How we look after and safeguard information about you
Our optical practices and their staff are members of your local healthcare team.
They aim to provide you with the highest quality of healthcare. To do this they need to keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
We know that you value your privacy and the security of personal information held about you.
Information recorded may include:
- basic details about you, such as address, date of birth, next of kin;
- details of your spectacle or contact lens prescription;
- details of glasses or contact lenses supplied to you;
- other details and notes about your health and medical treatment;
- records of medicines you have been prescribed by your doctor;
- information relevant to your continued care from other people who care for you and know you well, such as other health professionals and relatives.
As part of providing a professional, safe and efficient service, there is certain information that we record. This includes details about your ocular health, your general health, advice given and referrals made to other health professionals. This information won’t be shared with anyone else except under the circumstances described below in ‘Sharing Information’.
The information held about you will not be shared for any reason, unless:
- you ask us to do so;
- we ask and you give us specific permission;
- we are permitted by law, for example where public interest overrides the need to keep the information confidential.
The types of people we may ask you for permission to share information with include your doctors (GP and hospital) and other health professionals.
Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep this information confidential, subject to recognised exceptions of the types listed above.
You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence (the Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply).
We also comply with the NHS Code of Practice on Confidentiality and optical practices have a requirement under their professional Code of Ethics to keep records about you confidential, secure and accurate.
All of our staff contracts of employment contain a requirement to keep patient information confidential.
Our guiding principle is that we hold your records in strict confidence.
Your right to view your health record
You have the right to ask for a copy of all our records about you.
There may be a charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you. Your request must be made in writing to the optical practice holding your information. We are required to respond to your request within 40 days.
You will need to give adequate information in order for optical staff to identify you (for example, full name, address and date of birth).
If you think any information we hold on you is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know.