Why I collect your personal data and what I do with it
When you supply your personal details to this clinic they are stored and processed for 4 reasons (the bits in bold are relevant terms used in the Data Protection Act 2018, which includes the General Data Protection Regulation – ie. The law):
- I need to collect personal information about your health in order to be covered by my insurance and also to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and my agreement to provide that care constitutes a contract. You can, of course, refuse to provide the information, but if you were to do that, I would not be able to provide treatment.
- I have a “legitimate interest” in collecting this information, because without it I couldn’t do my job effectively and safely.
- I also believe that it is important that I can contact you in order to confirm your appointments with me or update you on matters related to your medical care. This again constitutes “legitimate interest”, but this time it is your legitimate interest.
- Provided I have your consent, I may occasionally send you general health information in the form of articles, advice or newsletters. You may withdraw this consent at any time – just let me know in writing, via email, text or Whatsapp.
I have a legal obligation to retain your records for 8 years after your most recent appointment, but after this you can ask me to delete your records if you wish. Otherwise, I will retain your records indefinitely in order that I can provide you with the best possible care should you need to see me at some future date.
Your records are stored:
- On paper, in locked filing cabinets. The office is always locked and alarmed when the building is empty.
- Electronically (“in the cloud”), using a specialist appointment booking and records service. This provider has given me their assurances that they are fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations. Access to this data is password protected, and the passwords are changed regularly.
- On my office computers. These are password-protected, backed up regularly, and the office is locked and alarmed when the building is empty.
I will never share your data with anyone who does not need access without your written consent. I am the only one with a key and passwords to your data.
From time to time, I may have to employ consultants to perform tasks which might give them access to your personal data (but not your medical notes). I will ensure that they are fully aware that they must treat that information as confidential, and I will ensure that they sign a non-disclosure agreement.
You have the right to see what personal data of yours I hold, and you can also ask me to correct any factual errors. Provided the legal minimum period has elapsed (8 years), you can also ask me to delete your records.
I want you to be absolutely confident that I am treating your personal data responsibly, and that I am doing everything I can to make sure that the only people that can access that data have a genuine need to do so.
Of course, if you feel that I am mishandling your personal data in some way, you have the right to complain. Complaints need to be sent to what is referred to in the jargon as the “Data Controller” (that’s me!). Here are the details that you need for that:
Nicola Rose Walton
If you are not satisfied with my response, then you have the right to raise the matter with the Information Commissioner’s Office.