CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

This practice recognises that all members of the team have an ethical and legal duty to keep patient information confidential. The relationship this practice has with each patient is based on trust that information will not be given to external persons or organisations without the patient’s consent. All members of the practice team are expected to comply with this policy and are advised to be aware of the confidentiality clause within their staff contract. Breaches of this policy could lead to dismissal. 

‘Standards for Dental Professionals’, guidance from the General Dental Council, notes that practitioners must ‘Protect the confidentiality of patients’ information’.

This means: 
• Using information only for the purposes for which it was given. 
• Preventing information from being accidentally revealed. 
• Preventing unauthorised access by keeping information secure at all times. 

Only in exceptional circumstances can a breach of confidentiality be justified.

Preventing breaches of confidentiality
Keep all confidential data stored securely and do not allow them to be placed in areas where they may be seen by unauthorised personnel.

Do not provide information:
• To a school about a child’s attendance.
• To employers about a patient’s appointments.
• To third parties about appointments or leave answering machines.
• Only leave messages to return the practice’s phone call.

Recall cards and other personal information must be sent in a sealed envelope and marked ‘Confidential – to be opened by addressee only’.

Disclosure of information
If it is necessary to release information about a patient:
• Get the patient’s consent first, where possible. Make sure they understand what information you will release, why and any likely consequences.
• Release the minimum required.
• Be prepared to justify your decisions and follow on action.

If you are using patient information (eg. radiographs, study models) for teaching purposes gain the patient’s consent and ensure the patient cannot be identified from the information released.

Exceptional circumstances
Responsibility for disclosure rests with the patient’s dentist only. Under no circumstances can any other member of staff make such a decision.
There may be some circumstances when the dentist feels it would be in the public interest to breach a patient’s confidentiality. In such cases, the dentist should get advice from their indemnifier before releasing the patient’s information to a third party.

A court may order you to release information without the patient’s consent. If so, only release the minimum information and speak with your indemnity provider first.

Access to records
Patients have a right to see their records and the practice should meet their request within 40 days. A request from a patient to see records or for a copy must be referred to the patient’s dentist.

The patient should be given the opportunity of coming into the practice to discuss the records and will then be given a photocopy.

More information
For more information on this topic, speak with the practice owner or practice manager.

Alternatively contact the organisations below:
General Dental Council (www.gdc-uk.org)
Information Commissioner (www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk)
Dental Defence Union (www.the-ddu.com)
Dental Protection Ltd (www.dentalprotection.org)
MDDUS (www.mddus.com)

Address


Church Street Dental
6A Church Street
Somersham
Huntingdon
Cambridgeshire
PE28 3EG

Map


Opening Hours


Monday to Thursday – 8.30am to 5.00pm
(Closed between 1pm & 2pm for Lunch)
Friday – 8.00am to 4.30pm
(Closed between 12pm & 1pm for Lunch)
Saturday: By appointment only
Sunday: Closed

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Thank you for your understanding whilst the practice has been closed owing to measures to protect both staff and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

As you may have heard, the Prime Minister has advised that dental practices can reopen from 8th June 2020.

While this is welcomed news, it comes with a range of requirements, not all of which are yet fully defined, to make sure we are able to treat patients in a way that ensures the health and safety of all concerned. This will include enhanced personal protective measures and operating at a reduced capacity, thus as a consequence we will be seeing fewer patients per day.

Please be assured that the safety of our staff and patients is of paramount importance to us. We have always been focused on infection control, and in addition to what we have always done, we are augmenting our protocols to ensure our response to COVID-19 is both comprehensive and meticulous.

Initially we will be prioritising emergency/urgent care for patients who have contacted us needing help while we have been closed and we will be in contact with them over the coming weeks.

We will be contacting patients individually to arrange appointments where appropriate at this phase of the pandemic. There will be no “walk-in” appointment requests. Patients will only be seen with prior arrangement over the telephone.

As soon as we move to providing more routine care, we will let you know.

We really appreciate you bearing with us at this very difficult time.

If you require any dental advice or information, or feel you have a dental emergency please call or email us and we can arrange a telephone consultation.

Please call us on 01487 843 023 or email us on info@churchstreetdentalpractice.com