Yealm Medical Centre


This privacy notice explains why Yealm Medical Centre collects information about you, how we keep it safe and confidential and how that information may be used.


Why we collect information about you

Health care professionals who provide you with care are required by law to maintain records about your health and any treatment or care you have received within any NHS organization. These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.


We collect and hold data for the sole purpose of providing healthcare services to our patients. In carrying out this role we may collect information about you, which helps us to respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We may keep your information in written form and/or in digital form. The records may include basic information about you, such as name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and information such as outcomes of needs assessment.


Details we collect about you

The health care professionals who provide you with care maintain records about your health, and any treatment or care you have received previously or elsewhere (eg NHS Hospital Trusts, other GP surgery, Out of Hours GP Centre, ED, Walk-in-Clinic etc). These records help to provide you with the best possible healthcare.


Records, which we may hold about you, may include the following:


  • Details about you, such as your address and next of kin, emergency contacts
  • Your home telephone number, mobile phone number, e-mail address
  • Any contact the surgery has had with you, such as appointments, clinic visits, immunisations, emergency appointments etc.
  • Notes and reposts about your health, treatment and care
  • Results of investigations, such as laboratory tests, x-rays etc.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you, or information provided to the surgery by you (including that provided via our surgery website)



How we keep your information confidential and safe

All your GP NHS health records are kept electronically. Our GP records database is hosted by Microtest Ltd, who is acting as a data processor, and all information is stored on our secure servers which are protected by appropriate security, and access is limited to authorised personnel.


We also make sure that data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.


We only email you, or use your mobile number to text you, regarding matters of medical care. Unless you have separately given your explicit consent we will not email you for non-medical matters (such as surgery newsletters and other information).


We maintain our duty of confidentiality to you always. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to any third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances (ie. life or death situations) or where the law requires information to be passed on.



How we use information about you

Confidential patient data will be shared within the healthcare team at the practice, including nursing staff, admin staff, secretaries and receptionists, and with other healthcare professionals to whom a patient is referred. Those individuals have a professional and contractual duty of confidentiality.



Data Processors

Yealm Medical Centre use data processors to perform certain administrative tasks for us, particularly where these involve large numbers of patients. Details of these data processors can be found on our website.



Referrals for specific health purposes

We sometimes provide your information to other organisations for them to provide you with medical services. We will always inform you of such a referral and you always have the right to not be referred in this way. These include:


  • Referrals for home oxygen services
  • Referrals for diabetes eye screening



Data Sharing Schemes

There are a number of data sharing schemes are active locally, enabling healthcare professionals outside of the surgery to view information from your GP record, with your explicit consent, should that need arise. These schemes include:


  • The National Summary Care Record
  • Adastra Web Access (GP OOH)
  • SWAST (Ambulance service)


Details of these schemes and your right to opt out of any or all of them can be found on our website.



Mandatory Disclosures of Information

We are sometimes legally obliged to disclose information about patients to relevant authorities. In these circumstances the minimum identifiable information that is essential to serve that legal purpose will be disclosed.


That organization will also have professional and contractual duty of confidentiality. Data will be anonymised if at all possible before disclosure if this would serve the purpose for which the data is required.


Organisations that we are sometimes obliged to release information to include:


  • NHS Digital  (Open Exeter)
  • CQC
  • DVLA
  • GMC
  • HMRC
  • NHS Counter Fraud
  • Police
  • The Courts
  • Public Health England
  • Local Authorities (Social Services)
  • The Health Service Ombudsman


In the event of actual or possible legal proceedings, we may need to disclose information from and individual’s GP record to a medical defence organization.



Permissive Disclosure of Information

Only with your explicit consent, Yealm Medical Centre can release information about you, from your GP record to relevant organisations. These may include


  • Your employer
  • Insurance companies
  • Solicitors
  • Local Authorities
  • Police



Accessing your information on other databases

Yealm Medical Centre can access certain medical information about you, when relevant or necessary that is held on other databases (ie. under the control of another data controller). This includes NHS Digitals Open Exeter database and Eclipse database. Accessing such information would only be for your direct medical care.



Yealm Medical Centre undertakes accredited research projects. Where this involves accessing or disclosing identifiable patient information we will only do so with the explicit consent of the individual and Research Ethics Committee approval.



Your right to opt-out of sharing your information

You have the right to opt out (or object) to ways in which your information is shared, both for direct medical care purposes (such as the national NHS data sharing schemes) ie primary uses of your information, or for purposes other than your direct medical care (called secondary uses). Please speak to the practice manager if you wish to object. You also have the right to have any mistakes or errors corrected..



Accessing your own medical information

You have the right to access your own GP record. Details of how to do this can be found on our website or by completing a request form from the reception team.




The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to register a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal and sensitive information. Yealm Medical Centre is registered as a data controller and our registration can be viewed online in the public register.


Data Protection Officer

We are legally required to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO). A DPO is an independent advocate who ensures that we are meeting the requirements of GDPR. Our DPO is Bex Lovewell and she can be contacted on:

c/o Express Diagnostics and Treatment Services, Research Way, Plymouth PL6 8BU

Phone: 07375322875          E-mail:



If you have concerns or are unhappy about any of our services, please contact our Practice Manager. Details of how to complain are on our website or available at the surgery.


For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues you can contact:

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane


Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 08456 306060         Website: