Your right to confidentiality and privacy
All staff and volunteers across our services are required to comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and other legal requirements.
EDP have appointed a senior person as our Caldicott Guardian, who is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of service user information, enabling appropriate information sharing and support staff in making decisions about how your information is handled. EDP’s Caldicott Guardian is our Director of Operations.
Your care (health) records
Your care records may be written or held on a computer. They are a record of the services and the care you have received (including information and reports about your health), general information (for example your name, address and next of kin) and may also include information from other organisations involved in your care.
Our staff are responsible for the accuracy and safekeeping of your health records and you can also help us to keep them accurate by informing us of any changes in your circumstances.
Sharing your care (health) records
We have a legal and ethical duty to keep your care records confidential. We may, however, need to share your personal information both internally within EDP and externally with other health and social care organisations, so that we can provide the services you need. The information is shared with your consent; however, very occasionally we are required by law to pass on certain information about you without your consent. For example, this could be in the event of certain infectious diseases, in response to a court order or where there is danger of harm to a child or a vulnerable adult.
Sometimes your care records may also be used by EDP or the body Commissioning the services we provide (such as the NHS), to determine how a particular service is performing or, occasionally, for research. When records are used in this way, your personal information is not used (the data is anonymised), unless we have received your written consent – and you always have the right to say no.
Access to your care records
By law, you have the right to access your care records whether they are written or computerised. Requests are required to be in writing and we may ask you for proof of identity. Please submit the written request to EDP; speak to your case manager providing your care.
You are only permitted to access information about you and we may have to withhold or edit information, so that it does not identify 3rd party information about other persons (such as family members, carers, friends, etc.) or contain information that has been provided by another person or agency about you (e.g. doctors, solicitors, etc.). An EDP healthcare professional is required to examine your records before they are released to you and if they believe that certain information in the health record might cause serious harm to your physical or mental health or to that of another person they may withhold that piece of information.
We may charge a fee to cover our administration and photocopying costs. If you would like further information or a copy of your records you can:
Write to: The Director of Operations, EDP Drug & Alcohol Services, Third Floor, Beaufort House, 51 New North Road, Exeter, EX4 4EP
If after you have seen your medical records you think something is incorrect, you should discuss it with your case Manager. If the incorrect information is non-clinical, such as a wrongly recorded name or address, this will be corrected, however, usually, clinical information can’t be removed from your records unless a court orders it and the information will not be amended but a comment may be added alongside the information to say that you disagree opinion. This is because staff involved in your service provision need your full record to understand earlier decisions.
Concerns about the handling of your information
If you are dissatisfied with how your information has been handled please let us know by writing to the Director of Operations at the address above or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org noting ‘For the Attention of the Director of Operations’.
Access to records about other people
You can only have access to records relating to other people if:
- They have provided written authorisation
- You have parental responsibility for children under 16
- You have been appointed by a court and this is authorised in writing
- You are a representative of a deceased patient