– The Data Protection Act permits a charge of £10 as a gesture towards the cost of staff time in copying notes
NHS Dentist has a DIGITAL X-RAY system.
Patients benefit greatly from this system of taking xrays as there is less radiation, no waiting time for development and patients can have a clear view of their x-rays on screen within seconds.
There will be a charge of £7 for full copies of x-rays or £10 charge for x-rays and notes.
Some patients feel that they have already paid for the x-rays to be taken and do not wish to pay again. The x-rays are officially the property of the NHS (not NHS Dentist) and the patient has only paid 80% of the cost of the x-rays. The NHS fee does not include copies for patients’ use.
We send copies of all relevant x-rays and clinical notes including your medical questionnaire to specialists if we refer you.
Data Protection Code of Practice
This practice complies with the 1998 Data Protection Act and the NHS Confidentiality NHS Code of Practice. This policy describes our procedures for ensuring that personal information about patients is processed fairly and lawfully. As a public body we are obliged to comply with the DPA and it takes precedence over the Caldicott principles
- Key Principles of DPA
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Not kept for longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with individuals’ rights
- Not transferred to countries without adequate protection
- What personal data do we hold?
In order to provide you with dental care, we need to hold personal information about you. This comprises:
- Your past and current medical and dental condition; personal details such as age, NHS number, address, telephone number and your doctor
- X rays and study models
- Treatment plans, past, present and future and any cost
- Notes of conversations/incidents that might occur for which records need to be kept
- Records of consent to treatment
- Correspondence received from or sent to you, other health professionals or bodies
- Records of financial transactions, debts
- Bad debt recovery including court applications, correspondence with solicitors or debt recovering agents
- Information on your ethnic origin and sexual preferences
- Details of your occupation, next of kin
- Details of appointments
Why do we hold information about you?
To provide safe and comprehensive dental care to you. To provide care within the NHS and to ensure our clinic can work efficiently and profitably. To comply with our contracts and legal responsibilities with the statutory authorities.
Administrative and clinical staff have access to the data held as needed for their respective jobs but may only use the data for the purposes given. Passwords are changed regularly. They are trained during their induction in confidentiality and information governance. We conduct continuous training in confidentiality. Staff sign a confidentiality clause in their employment contracts.
How we process the data
Retaining information – we will keep our records while you are a patient with us and for at least 11 years or for children until the age 25, whichever is the longer, after you cease to be a patient. Records are updated annually through new medical questionnaires. They are scanned onto your file and then shredded.
Security of information – Data held about you is held in the practice’s computer system and in a manual filing system. The information is not accessible to the public and only staff have access to it. We are assured by our computer software provider that we have secure audit trails and we back up information daily and this is checked off site on a daily basis. We also hold data in a 2 hour fire safe.
Disclosure of Information – We may need to disclose information about you to:
Your G.P; a hospital, community dental service or other health organisations providing you with care; NHS authorities; the police if they are investigating a serious crime; our medical protection society who advise us on legal matters; the Inland Revenue/Benefit agency (if required by law), courts, debt recovery organisations, the Department of Health and any private dental schemes of which you are a member. The only exception is when your safety or the safety of others is deemed to be at serious risk and disclosure of information is required to protect you or others or in the public interest.
Disclosure will take place on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, so that only those individuals/organisations 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 minimum information required. If required by law, personal data will 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.
You have the right of access to the data that we hold about you and to receive a copy. Please make a written request and provide the fee of £10. We will provide a copy of the record within the required 40 days of receipt of fee and request. We try to comply with all requests within 48 hours. We will explain anything you do not understand.
You may withdraw your consent for information to be disclosed at any time by writing to the practice manager at NHS Dentist, North End Road.
Should you have any queries about the collection, handling or disclosure of data, please ask to speak to the head receptionist or the practice manager.