(Why we collect your personal data and what we do with it)
When you supply your personal details to the clinic/practitioner they are stored and processed for 4 reasons (the bits in bold are the relevant terms used in the General Data Protection Regulation – ie the law):
1. We need to collect personal information about your health in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and our agreement to provide that care constitutes a contract. You can, of course, refuse to provide the information, but if you were to do that we would not be able to provide treatment.
2. We have a “Legitimate Interest” in collecting that information, because without it we couldn’t do our job effectively and safely.
3. We also think that it is important that we can contact you in order to confirm your appointments with us or to update you on matters related to your medical care. This again constitutes “Legitimate Interest”, but this time it is your legitimate interest.
4. Provided we have your consent, we may occasionally send you general health information in the form of exercises or advice.
5. If the clinic is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, we can be required to pass on your contact details if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
We have a legal obligation to retain your records for 8 years after your most recent appointment (or age 25, if this is longer), but after this period you can ask us to delete your records if you wish. Otherwise, we will retain your records indefinitely in order that we can provide you with the best possible care should you need to see us at some future date.
At Howe Osteopaths, your medical records are stored on paper, in locked filing cabinets, and the offices are always locked out of working hours. Two osteopaths and two clinic receptionists use the filing cabinets, but individual records are only accessed when relating to treatment and all staff have signed a confidentiality agreement. At Howe Osteopaths, contact details are held electronically on the cloud and access to this is password-protected.
We will never share your data with anyone who does not need access without your written consent. Only the following people/agencies will have routine access to your data:
* Your practitioner(s) in order that they can provide you with treatment
* Our reception staff, because they organise our practitioners’ diaries, and coordinate appointments and reminders.
* Other administrative staff, such as our bookkeeper. Again, administrative staff will not have access to your medical notes, just your essential contact details.
From time to time, we may have to employ consultants to perform tasks which might give them access to your personal data (but not your medical notes). We will ensure that they are fully aware that they must treat that information as confidential, and we will ensure that they sign a non-disclosure agreement.
You have the right to see what personal data of yours we hold, and you can also ask us to correct any factual errors. Provided the legal minimum period has elapsed, you can also ask us to erase your records.
We want you to be absolutely confident that we are treating your personal data responsibly, and that we are doing everything we can to make sure that the only people who can access that data have a genuine need to do so.
Of course, if you feel that we are 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”. Here are the details you need for that:
At Howe Osteopaths:
Howe Osteopaths, The Old Bakery, Howe Green, Nr Brooke, Norwich, Norfolk, NR15 1HD
At The Space, Burston:
The Space, Sterling House, Mill Road, Burston, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 5TJ
If you are not satisfied with our response, then you have the right to raise the matter with the Information Commissioner’s Office.