everyone at the practice complies with the code of practice.
Position held within the practice
RightPath4 Ltd have written this programme to help you plan continual improvement in your practice and as a guidance as to how the CQC may implement the new phase of dental assessment and inspection starting in April 2015. The company makes no claims, guarantees or promises that the advice you choose to take will always lead to the desired outcome. RightPath4 Limited can in no way guarantee or be responsible for outcomes resulting from the use and implementation of information provided by RightPath4 Limited.
Much of the material is based upon personal experience of conducting CQC inspections, draft legislation and pilot inspections. We hope that you will find this helpful. RightPath4 Limited reserves the right to amend, change and alter this document without notice to you at any time it deems proper to do so. This document should be only be used as part of ongoing improvements to your CQC obligations and compliance in conjunction with other training and resources available to Registered Providers. No guarantee is given and no responsibility will be accepted for changes you decide to make or judgement decisions by CQC inspectors which vary from those expected within this document.
Improvement and regulatory compliance is a journey rather than a destination and RightPath4 encourage you to share your experiences with us and by so doing enhance the service we provide to patients, the duty we have towards our staff, the value of our businesses and of course the efficacy and proportionality of our Regulators.
None of the above exclusions and limitations is intended to limit any rights you may have under statute or statutory instruments.
Diana Hayes CEO RightPath4 Ltd
Please read the following policy carefully. You should ask Shahid Mansoor (Data Controller named in the GDPR. who is in charge of the correct operation of this policy if there is anything about which you are unsure.
Team members must
At all times, comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act (1998), and GDPR 2018:
Never name, or discuss identifiable information, about a patient/ Staff member outside the practice, including with friends or relatives of the patient/Staff member.
Never post pictures or information which could identify a patient/Staff member on any social media site. (See the practice Social Media Policy)
Store patient records securely and confidentially where it is not possible for other patients or individuals to read them
Store all staff records securely and confidentially.
Ensure that information about patients is never left unattended (e.g on a screen at the reception desk or paper records left in surgery or at reception)
Store paper records in lockable filing cabinets. WHICH ARE LOCKED WHEN UNATTENDED.
Not disclose to any other person or agency (such as a school or college) information as to whether a patient has attended for an appointment on a particular day or even is a patient of this practice. It might be suggested that the patient is asked to obtain the dentist’s signature on his or her appointment card to signify attendance if proof is required.
Not provide information about a patient’s appointment record to a patient’s employer
Ensure that when talking to a patient on the telephone or in person in a public area, other people cannot overhear sensitive information.
Ensure that discussions about patients do not take place in the practice’s public areas
Ensure that messages about a patient’s care are not be left with third parties or left on answering machines. A message to call the practice is all that can be left
Ensure that password-protected computer records are backed-up every day, with back-ups stored away from the practice
Ensure that the computer screen is NOT VISIBLE by patients or members of the public when standing at the Reception desk or public area.
Ensure the appointment book and day list are not visible to patients or anyone not involved in patient care
Never disclose patient information to a third party without express consent of the patient, including confirming that someone is a patient at the practice or that they have an appointment. This includes disclosure of appointment books, day sheets or computer screens to police officers or Inland Revenue officials, unless on the specific instructions of the dentist
Data must not be removed from the practice and if it is required to convey data to another person (e.g. for referral purposes) this is always made by means of a secured or encrypted method.
Post all written communications, including recalls or reminders, in an envelope
If called upon to demonstrate the practice’s administrative/computer systems, don’t allow actual patient information to be used.
Ensure that there is a named person ready to receive any transmitted information e.g. faxes regarding patient referral to third parties safe haven.
The practice will have achieved Information Governance to level 2 (in accordance with the current HSCIC Version applicable) or its equivalent standard if the practice is not required to be registered for Information Governance with HSCIC. Version 14.1 by March 31st 2018
What is ‘personal information?’
In a dental context personal information held by a dentist about a patient includes:
The patient’s name or even their ‘nickname’ or preferred name as written on a Record, current and previous addresses, bank account/credit card details, telephone number/e-mail address and other means of personal identification such as his or her physical description
Information that the individual is or has been a patient of the practice or attended, cancelled or failed to attend an appointment on a certain day
Information concerning the patient’s physical, mental or oral health or condition or protected characteristics
Information about the treatment that is planned, is being undertaken or has been provided
Information about family members and personal circumstances supplied by the patient or others
The amount that was paid for treatment, the amount owing, or the fact that the patient is a debtor to the practice.
Personal information is also held in this practice for all staff members and this will include
name, current and previous addresses
Bank account/credit card details and financial details
Telephone number/email address
Physical, mental or oral health or condition including vaccination log
EDBS disclosure numbers. The EDBS Disclosure is strictly confidential
Family members and personal circumstances supplied including ‘nick names’
If, after investigation, a team member is found to have breached Data Protection, he or she shall be liable to summary dismissal in accordance with our practice disciplinary policy.
Access to records
Patients have the right of access to their health records held on paper or on computer that we hold about them and to receive a copy, or they may authorise a third party, such as a lawyer, to do so on their behalf. Parents may access their child’s records if this is in the child’s best interests and not contrary to a competent child’s wishes. Formal applications for access must be in writing to Shahid Mansoor and accompanied by the appropriate fee (If applicable).
A request from a patient to see records or for a copy must be referred to the patient’s dentist. The patient should be given the opportunity of coming into the practice to discuss the records and will then be given a photocopy. Care should be taken to ensure that the individual seeking access is the patient in question and where necessary the practice will seek information from the patient to confirm identity.
Access may be obtained by the patient making a request in writing. There is normally no fee payable for this. We will provide a copy of the record as soon as possible and within 30 days at the latest.
Subject Access Request
GDPR grants people whose personal data is being held (known as Data subjects) by your Practice the right to access such personal data. This is referred to as a subject access request. Such requests by data subjects for the information held about them must be responded to promptly (within a month).
Practices need to update how they manage requests for information. In most cases, practices may not make a charge for providing this unless it can be shown that there is a material cost e.g. copying of radiographs. A practice may refuse or charge if a request is considered manifestly unfounded or excessive. If you refuse a request, you must explain without delay that the patient has a right to complain to the supervisory authority such as the ICO.
Because patients have the right of access to their records, it is essential that information is properly recorded. Records must be:
Contemporaneous and dated
Accurate and comprehensive
Signed by the dentist
Strictly necessary for the purpose
Unproblematic if such a disclosure to the patient needs to be made
If a patient does not agree
If a patient does not wish personal data that we hold about them to be disclosed, updated or used in the way that is described in this Code of Practice, they must be allowed to discuss the matter with their dentist; however this may affect our ability to provide them with dental care and they must be made aware of this.
The patient does not have a right to anonymity for medical records.
If your employment at this practice has ended
You are reminded that all personal data processed at the practice must by law remain confidential after your employment has terminated. It is an offence under section 55(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, knowingly or recklessly to obtain, disclose or procure information without the consent of the practice data controller. If the practice suspects that you have committed such an offence, it will contact the Office of the Information Commissioner and you may be prosecuted.
DATA PROTECTION CODE OF PRACTICE
INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS AND STAFF MEMBERS
We will keep your records secure
This practice complies with the Data Protection Act (1998) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. This means that we will ensure that your information is processed fairly and lawfully.
What personal information do we hold?
Your past and current medical and dental condition; personal details such as your age, national insurance number/NHS number, address, telephone number and your general medical practitioner
Radiographs, clinical photographs and study models
Information about the treatment that we have provided or propose and its cost
Notes of conversations or incidents that might occur for which a record needs to be kept
Records of consent to treatment
Any correspondence relating to you with other health care professionals, e.g hospital or community services.
EDBS Disclosure Numbers
Why do we hold this information?
We need to keep accurate personal data about patients and staff member in order to provide you with safe and appropriate dental care and services. We also need to process personal data about you if we are providing care under NHS arrangements and to ensure the proper management and administration of the NHS.
We are required to retain your dental records, X rays and study models while you are a patient or staff member of this practice and after you cease to be a patient/employee, for at least eleven years, or for children until age 25, whichever is the longer. For staff members we need to keep records for up to 5 years.
Your information is held in the practice’s computer system and/or in a manual filing system. The information is only accessible to authorized team members and Care Quality Commission Inspectors. Our computer system has been secured with audit trails and information is regularly backed up to ensure it is not lost.
We may need to disclose your information
In order to provide proper and safe dental care to:
Your general medical practitioner
The hospital or community dental services
Other health professionals caring for you
NHS payment authorities
The Inland Revenue
The Benefits Agency, where you are claiming exemption or remission from NHS charges
Private dental schemes of which you are a member.
Disclosure will take place on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, so that only those individuals/organizations who need to know in order to provide care to you and for the proper administration of Government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules) will be given the information. Only that information that the recipient needs to know will be disclosed.
In very limited circumstances or when required by law or a court order, personal data may have to be disclosed to a third party not connected with your health care. In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this Code of Practice will only occur when we have your specific consent. Where possible you will be informed of these requests for disclosure.
Keeping data secure
See Data Security Policy.docx