How we process and protect your data
You have a right to expect that information that you supply and details of your treatment are held in confidence. Only the people involved in the provision of your care (the staff of Tiptoe Foot Care) will have access to your records and then only in so far as it is necessary to fulfil their duties to you.
Data protection is important. We process your data (information you provide to us, together with our medical observations and treatment records), with your consent, to allow us to provide podiatry and related services to you. If you need help reading this notice, please ask our receptionist.
How is my data stored?
Our primary medical records are all held in paper form.
However, we do use computer systems for:
- appointment bookings;
- invoicing and payments;
- responding to email queries from patients;
- corresponding with other health professionals (see below); and
- storing photographs (where appropriate – these are only taken in the clinic, with your knowledge, as part of monitoring your treatment progress).
All of these electronic files are held securely in a password protected environment but we do use practice management programmes to help us with our work (again, these have password protected access). Please let us know if you require further information or have any concerns regarding this.
We will retain your details for a number of years after your last visit (currently eight years or, for minors, until the age of 25). This is in accordance with our professional requirements and guidance issued by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
Keeping information up to date
We are required to keep your records up to date and they should not contain any inaccurate information. Please help us with this by telling our receptionists if any of your contact details change (e.g. address, phone number, email address) or by speaking to the podiatrist at the start of your treatment if there are any medical changes of note (e.g. changes in medication, or if you recently suffered from an issue that would typically be recorded on the medical history form).
Similarly, we will regularly check with you that you remain comfortable with our data protection procedures and may ask you to update your consent form to ensure our records are appropriate.
Do you share my data with anyone else?
Many of our patients are keen to receive joined up healthcare advice wherever possible and so ask us to share information with other health professionals (e.g. their GP, osteopath, physiotherapist). We are very happy to do this and have seen a number of cases where this has been of great benefit to the patient. However, this will only be done on the explicit instruction of you, the patient, and you may change these instructions at any time.
You may also ask us to share medical information with other family members or carers who might assist you. Please let us know if you would like us to do this. Your podiatrist will assume you are happy for anyone who joins you in the treatment room to hear full details of your condition and the proposed treatment.
Very occasionally it may be necessary to share information with other health professionals, for example your GP. This will only be done by your podiatrist when it is in your interest and in order to provide you with the appropriate level of care. However, you can request that even in these circumstances, the information you give and details of your treatments are not to be disclosed to another healthcare professional without your prior consent.
Finally, there are a limited number of other circumstances where we may be required to share your personal information outside of the practice. These include:
- Where disclosure is required by statute or is ordered by a court of law.
- Where disclosure to the appropriate authorities is in the wider public interest (e.g. in the prevention or prosecution of a serious crime).
- Where disclosure is necessary to pursue a bona-fide legal claim against you.
In the unlikely event that a request is received from a third party for information held on our records about you, details will not be disclosed unless you give the practice prior consent.
If you wish to see your clinical notes at any stage so that you may see what information is recorded you may do so, and we will provide a copy or arrange a time for you to do this within 28 days. There will however be an administrative fee if you want a copy.
As part of our service, we will typically call (or email) you in advance of your appointment to confirm and remind you of your booking. This call will be made to the number (or email address) you provide but if someone else answers the phone or listens to an answer-phone message, they may well become aware that you have an upcoming appointment with us. We would not discuss any medical details but if you have any concerns about this process please let us know.
We produce a newsletter periodically that is emailed to patients to provide information about developments at the practice such as new treatments, changes in opening hours or staff members, special offers, and foot care related tips. If you would like to receive this in future, please make sure we have your email address and you have opted in to receiving these communications.
We do not share these email addresses with any other companies (or individuals).
Information on your records may also be used for the purpose of clinical audit. This is essential to the provision of good care and involves reviewing the care that you have received so as to ensure that future care is safe and to the standard which you could reasonably expect. There is no risk of information about you being made public as a result of a clinical audit, as all data is anonymous.
However, you have a right to object to your records being used in a clinical audit. If you wish to object please inform the podiatrist so that measures can be put in place to stop your records being used for audit purposes.
Under the new data protection legislation, you have the following individual rights:
Right to be informed
Right of access
Right to rectification
Right to erasure
Right to restrict processing
Right to data portability
Right to object
Rights related to automated decision making
We hope this note makes clear how we are using your data, and further information about individual rights is available on the Information Commissioner’s Office website. However, please ask to speak to the practice owner, Afni Shah-Hamilton, if you have any questions. There is also a privacy notice available on our website.
If you need to complain
If you feel that there has been a breach of your confidentiality, please raise this with the podiatrist. However if you do not feel able to do so, or your complaint is against the podiatrist, then you may complain to the practice owner, Afni Shah-Hamilton. If you feel unable to speak to either the podiatrist or the practice owner, then you may complain independently to The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.