The Smile Suite complies with the 1998 Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This policy describes what information we hold about you and why. It also outlines our procedures for ensuring that patients’ personal information is processed fairly and lawfully.
Information We Hold
In order to provide you with a high standard of dental care and attention, we need to hold some personal information about you. This personal data comprises:
personal details, such as your name, DOB, address, telephone numbers, email address, NHS number and your general medical practitioner
any past and current medical and dental conditions
radiographs, clinical photographs, digital scans and study models
clinical records made by dentists and other dental professionals involved in your care and treatment
information about treatment we have provided or propose to provide, including costs, amounts paid and some payment details, such as method of payment
notes of conversations or incidents that might occur, for which a record needs to be kept
records of consent to treatment and treatment plans, along with the dates of your appointments
any correspondence (relating to you), with other healthcare professionals, such as referrals to hospitals or specialists.
Dr Fawzia Walji is responsible for keeping any information we hold about you secure. Information may be accessed by dentists and dental care professionals involved in your care, as well as by reception and administration staff involved in management and administration.
Use of Information
We need to keep comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date personal data about our patients in order to provide them with safe and appropriate dental care. We may also need to process your personal data if we are providing care under referral, to ensure correct management and administration.
We will ask for your preferred means of contact regarding dental care, whether that be via telephone, email or letter.
We may use your contact details to confirm or remind you of your dental appointments or that your next appointment is due. We may also use your details to inform you of any products, services or offers available at our practice.
At times we may need to share your information. This may be with:
the hospital, community dental services or other healthcare professionals caring for you
dental insurance companies of which you are a member
private dental schemes of which you are a member.
Keeping Information Safe
We will keep your dental records while you are a patient at the practice. Should you cease to be a patient, we are required to retain them for at least another eleven years, or in the case of children until the age of 25, whichever occurs later.
Your personal data is held on the practice’s computer system. We take measures in maintaining the security of the practice premises and its computer systems. This information is not accessible to the public, and only authorised members of staff have access to it. They understand their legal responsibilities in maintaining confidentiality and follow practice procedures to ensure this. Our computer system has been secured with audit trails and information is regularly backed up to ensure it is not lost.
Access to Information
Disclosure will take place on a need-to-know basis so that only those individuals/organisations who need specific information, in order to provide care to you or observe the proper administration of Government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules), will be given the information. The recipient will only be given the information that they need to know for these purposes.
In very limited circumstances, or when required by law or by a court order, personal data may have to be disclosed to a third party not connected with your dental care. In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this policy will occur only when we have your specific consent. Where possible, you will be informed of these requests for disclosure.
You have the right to access the data that we hold about you and to receive a copy. Access may be obtained by making a request in writing. We do not usually charge you for copies of your information; if a charge is applicable, we will explain the reasons. We will provide a copy of the record within 40 days of receipt of the request. You can also request that we:
correct any inaccurate or incomplete information
erase information we hold, although for legal reasons, we may be unable to erase certain information (for example, information about your dental treatment)
stop using your information – for example, sending you reminders for appointments or information about our service
supply a copy of your information electronically to another dentist.
If You Do Not Agree
If you do not wish for us to use your personal data as described, please discuss the matter with your dentist. If you object to the way we collect and use your information, please remember this may affect our ability to provide you with dental care.