How the NHS and care services use your information
The Parks Medical Centre is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Health and care organisations have until 2022 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care. Our organisation ‘is currently’ compliant with the national data opt-out policy.
The practice is registered for the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Please click here to view our Information Governance and Data Protection and Security Policy.
Please click here to view our Freedom of Information Publication Scheme.
The healthcare professional needs to assess your fitness for work before giving a fit note, so you will need an appointment with them.
Fit notes are free if you have been ill for more than 7 days when you ask for one. The healthcare professional might charge a fee if you have been ill for 7 days or less.
**Please be aware fit notes cannot be forward dated but they can be back dated, so please do not request it until your current note runs out**
Named Accountable GP
Every patient in England has to have a named accountable GP as part of the GP contract. At this practice you will be assigned a GP but this does not mean that you have to see that GP when you visit the practice. You are free to see which ever GP you choose. For more information please ask reception.
This practice was inspected in November 2019 and was rated ‘good’. A copy of the report can be found here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-550130122
Why does my doctor charge fees?
When your doctor is asked to give medical information about you in the form of a report, letter or certificate, the request kick starts a series of processes.
This takes time and is not always straightforward or simple to complete.
Some of the information is not available easily and will mean the doctor has to sort and select the right information for the request.
The doctor also must establish who is funding this work and if it is not part of their NHS work, agree a fee for this.
Surely the work is paid for by the NHS?
Many patients see their doctor as the embodiment of the NHS and all that it provides – free care at the point of delivery. However not all work doctors are asked to do is paid for by the NHS and many GPs are self employed. This means they must cover their time and costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc – in the same way as any small business. The NHS only pays for NHS work, any work outside of the NHS must be funded by other means and this is why fees are charged.
Why does it take so long?
Your doctor receives large amounts of request, and which is often to do with whether your general health allows you to do something e.g. to work, receive benefits, drive, play sport, attend school, own a house, a firearm or it is for insurance, court or other medico-legal reasons.
All requests will vary in complexity, volume and consistency ranging from signing a certificate which can take minutes, to an in-depth report with an examination that can take hours.
What your doctor is signing
When your doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true.
In order to complete even the simplest of forms, they may have to check your entire medical record (some of which may not be accessible on a computer or on site).
Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
Why does my doctor seem reluctant or say no to this request?
Your doctor is inundated with work. They have to balance their time with treating the sick, keeping their practice afloat and making sure they are doing all of this safely and within their professional duties as a doctor.
With certain exceptions written within their contract, doctors do not have to carry out non-NHS work. However, many choose to for the benefit of you and other families they treat.
Where a doctor chooses to undertake the work, we advise them to inform and always agree a fee in advance of undertaking work.
Should their volume of work prove to be greater or more complex than expected, the doctor will contact you to discuss how to proceed.
What can I do to help?
Help us to help you.
We like to know when we have got it right but we also want to know if we can improve our service. Feel free to speak to the GP, Nurse, Practice manager or receptionist.
The Practice follows the NHS procedure for dealing with complaints. Our aim is to give you a swift and honest answer should you complain.
For more information on the NHS Complaints procedure please click here
You may also wish to speak to POhWER. This is a statutory provision for those wishing to use the NHS Complaints process. Their leaflet can be found here
We also welcome suggestions to improve our service.