Access to Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 recognises that everyone has the right to know how public services, such as NHS Wales, are organised and run, how much they cost and how you can make complaints if you need to. You have a right to know which services are being provided, the targets that are being set, the standards of service that are expected, the results achieved and how decisions are made. The Gower Medical Practice
Publication Scheme, detailing information routinely made available to the public is free of charge and available by e-mail. Hard copies or copying onto media (eg CD ROM) will be charged for and we will let you know the cost and charges that will have to be paid in advance.
You are entitled to request information about Gower Medical Practice under the Code of Practice on Openness. Hard copies of the Code of Practice are available free of charge from the NHS Wales Department of the Welsh Assembly or via the Department of Health website www.wales.nhs.uk Sometimes some or all of the information cannot be provided and we will explain the reasons why not when this happens, such as when the information is of a sensitive, personal or confidential nature.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are also entitled to access your clinical records or any other personal information held about you. You will need to contact us in writing to request such information and will be charged a fee for access. www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029.htm#aofs
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Most of your personal health information is stored on our practice computer system, although some is kept on paper. We may use some of this information for other reasons eg to help protect the health of the public generally, see the NHS runs efficiently, plan the future, support medical research and help educate tomorrow’s doctors. Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information eg to notify a birth or death.
We may need to share information with other professional staff who are involved in your care. They have a legal duty to keep it confidential. If we pass on information for reasons other than your personal care, we remove any details which identify you. We can only pass on information if people have a general need for it; even then, there are strict legal controls on sharing of some kinds of sensitive personal information. www.doh.gov.uk