Dr Bhat's Surgery

Stonebridge House, Oswaltwistle, BB5 3BP

Telephone: 0125 461 7974

Dr Bhat’s General Practice Privacy Notice


PRIVACY NOTICY (covid 19) – including

 GENERAL PRACTICE PRIVACY NOTICE and incorporating information on National Data Opt-Out

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, HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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, HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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 HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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 HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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 HIGHER HEYS SURGERY to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.

HIGHER HEYS SURGERY is only 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

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 HIGHER HEYS SURGERY. 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 HIGHER HEYS SURGERY of all data processed under this Notice.

Sending Public Health Messages

Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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 HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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.

e-Consult Online Consultations

HIGHER HEYS SURGERY uses eConsult as an online tool, enabling our GPs to provide consultations online to patients, meaning they do not have to come into the practice to have an appointment.  Due to a collaboration between NHS England and NHSX, eConsult is now available through the NHS App.  This integration means that NHS App users that are registered HIGHER HEYS SURGERY using the eConsult solution will be able to go through an eConsult appointment with a GP from within the NHS App.  For the purposes of GDPR, HIGHER HEYS SURGERY and NHS England will act as Joint Data Controllers for the provision of the integrated service provided by eConsult via the NHS App. The NHS App is provided by NHS Digital, so both NHS Digital and eConsult will be Processors for this service.

Visitors to The Practice

We have an obligation to protect our staff and employees’ health, so it is reasonable for staff at HIGHER HEYS SURGERY 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 2022 and may be extended by The Secretary of State. If no further notice is sent to HIGHER HEYS SURGERY by The Secretary of State this Notice will expire on 31st March 2022.


incorporating attached information on National Data Opt-out


This privacy notice explains why the GP Practice collects information about you, and how that information may be used. 

As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998.  This means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled in ways that are safe, transparent and what you would reasonably expect.  The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the way that personal confidential data is processed. Therefore it is important that patients are made aware of, and understand these changes and that you have an opportunity to object if you so wish and that you know how to do so.

Health care professionals maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within the NHS (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust, GP Surgery, Walk-in clinic, etc.).  These records help to provide the best possible healthcare.

NHS health records may be processed electronically, on paper or a mixture of both, and a combination of working practices and technology are used to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.  Records held by this GP Practice may include the following information:

  • Details about you, such as address and next of kin
  • Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, emergency appointments, etc.
  • Notes and reports about your health
  • Details about your treatment and care
  • Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you

This GP Practice collects and holds data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients and we will ensure that information is kept confidential.  We can disclose personal information if:

  • It is required by law
  • You consent – either implicitly for the sake of your own care or explicitly for other purposes
  • It is justified in the public interest

On some occasions it may be necessary to undertake clinical audits of records to ensure that the best possible care has been provided to you or to prevent the spread of infectious disease, wherever possible this will be done in anonymised form.

Sometimes information about you may be requested to be used for research purposes.  The Practice will always endeavour to gain your consent before releasing the information.

Any patient can choose to withdraw their consent to their data being used in this way

  *****Please see separate  information attached to this Privacy Notice with information on National Data Opt-Out


Risk stratification is a process for identifying and managing patients who are at a higher risk of emergency hospital admission.  Typically this is because patients have a long term condition such as COPD or cancer.  NHS England encourages GPs to use risk stratification tools as part of their local strategies for supporting patients with long-term conditions and to help prevent avoidable admissions.

Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your anonymous information using computer programmes.  Your information is only provided back to your GP or member of your care team in an identifiable form.  Risk stratification enables your GP to focus on the prevention of ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary your GP may be able to offer you additional services.

Please note that you have the right to opt out of Risk Stratification.

Should you have any concerns about how your information is managed, or wish to opt out of any data collection at the Practice, please contact the Practice Manager or your healthcare professional to discuss how the disclosure of your personal information can be restricted.  All patients have the right to change their minds and reverse a previous decision.  Please contact the practice if you change your mind regarding any previous choice.


If you have received treatment within the NHS, access to your personal information may be required in order to determine which Clinical Commissioning Group should pay for the treatment or procedure you have received.

This information would most likely include information such as your name, address, date of treatment and may be passed on to enable the billing process.  These details are held in a secure environment and kept confidential. This information will only be used to validate invoices, and will not be shared for any further purposes.


All of our patients aged 40-74 not previously diagnosed with cardiovascular disease are eligible to be invited for an NHS Health Check.  Nobody outside the healthcare team in the practice will see confidential information about you during the invitation process.


We are committed to protecting your privacy and will only use information collected lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (which is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office), Human Rights Act, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, and the NHS Codes of Confidentiality and Security. 

All of our staff, contractors and committee members receive appropriate and on-going training to ensure they are aware of their personal responsibilities and have contractual obligations to uphold confidentiality, enforceable through disciplinary procedures.  Only a limited number of authorised staff has access to personal information where it is appropriate to their role and is strictly on a need-to-know basis.

We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you at all times.  We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it.  We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. life or death situations), or where the law requires information to be passed on.


We may also have to share your information, subject to strict agreements on how it will be used.  The following are examples of the types of organisations that we are likely to share information with:

  • NHS and specialist hospitals, Trusts
  • Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
  • Private and Voluntary Sector Providers
  • Ambulance Trusts
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England
  • Social Care Services and Local Authorities
  • Education Services
  • Police, Fire and Rescue Services
  • Other ‘data processors’ during specific project work e.g. Diabetes UK


You have a right under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access/view information the Practice holds about you, and to have it amended or removed should it be inaccurate.  This is known as ‘the right of subject access’.  If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

If you would like to make a ‘subject access request’. please contact the Practice Manager in writing or speak to the receptionist, who will explain to you the procedures of how to make a SAR request and what he/she will be required to do. 

Any changes to this notice will be published on our website and on the Practice notice board.

The Practice is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998.  The registration number is  and can be viewed online in the public register at.  http://ico.org.uk/what_we_cover/register_of_data_controllers


Further information about the way in which the NHS uses personal information and your rights in that respect can be found in:

The NHS Care Record Guarantee:  http://www.nigb.nhs.uk/pubs/nhscrg.pdf

The NHS Constitution:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england

An independent review of how information about patients is shared across the health and care system led by Dame Fiona Caldicott was conducted in 2012.  The report, Information: To share or not to share?  The Information Governance Review, be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-information-governance-review

The NHS Commissioning Board – NHS England – Better Data, Informed Commissioning, Driving Improved Outcomes: Clinical Data Sets provides further information about the data flowing within the NHS to support commissioning.http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/clinical-datasets.pdf

Please visit the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s website for further information about their work.  Information about their responsibility for collecting data from across the health and social care system can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/collectingdata

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the Regulator for the Data Protection Act 1998 and offer independent advice and guidance on the law and personal data, including your rights and how to access your personal information.  For further information please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website at http://www.ico.gov.uk.


The Secretary of State has recently approved the General Practice Data for Planning and Research Directions 2021, directions that enable NHS Digital to take significant steps towards the replacement of the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) with GP data for planning and research purposes to provide for the strategic collection, analysis and dissemination of GP data for health and social care purposes, including but not limited to:​


  • Health and social care policy, planning and commissioning purposes​
  • Public health purposes, including COVID-19 purposes as described in the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020​
  • Research​

As such, NHS Digital will be collecting pseudonymised data for specified datasets, and all practices have been informed of this change in a Data Provision Notice circulated by NHS Digital.​

​More information can be found at:​


Confidential Information and how we use it

Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending accident and emergency or using community care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record.  Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.

The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance help with:-

  • Improving the quality and standards of care provided
  • Research into the development of new treatments
  • Preventing illnesses and diseases
  • Monitoring safety
  • Planning services

This may only take place when there is a legal basis to use this information.  All these help to provided better health care for you, your family and future generations. Confidentiality about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.  Most of the time anonymised data is used for research planning so that you cannot be identified and in which case your confidential information is not required.

What is National Data Opt-Out

National Data Opt-out gives the individual patient a choice of whether they want their confidential information shared for purposes beyond their own individual care and treatment across the health and adult social care system in England. The National Data opt-out is aligned with the authorisation for sharing a patient’s data in accordance with the common law duty of confidentiality (CLDC).  In broad terms the National Data opt-out applies unless there is a mandatory legal requirement or an overriding public interest.  The opt-out does not apply if the individual has consented to the sharing of their data or when the data is anonymised in line with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) Code of Practice on Anonymization.

What happens when the Opt-out is applied?

When the opt-out is applied the entire record associated with that individual must be fully removed from the data being disclosed.  The NHS number is used as the identifier for the removal of the records.

Who can set an Opt-out?

Any person age 13 and over can set an opt-out, providing they have an NHS number.

Is there a deadline for Opting-out?

A patient can choose to opt-out at any time

How does a patient opt-out?

If a patient should choose to opt-out then he/she must know their NHS number (if known).  The patient needs to go on line to www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters OR they may telephone on 0300 303 5678

Compliancy with the National Data Opt-out

All companies who provide health and care need to be compliant with the National Data Opt.  We at Dr Bhat’s surgery are compliant with the National Data Opt-out.  The practice has the following  information in place:-  

  • Updated all previous out of date information
  • Created this new policy on the National Data Opt-out
  • Updated privacy notice on surgery website, incorporating information about National Data Opt-Out.
  • Leaflets are provided for patients
  • Posters have been put up in the waiting room informing patients of the National Data Opt-out
  • A practice meeting has taken place with all members of staff in order that they are able to answer any questions that patients put to them or are able to direct them in the right direction by giving them the dedicated telephone number of 0300 303 5678 in order that their questions can be answered.
  • The practice New Registration Policy has been updated


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