Health and Social Care Information

Health and Social Care Information Centre
1 Trevelyan Square
Boar Lane
Leeds
LS1 6AE
Tel: 0300 303 5678
Email: enquiries@hscic.gov.uk
Website: http://www.hscic.gov.uk

22 June 2016


Communication to patients about the Implementation of type 2 patient objections

As you may be aware patients can object to their personal confidential information being shared by the HSCIC for purposes other than their own direct care. This is known as a type 2 objection, more commonly referred to as an opt-out in communications with patients. The HSCIC has started to uphold type 2 objections from 29 April 2016 in line with a Direction from the Secretary of State.
The delay in implementing the objections from the time they were first offered (January 2014) has been investigated by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) following a complaint. The ICO has ruled that a breach of the Data Protection Act has taken place as the HSCIC has processed data unfairly. Therefore the HSCIC has agreed an additional set of remedial actions in an Undertaking to the ICO which are as detailed in this link:
https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/enforcement/health-and-social-care-information-centre-hscic/
As part of the ICO Undertaking we have been asked to take action regarding communication to patients about the implementation of type 2 objections and we are writing to inform you that as part of this we are publishing Information for patients on the NHS Choices website on Wednesday 22 June. This information can be found at the end of this letter in Annex 1.

Given that the type 2 objections are recorded in the patients’ medical record held by the GP practices we are also asking our colleagues in GP practices to consider how they may wish to make this information available to their patients through their practice. For example, the information could be posted on/or links to it put on practice websites and/or the information could be printed out and placed in practice waiting rooms.
We also want to advise all colleagues/practice managers/Caldicott Guardians that the publication of the text on NHS Choices and in your own practices may result in raised levels of interest/queries from patients, patient groups and local/national media. Where queries are from patients about the objections they have registered at your practice you will need to respond to these on an individual basis. Where there are queries about type 2 objections in general they can be directed to the HSCICs website at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/yourinfo.
For more facts about the HSCICs roles in collecting and sharing information from health and social care organisations see Annex 2.

Annex 1 – Communication from the Health and Social Care Information Centre about opt-outs and your care information choices.
This information below can also be found at http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/overview.aspx

Sharing your records: your personal information

Information about you is used in a number of ways by the NHS and social care services to support your personal care and to improve health and social care services for everyone.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is the national NHS organisation with a legal responsibility to collect data as people make use of NHS and social care services. The data is used both at a local level and nationally to help with planning, managing your care, supporting research into new treatments, identifying trends and issues and so forth, and is used to try to make services better for all. You can, however, choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care.

Your right to opt out

You can choose not to have anything that could identify you shared beyond your GP practice. You can also choose for the HSCIC not to share information it collects from all health providers any further.
If you have previously told your GP practice that you don’t want the HSCIC to share your personal confidential information for purposes other than your own care and treatment, your opt-out will have been implemented by the HSCIC from April 29 2016. It will remain in place unless you change it.

Simply contact your GP either to register an opt-out or end an opt-out you have already registered and they will update your medical record. Your GP practice will also be able to confirm whether or not you have registered an opt-out in the past.

You can find more information about how the HSCIC handles your information and choices and how it manages your opt-out on the HSCIC website www.hscic.gov.uk/yourinfo

Annex 2 – Information Sharing

The HSCIC has a statutory role to collect and process health and social care information which is set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The HSCIC’s fair processing materials, available at http://www.hscic.gov.uk/patientconf, explain and provide further information on:
what HSCIC collects – the types of information the HSCIC collects and what it’s used for
personal information choices – people’s rights regarding care information

Information requests from organisations – how organisations can ask HSCIC to collect or provide access to care information assurance bodies and processes – how the information requests HSCIC receive are carefully looked at
examples of benefits that have been realised through the provision of such information including case studies involving breast cancer and diabetes that are available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/benefitscasestudies/extracts

The HSCIC is absolutely committed to keeping all of the data it handles safe and secure and applies the same principle to any data that is released outside of the organisation.

Information is only ever shared with organisations that have gone through a strict application process, who can demonstrate they have a legitimate reason to access the data to use it for the benefit of health and care purposes, as per the new protections introduced as part of the Care Act 2014, and who have signed a legally binding agreement. So for example commercial companies cannot receive information for insurance or marketing purposes.

As part of the application process the Data Access Advisory Group, an independent group, hosted by the HSCIC, considers all applications for data that are identifiable or de-identified for limited access.

The HSCIC also regularly publishes a register of data releases at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/dataregister, showing where data has been released, to which organisation and for which purposes.

The Practice

Dr. Colin Westwood
MBChB (1973) MRCGP DCH DRCOG
Dr. Helen Westwood
MBChB (2002) MRCGP DCH DRCOG DFFP
Practice Nurse
Sister Jacqueline Parker
Practice Managers
Mrs Sarah Robinson
Mr Ben Carey

Contact details

169 GROVE LANE
TIMPERLEY, WA15 6PH
Tel: 0161 980 3751
Fax: 0161 904 9678
Email: reception.drwestwood@nhs.net

Trafford CCG

The practice is governed by the Trafford CCG whose contact details are:
Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group
1st Floor, Crossgate House
Cross Street,
Sale M33 7FT
Tel: 0161 873 9500
Email: customercare.trafford@nhs.net
NHS England

NHS England

The ultimate authority for the National Health Service, NHS England can be contacted at:
NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 2233
Email: england.contactus@nhs.net
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