URGENT MESSAGE RE. COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS): CHANGE TO APPOINTMENTS & ADVICE
CHANGE TO APPOINTMENTS
Dear Patients of St Johns Medical Centre
In view of the increased concern with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) we will be changing our appointment booking systems with immediate effect. This is to ensure we reduce the risk of transmission and maintain a safe environment for all patients and staff associated with the practices.
We are now moving to a telephone first system for those requesting an ‘on the day appointment’. Patients will be triaged by a clinician BY TELPHONE. If patients need to be seen in the practice, an appointment will be arranged. This may not be at your usual practice, but the clinician who sees you will have full access to you electronic patient record.
If you wish to make a routine appointment for a matter unrelated to Coronavirus
- PLEASE REFRAIN FROM GOING TO YOUR GP PRACTICE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT IN PERSON
- DO contact the GP Surgery via telephone. Please tell the reception teams whether you would like a telephone consultation, video consultation or a face-to-face consultation. The teams will be asking patients a set of questions prior to making appointments to ensure patients are directed to the appropriate healthcare professional or service.
- DO complete an eConsult if you need same day advice from a GP (if your practice offers this)
- FOR TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS there is now an option to book these online. Please contact the reception teams for information how to register for online booking if you do not already have this.
- FOR FACE-TO-FACE CONSULTATIONS, due to the need to answer questions prior to making an appointment, online booking has been suspended for the time being.
- FOR ONLINE ACCESS TO HEALTH RECORDS AND ONLINE PRESCRIPTION REQUESTS, there is no change from previously. Please contact the reception teams for information how to register for online access if you do not already have this.
Finally, please ensure your Practice has up to date contact details for you, including mobile telephone numbers where available, for clinical staff and reception teams to be able to contact you urgently if needed.
We understand that this may cause you some difficulties and thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.
ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM SYMPTOMS THAT MAY BE CASUED BY COVID-19
If you have arrived back to the UK from an affected area, kindly follow the specific advice for returning travellers. Public Health England’s information regarding affected areas and health care guidance changes daily and can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#returning-traveller
If you have visited an affected area in the past 14 days or have been in contact with someone infected with Coronavirus or you think you may have Coronavirus or if you have a fever, cough, sore throat or breathing problems.:
- DO NOT GO TO YOUR PRACTICE OR, COMMUNITY PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL
- DO stay indoors and avoid close contact with people
- DO seek medical help and advice by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or
- DO call NHS 111 by simply dialling 111 or visiting https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 if you need further medical help and advice
Supplementary Privacy Notice issued in response to COVID-19
Due to the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and we, Modality Partnership face due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.
In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way we may therefore need to share your personal information, including medical records, with staff from other GP Practices including Practices within our Primary Care Network, as well as other health organisations (i.e. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, Local authorities etc.) and bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.
The Secretary of State has served notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) to require organisations to process confidential patient information in the manner set out below for purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI.
The notice can be seen here
Purpose of this Notice
The purpose of this Notice is to require organisations such as ourselves to process confidential patient information for the purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI to support the Secretary of State’s response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Purpose). “Processing” for these purposes is defined in Regulation 3(2) and includes dissemination of confidential patient information to persons and organisations permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.
This Notice is necessary to require organisations like us to lawfully and efficiently process confidential patient information as set out in Regulation 3(2) of COPI for purposes defined in regulation 3(1), for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.
Requirement to Process Confidential Patient Information
The Secretary of State has served notice to recipients under Regulation 3(4) that requires Modality Partnership Practice/Surgeries to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.
Modality Partnership is only required to process such confidential patient information:
where the confidential patient information to be processed is required for a Covid-19 Purpose and will be processed solely for that Covid-19 Purpose in accordance with Regulation 7 of COPI from 20th March 2020 until 30th September 2020 (depending if renewed) for a Covid-19 Purpose.
A Covid-19 Purpose includes but is not limited to the following:
- Understanding Covid-19 risks and controlling them
- Identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with or at risk of Covid-19
- Monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19
- Delivering services to patients, clinicians, health services and adult social care services
- Supporting research and planning
A record will be kept by Modality Partnership Practice/Surgeries of all data processed under this Notice.
Sending Public Health Messages
- Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop Modality Partnership Practice/Surgeries from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
Summary Care Records (SCR)
All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives registered and regulated healthcare professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.
In light of the current emergency, the Department of Health and Social Care has removed the requirement for a patient’s prior explicit consent to share Additional Information as part of the Summary Care Record.
The notice can be seen here
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
Visitors to The Practice
We have an obligation to protect our staff and employees’ health, so it is reasonable for staff at Modality Partnership Practice/Surgeries to ask any visitors to our practice to tell us if they have visited a particular country, or are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. This must only be in pre-approved circumstances and we would also ask all patients to consider government advice on the NHS 111 website and not attend the practice.
Where it is necessary for us to collect information and specific health data about visitors to our practice, we will not collect more information than we need, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.
Review and Expiry of this Notice
This Notice will be reviewed on or before 30 September 2020 and may be extended by The Secretary of State. If no further notice is sent to Modality Partnership by The Secretary of State this Notice will expire on 30 September 2020.
Our Data Protection Officer
The Practice has appointed Umar Sabat as its Data Protection Officer.
He can be contacted on the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any concerns about how your data is shared, or if you would like to know more about your rights in respect of the personal data we hold about you, then please contact the Practice Data Protection Officer.
How to contact the appropriate authorities
If you have any concerns about your information is managed then we would encourage you to first speak to our Data Protection Officer in the first instance.
If you are still unhappy following our Data Protection Officer’s review you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office at the following address:
Tel: 01625 545745