COVID-19 Privacy Notice

(This Privacy Notice is to run alongside our standard Practice Privacy Notice)

Due to the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and we, THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP face due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health. 

In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way we, THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP may therefore need to share your personal information, including medical records, with staff from other GP Practices including Practices within our Primary Care Network, as well as other health organisations (ie Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, Local authorities etc.) and bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.

The Secretary of State has served notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) to require organisations to process confidential patient information in the manner set out below for purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI.

Purpose of this Notice

The purpose of this Notice is to require organisations such as THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP to process confidential patient information for the purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI to support the Secretary of State’s response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Purpose). “Processing” for these purposes is defined in Regulation 3(2) and includes dissemination of confidential patient information to persons and organisations permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI. This Notice is necessary to require organisations such as THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP to lawfully and efficiently process confidential patient information as set out in Regulation 3(2) of COPI for purposes defined in regulation 3(1)

Requirement to Process Confidential Patient Information

The Secretary of State has served notice to recipients under Regulation 3(4) that requires THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.

THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP isonly required to process such confidential patient information:

  • where the confidential patient information to be processed is required for a Covid-19 Purpose and will be processed solely for that Covid-19 Purpose in accordance with Regulation 7 of COPI
  • from 20th March 2020 until 31st March 2021.

Covid-19 Purpose.

A Covid-19 Purpose includes but is not limited to the following:

  • understanding Covid-19 and risks to public health, trends in Covid-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19 and such risks
  • identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with or at risk of Covid-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to Covid-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of Covid-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from Covid-19
  • understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services and the need for wider care of patients and vulnerable groups as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 and the availability and capacity of those services or that care
  • monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about Covid-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
  • delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with Covid-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services
  •  research and planning in relation to Covid-19.

Summary Care Records

Summary Care Records (SCR) are an electronic record of important patient information, created from the GP medical records held at THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP. They can be seen and used by authorised staff who work in other areas of the health and care system who are involved in your direct care. Patients who have already consented to having additional information added to their SCR will have additional information shared, which will include Anticipatory Care Plans for vulnerable, frail or elderly patients, although particularly sensitive information will not be automatically included in the sharing. The SCR will help a wide variety of organisation in response to COVID-19, as detailed above.

Recording of processing

 A record will be kept by THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP of all data processed under this Notice.

Sending Public Health Messages

Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.

Digital Consultations

It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.

Visitors to The Practice

We have an obligation to protect our staff and employees’ health, so it is reasonable for staff at THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP to ask any visitors to our practice to tell us if they have visited a particular country, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This must only be in pre-approved circumstances and we would also ask all patients to consider government advice on the NHS 111 website and not attend the practice.

Where it is necessary for us to collect information and specific health data about visitors to our practice, we will not collect more information than we need, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

 Review and Expiry of this Notice

This Notice will be reviewed on or before 31st March 2021 and may be extended by The Secretary of State. If no further notice is sent to THE CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP by The Secretary of State this Notice will expire on 31st March 2021.

NHS Digital – General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19)

Click above for information for patients explaining how your data is being processed to support vital coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and research

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Click the links below for useful information

***IMPORTANT INFORMATION ***

Please can we remind all patients not to contact the surgery regarding the COVID-19 or flu vaccinations for over 50’s.  We still have no further updates regarding the COVID-19 vaccine programme, nor have we been instructed to vaccinate all over 50’s who are not in the at risk category for flu.

We are still offering flu vaccinations, but only to the vulnerable and at risk groups.  If you have been invited for a flu vaccination, please give us a call to ensure you receive one.  It would be helpful if you could let us know if you do not wish to have the vaccination, this could be done through message on your Patient Access, by email or telephone.

The practice is under immense pressure, as you can imagine, so please can we ask that you do not ring the surgery with any enquiries about either of these vaccinations.  Updates will be on social media and our website.

Thank you for co-operation.