The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe, and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data.

The Regulation applies from 25th May 2018, and will still apply if we leave the European Union.

What GDPR will mean for patients

The GDPR sets out the key principles about processing personal data, for staff or patients;

  • Data must be processed lawfully, fairly and transparently
  • It must be collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes.
  • It must be limited to what Is necessary for the purpose for which it is processed
  • Information must be accurate and kept up to date
  • Data must be held securely
  • It can only be retained for as long as is necessary for the reasons it was collected.

There are also stronger rights for patients regarding the information that Practices hold about them. These include:

  • Being informed about hot their data is used
  • Patients to have access to their own data
  • Patients can ask to have incorrect information changed
  • Restrict how their data is used
  • Move their patient data from one health organisation to another
  • The right to object to their patient information being processed(in certain circumstances)

What is GDPR?

It is a new piece of legislation that will supersede the Data Protection Act. It will not only apply to the UK and EU; It covers anywhere in the world which data about EU Citizens is processed.

The GDPR is similar to the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 (which the Practice already complies with), but strengthens many of the DPA’s principles. The main changes are:

  • Practices must comply with subject access requests within 1 calender month
  • Where we need your consent to process data, this consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous
  • There are new, special protections for patient data
  • The information commissioner’s office must be notified within 72 hours of a breach of data
  • Higher fines for data breaches- up to 20 million euros

What is ‘patient data’?

Patient data is information that relates to a single person, such as his/her diagnosis, name, age, earlier medical history etc.

What changes are happening at Lambton Road Medical Practice?

At Lambton Road we have done extensive amounts of work behind the scenes to ensure our compliance under the new GDPR. The changes we have made that may affect patients are as follows:

  • Prescription collection – We ask that we have permission from the patient before releasing prescriptions to anyone else. This includes any patient over the age of 13.
  • Patient access – We will now only provide access to booking appointments and medication requests up to the age of 13. After this age we will need consent from the patient, or for them to register themselves. (if the patient already has online access this will cancelled by the Practice during their 13th
  • Test results – If you are attending and appointment with someone aged 13 years or older, the clinician may ask for consent to release results to anyone else.
  • Data Protection Officer (DPO)- As part of the GDPR we have had to appoint a DPO who oversees the use of data within the Practice. Our designated lead is Dipan Vadgama, our Business Performance Manager.