Privacy Statement

Salus Medical Clinic wants to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients. We understand that General Practice is a trusted community governed by an ethic of privacy and confidentiality. Our practice is consistent with the Medical Council guidelines and the privacy principles of GDPR and Data Protection acts. We see our patients’ consent as being the key factor in dealing with their health information. This document details making consent clearer by advising you of our policies and practices of dealing with your medical information.

Managing your information

  • In order to provide for your care here, we need to collect and keep information about you and your health on our records (this includes the taking of your photograph.

  • We retain your information securely.

  • We will only ask for and keep information that is necessary. We will attempt to keep it as accurate and up-to-date as possible. We will explain the need for any information we ask for if you are unsure why it is needed.

  • We ask you to inform us about any relevant changes that we should know about. This would include such things as any new treatments or investigations being carried out that we are not aware of. Please inform us of changes of address and phone numbers.

  • All persons in the practice (not already covered by a professional confidentiality code) have signed a confidentiality agreement that explicitly makes clear their duties in relation to personal health information and the circumstances of breaching that duty.

  • Access to patient records is regulated to ensure that they are used only to the extent necessary to enable the member of staff to perform their tasks for the proper functioning of the practice. In this regard, patients should understand that practice staff may have access to their records for:

  • Making and organising appointments in the practice.

  • Identifying and organising repeat prescriptions. All prescriptions are signed by the GP

  • Generating social welfare certificates. These are checked and signed by the GP.

  • Typing referral letters to hospital consultants or allied healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians, etc.

  • Opening letters from hospitals and consultants. The letters will be scanned to the patient's electronic record.

  • Scanning clinical letters, radiology reports, and any other documents not available in electronic format.

  • Downloading laboratory results and out-of-hours coop reports and integrating these into patient records.

  • Photocopying or printing documents for referral to consultants, attending an antenatal clinic or relevant clinic.

  • Checking for a patient if a hospital or consultant letter is back or if a laboratory or radiology result is back.

  • When a patient makes contact with the practice to check if they are due any preventative services such as vaccination, antenatal, pill check, smear test, etc.

  • Handling, printing, photocopying, postage, and emailing of medico-legal and life accurance reports and associated documents.

  • Preparing patient records for transfer to a different GP.

 

Disclosure of Information to Other Health and Social Professionals

  • We may need to pass on some of this information to other health and social care professionals in order to provide you with the treatment and services you need. Only the relevant part of your record will be released. These other professionals are also legally bound to treat your information with the same duty of care that we do.

Disclosure Required or Permitted Under Law

  • The law provides that in certain instances personal information (including health information) can be disclosed, for example in case of infectious diseases.

  • Disclosure of information to Employers, Insurance Companies and Solicitors in general, work-related Medical Certificates from your GP will only provide a confirmation that you are unfit to work, the reason for same and when you will be fit to return to work. Where it is considered necessary to provide additional information we will discuss this with you. However, Social Welfare Certificate must provide a medical reason you are unfit to work.

  • In the case of disclosures to insurance companies or requests made by solicitors for your records, we will only release the information with signed consent.

  • Use of Information for Training, Teaching and Quality Assurance

  • It is usual for GP’s to discuss patient case histories as part of their continued medical education or for the purpose of training GP’s and/or medical students. In these situations, the identity of the patient will not be revealed.

  • In other situations, however, it may be beneficial for other doctors within the practice to be aware of patients with particular conditions and in such cases the information we only communicate the information necessary to provide the highest level of care for the patient.

  • Our practice is involved in the training of GP’s and facilitates medical student teaching and placements. As part of this program medical students that work in the surgery and may be involved in your care.

 

Use of Information for Research, Audit and Quality Assurance

  • It is usual for patient information to be used for these purposes in order to improve services and standards of practice.

  • GP’s on the Specialist GP Register are indeed required to perform audits. In general, information used for such purposes is done in an anonymous manner with all personal identifying information removed.

  • If it were proposed to use your information in a way where you would not be anonymous we would discuss this further with you and seek written informed consent.

  • Please remember that the quality of the patient service provided can only be maintained and improved by teaching, training, audit and research.

 

Your Right of Access to your Information

  • You have the right to access to all of the personal information held about you by this practice. If you wish to see your records in most cases it is quickest to discuss this with one of our healthcare professionals who will outline the information in the record with you. You can make a formal written access request to the practice manager and the matter will be dealt with formally as per the Data Protection Guidelines.

 

Transferring to Another Practice

  • If you decide to transfer to another practice we will facilitate that decision by making available to your new doctor a copy of your records on receipt of a signed consent from your new GP. For medico legal reasons we will also retain a copy of your records in this practice for an appropriate period of time.

 

We hope that this explains any privacy issues that might arise. If you have any questions please speak to practice reception, the practice manager or your doctor.