Data Protection and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
How we look after and safeguard information about you
Our optical practices and their staff are members of your local healthcare team. They aim to provide you with the highest quality of healthcare. To do this they need to keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you. We know that you value your privacy and the security of personal information held about you.
Information recorded may include:
Basic details about you, such as address, date of birth, next of kin;
details of your spectacle or contact lens prescription;
details of glasses or contact lenses supplied to you;
other details and notes about your health and medical treatment;
records of medicines you have been prescribed by your doctor;
information relevant to your continued care from other people who care for you and know you well, such as other health professionals and relatives.
As part of providing a professional, safe and efficient service, there is certain information that we record. This includes details about your ocular health, your general health, advice given and referrals made to other health professionals. This information won’t be shared with anyone else except under the circumstances described below in ‘Sharing Information’.
The information held about you will not be shared for any reason, unless:
You ask us to do so;
We ask and you give us specific permission;
We are permitted by law, for example where public interest overrides the need to keep the information confidential.
The types of people we may ask you for permission to share information with include your doctors (GP and hospital) and other health professionals.
Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep this information confidential, subject to recognised exceptions of the types listed above. Important Notice
Following an eye examination (or on completion of a contact lens fitting) patients will be given a copy of their prescription (specification). Copies of both the above documents can be issued for a small charge but for the safeguard of our patients the following should be noted:
The document will need to be signed by the prescribing optician. He or she may be available on the same day, but the signature may be delayed until the optician is next in the practice.
Details will not be given out over the phone, this is for both security and the elimination of transcription errors.
Under no circumstances will patient details be given out to a 3rd party unless under strict written authorization of the patient concerned.
You have the right to confidentiality under the GDPR, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence (the Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply). We also comply with the NHS Code of Practice on Confidentiality and optical practices have a requirement under their professional Code of Ethics to keep records about you confidential, secure and accurate.
All of our staff contracts of employment contain a requirement to keep patient information confidential.
Our guiding principle is that we hold your records in strict confidence.
Your right to view your health record
You have the right to ask for a copy of all our records about you.
You will need to give adequate information in order for optical staff to identify you (for example, full name, address and date of birth).
If you think any information we hold on you is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know.
Our general data protection policy is set out below;
All personal data will be relevant and lawfully collected
Data shall only be held and used for lawful purposes
Data held on a specific patient will not be disclosed unless under written permission from the said patient
Every effort will be made to ensure data is accurate and up to date
An individual shall be entitled:
at reasonable intervals and without undue delay or expense
to be informed by any Data User whether he holds personal data of which that individual is the subject
to have access to any such data held by a Data user; and where appropriate, to have such data corrected or erased.
REQUEST FOR ACCESS TO DATA
Where we have already provided the information and you require a duplicate (such as a duplicate copy of your prescription) a fee of £5 is payable in advance.
A request for access to personal data must be made in writing subject to any applicable exemption. A copy of the information held both on manual record and computer will be provided, we do not charge for this unless it is a duplicate of information already provided. We are required to respond to your request within 21 days.