Code of Confidentiality
All persons who come into contact with any personal data and/or record patient or staff information must follow the code of confidentiality. This covers information recorded and held manually or electronically for clinical, technical or administrative reasons and also information heard during your day-to-day work or visit on any nhs site. It applies to any type of personal data including that which would allow either a patient or member of staff to be identified.
Throughout the nhs, personal data is collected, stored and used for many purposes. Privacy must be considered when we collect, store, use or dispose of personal data. Sometimes an individual can be identified, even when we think the information is anonymous.
A patient, carer or member of staff has the right to expect that information given in confidence is recorded accurately and will be used only for the purpose for which it is given, and that it will not be released to others without their permission, or for purposes that are exempt under the gdpr (general data protection regulations 2018).
Without this assurance, patients and/or staff may withhold necessary information required to provide high quality care.
Personal responsibility for confidentiality
In compliance with the gdpr 2018 and the principles of caldicott, all staff employed by st lawrence surgery are bound by a code of confidentiality which covers all manual and electronic data.
You have individual responsibility for safeguarding the security and confidentiality of information relating to patients, their relatives and carers and that of staff. The personal data of a patient, carer or member of staff, or information of a sensitive or privileged nature must not be talked about or sent outside of the practice without the consent of the person or for purposes that are listed under the gdpr. At all times staff must comply with the requirements of all relevant legislation.
Gender recognition act 2004
The 2004 gender recognition act (gra) makes it a criminal offence to disclose an individual’s transgender history to a third party without their written consent if that individual holds a gender recognition certificate (grc). Patients do not need to show a grc or birth certificate in order for the gra 2004 to be in effect, so it is best practice to act as though every trans patient has one. This means always obtaining a trans patient’s written consent before sharing details about their social or medical transition, sometimes also called gender reassignment, with other services or individuals. This includes information such as whether a patient is currently taking hormones or whether they have had any genital surgery, as well as information about previous names or the gender they were given at birth. Consent should always be obtained before information relating to the patient being trans is shared in referrals and this information should only be shared where it is clinically relevant, e.G. It would be appropriate when referring a trans man for a pelvic ultrasound but not when referring him to ent.
All staff, contractors and visitors to the surgery sign a declaration to confirm that they understand and agree to abide by the code of confidentiality, principles and personal responsibilities as above. They also declare that they understand that these obligations apply throughout their time employed or contracted by st lawrence surgery, or on visiting the practice, and continue to apply indefinitely after that period.
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