All patient records, including paper and computer-based records are confidential. They are protected by the Data Protection Act 1998 which lays down legal requirements for computer users such as Vocare. The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It sets out rules for processing personal information and applies to paper records as well as data held on computers.
The Data Protection Act states that those who record and process personal information must be open about how the information is used and must follow the eight principles of good information handling. These principles state that data must be:
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Not kept for longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with your rights
- Secure, and
- Not transferred to countries without adequate protection.
By law, data controllers have to keep to these principles.
Sharing of information
We will pass on specific information only if there is a genuine clinical need for it. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information e.g. to notify a birth or when we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others. Data may be gathered for audit purposes and in development of medical care or other NHS services.
All our staff and other NHS members who access your data are legally bound to keep this confidential.
We are fully compliant with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
By law you have the right to request access to your health records reflecting your contact with Vocare.
Patient privacy during consultations
Vocare takes the privacy of patients very seriously and all consultations are carried out in a private room.
As an organisation Vocare acknowledges that we are always trying to develop the service and we therefore value your comments. From time-to-time Vocare will request information from users via anonymous surveys in order to develop the service by learning from our users’ opinions. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information.
Rights and responsibilities
We provide high quality health services designed around patient need.
You can help us by
- Arriving promptly for your appointment;
- Cancelling any appointment you do not need so that someone else can take your place;
- Acting in a polite and non-abusive manner;
Vocare has a zero tolerance policy of violence including abusive language against its entire staff.