Patient Confidentiality and Rights
We respect your right to privacy, your medical records are held in the strictest confidence. Information is not passed on without your consent unless it is within the confines of the NHS, by legal framework, or is in the public interest. Certain anonymised patient data may be shared for the purposes of public health and audit, research, teaching and training. This practice is registered under the Data Protection Act. It is a practice and a legal requirement that all staff maintain confidentiality of patients' records.
Call Recording Policy
This policy outlines the practice’s call recording process. The purpose of call recording is to provide a record of incoming and outgoing calls which can:
- Identify practice staff training needs
- Protect practice staff from nuisance or abusive calls
- Establish facts relating to incoming/outgoing calls made (e.g. complaints)
- Identify any issues in practice processes with a view to improving them
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that call recording is managed in line with DPA & Data Retention requirements. This will generally involve the recording of telephone conversations which is subject to the Telecommunications Act 1984.
The practice will make every reasonable effort to advise callers that their call may be recorded and for what purpose the recording may be used. This will normally be via a pre-recorded message within the telephone system. The voice file may be stored within the clinical system or within the telephone system to which the same rules of confidentiality will apply.
For procedures to follow relating to the storage of voice files within the clinical system as part of the patient record see Telephone Consultation Protocol
Where a patient requests to listen to a recording then this should be allowed within the general provisional of data subject access under the Data Protection Act.
This policy applies to all practice staff including any contracted or temporary workers.
All calls via the telephone systems used in the practice will be recorded, including:
- All external incoming calls
- All external outgoing calls made by practice staff
- All internal incoming and outgoing calls made by the practice staff
- Call transfers
Recording will automatically stop when the practice staff member terminates the call.
Callers must be advised that the call will be recorded for quality/training purposes - this can be in the form of an automated voice message or similar.
Playback / Monitoring of Recorded Calls
Monitoring of the call recordings will be undertaken by the Practice Manager. Any playback of recordings will take place in a private setting and where applicable, individuals should be given the opportunity to listen to the relevant recordings to receive feedback and developmental support.
All recordings and call recording equipment will be stored securely, and access to these should be controlled and managed by the Practice Manager.
The Data Protection Act allows access to information that is held about them and their personal data. This includes recorded telephone calls. Recordings should be stored in such a way that will enable easy access to the information relating to one or more individuals.
Requests for copies of telephone conversations can be made under the Data Protection Act as a “Subject Access Request”. This must be done in writing and after assessing whether the information can be released, the requestor can be invited to the practice premises to hear the recording.
If there is a request from an external body relating to the detection or prevention of a crime (e.g. police), then requests for information should be directed to the Carole Duke-Williams/Cathie Easton to carry out the request for the recording.
GP Model Publication Scheme can be found below
- The Practice will adopt the model Publication Scheme developed and approved by the Information Commissioner in June 2008.
- The Publication Scheme details the information that the Practice publishes and intends to publish in future, including the format in which the information is available and whether or not a charge will be made for the provision of that information.A section of the Scheme also deals with environmental information.
- The Publication Scheme will be available in hardcopy on request and on the Practice website.The contacts will be regularly reviewed and kept up to date where necessary.
General Rights of Access
The Act and the Regulations give a general right of access from January 2005 to recorded information held by the Practice, subject to certain conditions and exemptions contained in the Act, and exceptions within the Regulations.Under both regimes, there is an implicit presumption that environmental information should be released unless there are compelling and substantial reasons to withhold it.
- This means that any person who makes a request has the right to:
- Be informed in writing whether the Practice holds the information specified in the request (duty to confirm or deny)
- If the Practice holds the information, have that information communicated to them.
- These provisions are fully retrospective in that if the Practice holds the information it must provide it, subject to certain conditions and exemptions.
- A request for information under the general rights of access must be received in writing (including e-mail) for an FOI application.It must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence, and describe the information requested.
- A request under general rights of access for EIR can be received verbally. The Practice recognises the potential overlap in information requests between the Act and Regulations, in view of the wide range of information which could be considered to be environmental information.For this reason, the Practice will treat FOI requests for environmental information as EIR requests and will deal with them accordingly.
- It is important to understand that a request for information does not need to be marked as such; there is no need for the applicant to say they are making an FOI or EIR request.
Charges and Fees
The Practice will not charge for information that is containedin its Publication Scheme.The Practice may however make a charge in accordance with the Fees Regulations for information that is not routinely published.
Time Limits for Compliance with Requests
The Practice will establish systems and procedures to ensure that the organisation complies with the duty to confirm or deny and to provide the information requested within 20 working days of a request in accordance with section 10 of the Act, and sections 5 and 7 of the Regulations.