Access to Records
In accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation, patients (data subjects) have the right to access their data and any supplementary information held by Athena Medical Centre. This is commonly known as a subject access request (SAR). Data subjects have a right to receive:
- Confirmation that their data is being processed
- Access to their personal data
- Access to any other supplementary information held about them
Options for access
As of April 2016, organisations have been obliged to allow patients access to their coded health record online. As of April 2020, this service now enables the patient to view their prospective full medical record. Prior to accessing this information, you will have to visit the organisation and undertake an identity check before being granted access to your records.
In addition, you can make a request to be provided with copies of your health record. To do so, you must submit a SAR form. This can be submitted electronically and the SAR form is available on the organisation website. Alternatively, a paper copy of the SAR is available from reception. You will need to submit the form online or return the completed paper copy of the SAR to the organisation. Patients do not have to pay a fee for copies of their records.
Once the SAR form is submitted, Athena Medical Centre will aim to process the request within 28 days; however, this may not always be possible. The maximum time permitted to process SARs is one calendar month.
There may be occasions when the data controller will withhold information kept in the health record, particularly if the disclosure of such information is likely to cause undue stress or harm to you or any other person.
At Athena Medical Centre the data controller is Dr Okoreaffia and should you have any questions relating to accessing your medical records, please ask to discuss this with the named data controller.
APPLICATION FOR ACCESS TO MEDICAL RECORDS (SAR)
Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.
The CQC make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and encourage them to improve.
They monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish what is found, including performance ratings to help people choose care.
Our GP Practice has recently undergone a CQC inspection and the results are now freely available on the CQC Website. You can access the report below.
We are committed to providing an environment where the safety of patients are staff are of paramount importance. All clinicians and others working on their behalf have a duty to consider chaperoning issues as they relate to their work.
Before proceeding with an examination, healthcare professionals will always seek to obtain, by word or gesture, some explicit indication that the patient understands the need for examination and agrees for it to take place.
Specifically trained chaperones are available at the practice to safeguard both patients and clinicians. Clinicians will offer patients a chaperone before proceeding with an intimate examination. Patients have the right to decline. Any refusal will be recorded in the patient’s medical record.
If you have a complaint to make about the service provided by the practice you may do so by writing or in person to the practice manager or to one of the doctors. If you wish to speak to someone personally you may do so by appointment. We will investigate all complaints and provide response in writing.
Practice complaints procedure
If you have a complaint about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
How to Complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible– ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks- because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
- Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem, or
- Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints should be addressed to The Practice Manager or Dr A C Okoreaffia, Athena Medical Centre, 21 Atherden Road, London E5 0QP. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the practice manager to discuss your concerns. The practice manager will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint. Click here to submit a complaint
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge your complaint within two working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be able to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved. When we investigate your complaint, we shall aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong.
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this.
- Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate.
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentially. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must know that you have his or her permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
Complaining to the health authority
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. But this does not affect your right to approach the local health authority. If you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation you should contact: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT. Tel: 0300 311 2233 email: [email protected]
The Health Service Ombudsman can also investigate NHS Complaints. You Can approach them if you are unhappy with outcome of an independent review, tel: 0345 015 4033 website: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
Confidentiality & Medical Records
The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
- To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
- When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.
Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practitioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.
GP Net Earnings
All GP practices are now required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GPs working in Athena Medical Centre in the last financial year was £50,820.32 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 2 full time and 1 part-time GPs and 2 locum GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.
We recognise the importance of interpreters or advocates for patients whom English Language is not their first language or who have other communication needs. There is a provision for a huge range of languages including British Sign Language. Please contact reception to book an interpreter.
All our patients now have a named GP.
Your named GP is responsible for the management of your care. Please ask a member of staff who your named GP is if you do not already have this information.
Athena Medical Centre – General Practice Privacy Notice (Including special provisions under the Covid 19 pandemic).
This practice’s primary purpose is to provide the best care possible for you. In order to do this, we need to collect, store and share information about you.
This privacy notice is designed to explain what happens to any personal data that you give us or any information concerning you that is collected by other organisations, for instance, if you attend an Accident and Emergency department. This includes how your data is held and/or processed by us.
This notice includes:
- Who we are and how we use your information
- The kinds of information we hold and how we process them
- The legal grounds for processing your personal data, including when it is shared with others
- What to do if your personal information changes
- The length of time that your information is stored and retained by us
- Information about your rights under the 2018 Data Protection Act incorporating the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
- Information about what to do if you have a query or problem
Under the 2018 Data Protection Act (incorporating the General Data Protection Regulation -GDPR) the practice is known as the Data Controller. As such we are responsible for keeping your data up to date and accurate, as well as storing it safely and sharing it securely. If you have a problem or a question, you should contact the Practice Manager in the first instance. The Act stipulates also that public sector organisations should provide access to an independent Data Protection Officer and their contact details are provided in the summary below.
The information we hold on you
Our practice keeps data on you relating to who you are, where you live, your contact details, your family, details of your occupation -if any – and possibly your employers, your habits, your health problems and diagnoses, the reasons you seek help as well at your appointments. Your record also contains details if you have a carer, where you are seen, when you are seen, and who by, all referrals to specialists and other health and social care providers, tests carried out here and in other places, investigations and scans, treatments and outcomes of treatments, your treatment history, the observations and opinions of other health care workers, within and without the NHS as well as comments and aide memoires reasonably made by healthcare professionals in this practice who are appropriately involved in your health care. All of this data helps us in providing you with the best possible care and as quickly as possible in an emergency.
All health related data is seen as ‘special category’ or ‘sensitive data’ under the 2018 Data Protection Act which means that it is shared and processed with particular care. This applies to your data whether it is in electronic formats or on paper.
When registering for NHS care, all patients who receive NHS care are registered on a national database, the database is held by NHS Digital, a national organisation which has legal responsibilities to collect NHS data.
Why we hold and process your data
We hold and process your data in order to provide you with direct care. Anonymised and pseudonymised patient data, in other words data that cannot be used to identify you is also used to:
- Improve the quality and standard of care that we and other organisations provide
- Researching and developing new treatments
- Preventative treatment of illness and disease
- Monitoring standards of patient safety
- Planning future services.
Further details are provided below. You also have a choice over whether you wish to use your confidential data – i.e. data that CAN be traced back to you for these purposes. If you are content with this then you do not need to do anything. If you are not sure or wish to opt out, please see section on Opting-Out of Research and Planning below.
Who do we share information with.
As GPs, we cannot provide all your treatment ourselves, so we need to delegate this responsibility to others within the practice and with other organisations such as pharmacies or hospitals.
If your care requires treatment outside the practice, we will exchange with those providing such care and treatment whatever information may be necessary to provide you with safe, high quality care. The practice also delivers services and treatment to our patients as part of, and in association with local primary care networks and beyond.
Once you have seen any outside care provider, they will normally send us details of the care they have provided you with, so that we can understand your health and treatment better.
The sharing of data, within the practice and with those others outside the practice is assumed and is allowed by law (including the Data Protection Act 2018) however, we will gladly discuss this with you in more detail if you would like to know more.
We have an overriding responsibility to do what is in your best interests under the 2018 Data Protection Act ‘in performance of a public task’ (see legal bases in the summary below). The Practice team (clinicians, administration and reception staff) only access the information they need to allow them to perform their function and fulfil their roles. The summary also contains details of your rights in relation to your data under the Act and how to exercise them.
We do share anonymised data with the City & Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, The City and Hackney GP Confederation and NHS England. This data is extracted by secure data extraction tools such as EMIS Enterprise and/or Apollo
This practice does NOT share your data with insurance companies, except by your specific instruction or consent.
Your data is NOT shared for any marketing purpose.
Communication with Patients
The practice will use your contact details in order to inform you of progress in your treatment or to work with you in managing your health. Because we can communicate and get data to you more quickly and more securely, we prefer to use email and text messaging services. Please ensure that we have your current email address and mobile telephone so that we can do this. If you would prefer us NOT to communicate with you in these ways, please let us know.
Safeguarding and the Caldicott Guardian
The practice is dedicated to safeguarding all its patients, including children and vulnerable adults. This means that information will be shared by the practice in their best interests. Such decisions are the ultimate responsibility of the practice’s Caldicott Guardian. The Caldicott Guardian is the senior person – always a doctor and often a partner within a practice- responsible for protecting the confidentiality of people’s health and care information. The duty to share data for the benefit of individuals is as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality and actions taken as a result of safeguarding concerns will override data protection.
The practice will conduct reviews of medicines prescribed to its patients. Reviews of this data allow us to test and update our prescribing to ensure that you receive the most appropriate and cost-effective treatments. These reviews may take the form of internal audits or those conducted by the local Medicine Management Team.
Electronic tools of prediction, based upon algorithms and artificial intelligence are used within the NHS to determine a patient’s future risks and treatment needs. Wherever we can, we want to prevent admissions to A&E and secondary care which would be otherwise necessary. Such preventative care may, for instance, use these tools to determine the risk and consequence of a future fall in an elderly patient. Under Covid 19 these tools are being used to identify vulnerable patients and patients who need to be shielded.
However, under the 2018 Data Protection Act, when the COPI notice described above is withdrawn, you do have the right to opt out of having your data processed in such automated ways. If you wish to opt out of this, please contact the practice.
Research and Planning
The practice takes part in research that uses anonymised or pseudonymised data. This means that patient data cannot be traced back to individuals and is therefore no longer personal data under the 2018 Data Protection Act.
Anonymised or pseudonymised patient data held by the practice may also be used to evaluate present services that provide direct care or to plan future ones within the practice or across the local area.
Identifiable patient data may be used in planning and managing the response of the NHS to the Covid 19 virus. This will continue until the COPI notice above is withdrawn.
Data Opt-Outs (The National Data Opt-out)
You can opt-out from having your confidential data (i.e. data that can identify you) being used for purposes beyond direct care, such as research and planning. Those patients who previously registered a data opt-out with this practice have had their preferences carried over as part of the National Data Opt-out administered by NHS Digital.
You can check or change your preferences at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters on-line and read the information and follow the instructions if you wish to opt out. This opt-out is recorded against your NHS number on the NHS ‘spine’.
There are some situations where the opt-out will not apply. These include:
- Situations where data is needed in the “public interest”, e.g in cases of epidemic where communicable diseases need to be diagnosed and the spread of their infection prevented or controlled;
- To monitor and deliver vaccination programmes
- To manage risks of infection from food or water supplies or the environment.
You can find out more about how your patient information is used at https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ and https//understandingpatinetdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know.
Please note that you can change your choice at any time.
All health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place to be compliant with the provisions of the national opt-out and apply your choice to your data. This practice is currently compliant with the national data opt-out policy.
How is your information stored?
The practice stores the main patient record via a contracted data processor in the cloud. The contracted processor for the practice is Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS). They can be contacted via EMIS, Rawdon House, Green Lane, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7BY.
How long is the information retained ?
The medical record is retained at the patient’s practice for the lifetime of the patient, after which it is sent to Primary Care Services England (PCSE). If you move to another practice your records will be transferred to that practice.
Athena Medical Centre
Data Protection Officer
|Purpose of Processing your personal information
|Direct Care delivered to the individual alone, much of which is provided in the surgery.
After a patient agrees to a referral for direct care elsewhere, such as a referral to a specialist in a hospital, necessary and relevant information about the patient, their circumstances and their problem will need to be shared with the other healthcare workers, such as specialist, therapists, technicians etc.
The information that is shared is to enable the other healthcare and social care professionals to provide the most appropriate advice, investigations, treatments, therapies and or care.
|Lawful Basis for Processing your personal information||The processing of personal data in the delivery of direct care and for providers’ administrative purposes in this surgery and in support of direct care elsewhere is supported under the following Article 6 and 9 conditions of the GDPR:
Article 6 (1) (c) – the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller (the practice is subject) and/or
Article 6(1)(e) ‘…the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority…’.
Health data is defined as a special kind of personal data and is also processed by the practice under
Article 9(2)(h) ‘necessary for the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services..’
The sharing of your personal data also takes place in accordance with the common law duty of confidentiality. Performance of this duty does not require consent from the patient where the proposed use of their data is either for individual care or in the public interest.
|Recipient or categories of recipients of your personal data||The data will be shared with health and care professionals and support staff in this surgery and at hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centres who contribute to your personal care.
· Primary Care Network
· Local GP provider organisation
· NHS Commissioning Support Units
· Social Care Services Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)
· Clinical Excellence Group
· Community Pharmacists
· District Nurses
· Independent Contractors such as dentists, opticians, pharmacists
· Private Sector Providers
· Voluntary Sector Providers
· Ambulance Trusts
· Clinical Commissioning Groups
· Local Authorities
· Education Services
· Fire and Rescue Services
· Police & Judicial Services
· The Child Health Information Service
· Substance Misuse Remote Workers
· London Coroner’s Service
· Voluntary Sector Providers
· Private Sector Providers
· Social Prescribers
This practice is also part of a Neighbourhood Multi-Disciplinary Team based upon the Hackney Marshes Primary Care Network designed to bring together a number of service providers to help patients with more than one need.
|Your right to object||You have the right to object to some or all of the information being processed, which is detailed under Article 21. Exercising your right to object may well prevent the referral or course of treatment from going ahead.
Please contact the practice who is the Data Controller in the first instance or the Data Protection Officer
You should be aware that this is a right to raise an objection, that is not the same as having an absolute right to have your wishes granted in every circumstance.
|Your right to access and correction||You have the right to access your data and to have any inaccuracies corrected.
There is no right to have accurate medical records deleted except when ordered by a court of Law.
|How long do we hold your personal data for?||We retain your personal data in line with both national guidance and law, which can be found here:
|Your right to complain||If you have a question or wish to complain about the use of your data, you should approach the Practice Manager or contact the Data Protection Officer at:
The use of personal data is overseen by the Information Commissioners Office, often known as the ICO.
If you wish to complain or raise a concern with the ICO, they can be contacted via their website:
Or you can also call their helpline
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)
01625 545 745 (national rate)
Or you can write to them at
The ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Ln, Wilmslow SK9 5AF
We welcome your ideas and comments, which can be left in the suggestions box located in the reception area.
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). It is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had.
Why do I need a Summary Care Record?
Storing information in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.
This information could make a difference to how a doctor decides to care for you, for example which medicines they choose to prescribe for you.
Who can see it?
Only healthcare staff involved in your care can see your Summary Care Record.
How do I know if I have one?
Over half of the population of England now have a Summary Care Record. You can find out whether Summary Care Records have come to your area by looking at our interactive map or by asking your GP
Do I have to have one?
No, it is not compulsory. If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery. You can use the form at the foot of this page.
For further information visit the NHS Care records website
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.