Telephone: 01924 201614,
Dr S Barnsley
Windhill Road, Wakefield, WF1 4SD

Data Transparency

Your Information

We take your privacy very seriously. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller and our registration number can be found by searching the ICO Register using This Link.********************

?If you have any questions or wish to make a request in relation to your information, please contact us using the details on our main page or contact our Data Protection Officer at *************************

?We aim to provide you with the highest quality health care. To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.

?Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you, such as nurses or physiotherapists, keep records about your health and treatment so that they are able to provide you with the best possible care.

These records are called your ‘health care record’ and may be stored in paper form or on computer and electronic systems and may include Personal Data;

     basic details about you, such as address, date of birth, NHS number, and next of kin

as well as Sensitive Personal Data;

    contact we have had with you, such as clinical visits

    notes and reports about your health

    details and records about your treatment and care

    results of x-rays, laboratory tests etc

Healthcare providers are permitted to collect, store, use and share this information under Data Protection Legislation which has a specific section related to healthcare information.

 

What We Do With Your Information?

What We Do With Your Information -Updated 18th April 2019

    Refer you to other healthcare providers when you need other service or tests

Discuss or share information about your health or care with other health or social care providers 

Share samples with laboratories for testing (like blood samples)

Share test results with hospitals or community services (like blood test results)

Allow out of hours or extended hours GPs to look at your health record when you are going to an appointment

Send prescriptions to a pharmacy

Text patients in relation to healthcare services

Samples are provided to the courier for delivery to pathology

Share reports with the coroner

Receive reports of appointments you have attended elsewhere such as with the community nurse or if you have had a stay in hospital

Produce medical reports on request from third parties such as the DVLA or your employer

Movement of Patient records to Primary Care Support England

14th April 2019: Amended to include "Discuss or share information about your health or care with other health or social care providers"

 

How Do We Keep Your Information Safe?

We are committed to ensuring the security and confidentiality of your information.

We are committed to ensuring the security and confidentiality of your information.

There are a number of ways we do this:

Staff receive annual training about protecting and using personal data? 

Policies are in place for staff to follow and are regularly reviewed?

We check that only the minimum amount of data is shared or accessed

We use ‘smartcards’ to access systems, this helps to ensure that the right people are accessing data – people with a ‘need to know’

We use encrypted emails and storage which would make it difficult for someone to ‘intercept’ your information

We report and manage incidents to make sure we learn from them and improve

We put in place contracts that require providers and suppliers to protect your data as well

We do not send your data outside of the EEA

What Else Do We Use Your Information For?

Along with activities related directly to your care, we also use information in ways which allow us to check that care is safe and provide data for the improvement and planning of services.

Quality / payment / performance reports are provided to service commissioners

As part of clinical research – information that identifies you will be removed, unless you have consented to being identified

Undertaking clinical audits within the practice

Supporting staff training

Incident and complaint management

How Long Do We Keep Your Information?

In line with the Department of Health Code, we will retain / store your health record for your lifetime. 

When a patient dies, we will send your record to Primary Care Services England review the record and generally it will be destroyed 10 years later, unless there is a reason to keep it for longer.?

If you move away or register with another practice, we will send your records to the new practice.

Information Access and Rights

Data protection law provides you with a number of rights that the practice is committed to supporting you with;

Right to Access

You have the right to obtain:

Confirmation that your information is being used, stored or shared by the practice

A copy of information held about you

We will respond to your request within one month of receipt or will tell you when it might take longer.

We are required to validate your identity including the identity of someone making a request on your behalf

Right to Object or Withdrawn Consent

We mainly use, store and share your information because we are permitted in order to deliver your healthcare but you do have a right to object to us doing this.

Where we are using, storing and sharing your information based on explicit consent you have provided, you have a right to withdraw that consent at any time.

Our Data Protection Officer will be happy to speak with you about any concerns you have.

Right to Correction

If information about you is incorrect, you are entitled to request that we correct it

There may be occasions, where we are required by law to maintain the original information – our Data Protection Officer will talk to you about this and you may request that the information is not used during this time

We will respond to your request within one month of receipt or will tell you when it might take longer.

Right to Complain

You also have the right to make complaints and request investigations into the way your information is used. Please contact our Data Protection Officer or visit the link below for more information.

For more detailed information on your rights visit https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/

 

Sharing When Required By Law

Sometimes we will be required by law to share your information and will not always be able to discuss this with you directly. Examples might be for the purposes of detection or prevention of crime, where it is in the wider public interest, to safeguard children or vulnerable adults, reporting infectious diseases or where required by court order.

Care Quality Commission Access to Health Records

CQC has powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to access and use your health information where it is necessary to carry out their functions as a regulator.

This means that inspectors may ask to look at certain records to decide whether we are providing safe, good quality care.

More information about the CQC can be obtained on their website: www.cqc.org.uk/about-us/our-policies/privacy-statement

Information Technology

The practice will use third parties to provide services that involve your information such as;

·         Removal and destruction of confidential waste

·         Provision of clinical systems

·         Provision of connectivity and servers

·         Digital dictation services

Data analytics or warehousing (these allow us to make decisions about care or see how effectively the practice is run – personal data will never be sold or made available to organisations not related to your care delivery)

We have contracts in place with these third parties that prevent them from using it in any other way that instructed. These contracts also require them to maintain good standards of security to ensure your confidentiality.

Sharing Partners and Projects

Our practice uses Wakefield CCG to support us to deliver some of our services such as providing appointments when our practice is closed or for community-based services.                      

Here is a list of sharing partners across Wakefield:  

https://www.wakefieldccg.nhs.uk/home/patient-in-wakefield/connecting-care/about-connecting-care/connecting-care-programmes/connecting-care-hubs/sharing-information/

For more information about some of our other sharing activities click below;  

                  Diabetic Eye Screening - https://www.midyorks.nhs.uk/desp

                  Social Prescribing - https://www.wakefieldccg.nhs.uk/home/patient-in-wakefield/connecting-care/about-connecting-care/connecting-care-programmes/voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-sector/live-well-wakefield-social-prescribing/

                  Health Checks - https://conexus-healthcare.org/nhs-health-checks-wakefield/

                  Child Health Immunisations - www.bdct.nhs.uk/services/health-visiting-wakefield

 

 

Case Finding and Profiling

Sometimes your information will be used to identify whether you need particular support from us.

Those involved in your care might look at particular ‘indicators’ (such as particular conditions) and contact you or take action for healthcare purposes. 

For example, this might be to prevent you from having to visit accident and emergency by supporting you in your own home or in the community.

We will use automated technology to help us to identify people that might require support but ultimately, the decision about how or whether to provide extra support you is made by those involved in your care.

Our Data Protection Officer will be happy to speak to you about this if you have concerns or objections.

Subject Access Request Policy

Introduction

This policy provides the Practice with a process for the management of requests for personal information (for living individuals) under the Data Protection Act (DPA), the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and (for deceased individuals) the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

It defines a process for achieving legislative requirements and ensuring effective and consistent management of such requests.

The policy ensures that all staff are aware of how a subject access request should be made and to respond quickly.

Under the Data Protection Act, subject to certain conditions, an individual is entitled to be:

·         Told whether any personal data is being processed;

·         Given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed,
and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people; and

·         Given a copy of the information comprising the data; and given details of the source of the data (where this is available).

The Data Protection Act extends equally to all relevant records relating to living individuals, including records held in the private health sector and health professionals’ private practice records.

Personal data held by the Practice may be:-

·         Personnel/Staff records relating to a member of staff, present, past or prospective, whether permanent, temporary or volunteer

·         Health records consisting of information about the physical or mental health of an identifiable individual made by, or on behalf of, a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

Access encompasses the following rights:-

·         To obtain a copy of the record in permanent form

·         To have information provided in an intelligible format (and explained where necessary)

The Data Protection Act also gives subjects who now reside outside the UK the right to apply for access to their former UK health and employment records:

·         Employees are legally entitled to request their personal records and may take them outside of the UK at their own discretion.

·         Original health records should not be given to people to keep/take outside the UK. A GP or community health professional may be prepared to provide the patient with a summary of treatment; alternatively the patient may make a request for access in the usual way.

Organisations must have procedures in place to ensure that individual’s rights of access are met within a timely and appropriate fashion.

Individual’s rights regarding the sharing of their personal information are supported by the Care Record Guarantees, which set out high-level commitments for protecting and safeguarding service user information, particularly in regard to individuals’ rights of access to their own information, how information will be shared (both within and outside of the organisation) and how decisions on sharing information will be made.

In the response to the Caldicott2 Report, the Department of Health confirmed that service users should have access to information about themselves even if it was obtained through new or non-traditional approaches (for example, virtual consultations) to delivering health and care services.

The BMA Confidentiality and Health Records Toolkit helps identify the key factors to take into consideration when making a decision around confidentiality and disclosure of health records.

Scope

This policy applies to any request by a patient or member of staff for access to their personal information held by the Practice.

This policy applies to all staff (employees, governing body members, contractors) of the Practice.

Who can make an Access Request?

An application for access to personal data may be made to the Practice by any of the following:-

·         an individual

·         a person authorised by the individual in writing to make the application on an individual’s behalf e.g. solicitor, family member, carer

·         a person having parental responsibility for the individual where he/she is a child.

·         a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of an individual who is deemed incompetent

·         individuals who hold a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

·         where the individual has died, the personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the individual’s death (the executor of the deceased’s will; someone who has been appointed as an Administrator of the Estate by the Courts; someone who has the written consent of either of the above to be given access, someone who is in the process of challenging the deceased’s will)

Police Requests

The Police may, on occasion, request access to personal data of individuals. Whilst there is an exemption in the Data Protection Act which permits the Practice to disclose information to support the prevention and detection of crime, the Police have no automatic right to access; however they can obtain a Court Order.

Solicitor Requests

A patient can authorise their solicitor or another third party to make a SAR. As long as the solicitor has provided the patient’s written consent to authorise access to the records, the SAR process should be followed as usual.

Insurance Requests

Insurance companies however do not have the same privileges to access patient records – the ICO has said that insurance companies using SARs to obtain full medical records is an abuse of the process (the DPA 2018 still says that information must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose the data is processed).

It is a criminal offence to make a SAR to access information about individuals’ convictions and cautions – the law sets out various levels of fines, and a clause in the DPA 2018 will soon be enacted to extend this to cover medical records. If you suspect that a SAR from an insurer is not relevant or excessive then it should be reported to the ICO and the Association of British Insurers

Requests relating to children/young persons

Parental responsibility for a child is defined in the Children’s Act 1989 as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority, which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property’. Although not defined specifically, responsibilities would include safeguarding and promoting a child’s health, development and welfare, including if relevant their employment records. Included in the parental rights which would fulfil the parental responsibilities above are:

·         having the child live with the person with responsibility, or having a say in where the child lives;

·         if the child is not living with her/him, having a personal relationship and regular contact with the child;

·         controlling, guiding and directing the child’s upbringing.

Foster parents are not ordinarily awarded parental responsibility for a child. It is more likely that this responsibility rests with the child’s social worker and appropriate evidence of identity should be sought in the usual way.

The law regards young people aged 16 or 17 to be adults for the purposes of consent to employment or treatment and the right to confidentiality. Therefore, if a 16 year old wishes HR or a medical practitioner to keep their information confidential then that wish must be respected.

In some certain cases, children under the age of 16 who have the capacity and understanding to take decisions about their own treatment are also entitled to decide whether personal information may be passed on and generally to have their confidence respected.

Where a child is considered capable of making decisions, e.g. about his/her employment or medical treatment, the consent of the child must be sought before a person with parental responsibility may be given access. Where, in the view of the appropriate professional, the child is not capable of understanding the nature of the application, the holder of the record is entitled to deny access if it is not felt to be in the patient’s best interests.

The identity and consent of the applicant must always be established.

The applicant does not have to give a reason for applying for access.

The Practice is a Data Controller and can only provide information held by the organisation. Data controllers in their own right must be applied to directly, the Practice will not transfer requests from one organisation to another.

Application

Individuals wishing to exercise their right of access should:

  • Make a written application to the Practice holding the records, including via email
  • Provide such further information as the Practice may require to sufficiently identify the individual

An individual may also raise a request using the form in Appendix A, however this is not mandatory.

The Practice as “data controller” is responsible for ascertaining the purpose of the request and the manner in which the information is supplied.

Fees and Response Time

Under GDPR the Practice musts provide information free of charge.  However, we can charge a “reasonable fee” when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.

The fee must be based on the administrative cost of providing the information only.

The request should be initially passed to the Data Protection Officer who will manage Subject Access Request.

If the request involves creating a medical report or interpreting the information in an existing medical record or report, then this would be a request under the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA). Unlike a Subject Access Request, these requests will require new material to be created. This would mean that a fee is payable in such circumstances.

Appendix A to this policy prompts the applicant to clarify whether they wish to make this type of request.

The request must be complied with without delay and at least within one calendar month of receipt of the request.  This period can be extended for a further two months where requests are complex or numerous, however the Practice must inform the individual within one month of receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.

The identity of an individual who provided/recorded information should not be disclosed, nor should the identity of any other person/s referred to in the record(s) of the individual requesting access, unless explicit consent has been given.

The Release Stage

The format of the released information must comply with the requester’s wishes.  Where no specific format is requested, the Practice should provide the information in the same manner as the original request.  For example, requests received via email can be satisfied via email.

The release of a health record is subject to consultation with either:-

·         The health professional who is currently, or was most recently, responsible for the clinical care of the data subject in connection with the information which is the subject of the request

·         Where there is more than one such health professional, the health professional who is the most suitable to advise on the information which is the subject of the request

Once the records have been collated, redacted where applicable and signed off by the Caldicott Lead, they should be sent to the requester. On no account must the original record be released.

In denying or restricting access, a reason for the decision does not need to be given but the applicant should be directed through the appropriate complaint channels.

Where information is not readily intelligible, an explanation (e.g. of abbreviations or terminology) must be given.

If it is agreed that the subject or their representative may directly inspect the record, a health professional or HR administrator must supervise the access. If supervised by an administrator, this person must not comment or advise on the content of the record and if the applicant raises enquiries, an appointment with a health professional must be offered

 Exemptions

Access may be denied or restricted where:

        The record contains information which relates to or identifies a third party that is not a care professional and has not consented to the disclosure. If possible, the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record which does not contain the third party information

·         Access to all or part of the record will prejudice the carrying out of social work by reason of the fact that serious harm to the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person is likely. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not post the risk of serious harm

·         Access to all or part of the record will seriously harm the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not pose the risk of serious harm

·         If an assessment identifies that to comply with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) of the Data Protection Act (Appendix C).

There is no requirement to disclose to the applicant the fact that certain information may have been withheld.

In addition, Article 23 of the GDPR enables Members States, such as the United Kingdom to introduce further exemptions from the GDPR’s transparency obligations and individual rights.  The Data Protection Officer can provide further information regarding exemptions applicable at the time of receipt of the subject access request.

Complaints and Appeals

The applicant has the right to appeal against the decision of the Practice to refuse access to their information.  This appeal should be made to [insert name and role].

f an applicant is unhappy with the outcome of their access request, the following complaints channels should be offered:

    Meet with the applicant to resolve the complaint locally

    Advise a patient to make a complaint through the complaint’s process

    Advise a member of staff to consult with their trade union representative

If individuals remain unhappy with the Practice response, they have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 https://www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us.

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Email: caseworkatico.gsi.gov.uk

Roles and Responsibilities

The Caldicott Lead has executive responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

The Data Protection Officer has operational responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

All staff must be aware of how to recognise and manage a subject access request.  Training will be provided to staff likely to be in receipt of requests covering:-

  • Required format of a subject access request
  • Correct identification of the requesting individual
  • Location of personal information
  • Timescales for compliance
  • Provision of information in an intelligible format
  • Action to be taken if the information includes third party data or if it has been determined that access will seriously harm an individual (see exemptions)

Monitoring and Review

Barnaby Roe monitors all Subject Access Requests to ensure the correct process has been followed and monitors any appeals/complaints relating to Subject Access Requests.

Equality Impact

In applying this policy, the organisation will have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and provide for good relations between people of diverse groups, in particular on the grounds of the following characteristics protected by the Equality Act (2010); age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation, in addition to offending background, trade union membership, or any other personal characteristic.

Appendix A: Form – Subject Access Request Form 

The [PRACTICE] respects the rights of individuals to have copies of their information wherever possible.

Personal information collected from you by this form, is required to enable your request to be processed, this personal information will only be used in connection with the processing of this Subject Access Request.

DPA_Padlock__blue_

Charges Payable: In accordance with legislation no fee will be charged for your request, unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.  Before any further action is taken, we will contact you with details of our “reasonable administrative charges” in order to comply with your request.

 

 

 

PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLOCK CAPITALS – Illegible forms will delay the time taken to respond to requests.

1.

Details of Patient/Clients/Staff members records to be accessed (Please complete one form per person)

Surname                                  

Date of Birth

Forename(s)

Current Address

 

Full Postcode

Any former names (If Applicable)

Telephone Number

Previous Address (If Applicable)

 

Full Postcode

NHS Number (If known/relevant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If further details are available please include in a separate covering note.

 

 




 

2.

Details of Records to be Accessed

In order to locate the records you require please provide as much information as possible. Please list the department or services you have accessed that you require records from: i.e. PALs, complaints, continuing healthcare or Human resources etc (Continue on a separate sheet if required).

Records dated from      

Department or services accessed

    /    /      to        /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Details of applicant (Complete if different to patients/clients/staff members details)

Full Name

 

Company (if Applicable)

 

Relationship with individual who’s records have been requested

 

Address to which a reply should be sent

 

 

Postcode:                                        Tel:

4.

Authorisation to release to applicant (to be completed by the patients/clients/staff member if not making their own request)

I (Print name)                                                                         hereby authorise the [PRACTICE] to release any personal data they may hold relating to me to the above applicant and to whom I authorise to act on my behalf.

 

 

Signature of patient/client/staff member :                                                                            Date:         /       /

5.

Declaration

I declare that information given by me is correct to the best of my knowledge and that I am entitled to apply for access to the health record(s) referred to above, under the terms of the Access to Health Records Act (1990) / Data Protection Act.

Please select one box below:

q  I am the patient/client/staff member (data subject).

q I have been asked to act on behalf of the data subject and they have completed section 4 -authorisation above.

q I am acting on behalf of the data subject who is unable to complete the authorisation section above (Covering letter with further details supplied).

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who has completed the authorisation section above. (Please include proof such as birth certificate)

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who is unable to understand the request and who has consented to my making the request on their behalf.

q I have been appointed the Guardian for the patient/client, who is over age 16 under a Guardianship order (attached).

q I am the deceased patient/client’s personal representative and attach confirmation of my appointment.

q I have a claim arising from the patient/client’s death and wish to access information relevant to my claim (Covering letter with further details to be supplied).

Please Note:   

§  If you are making an application on the behalf of somebody else we require evidence of your authority to do so i.e. personal authority, court order etc.

§  It may be necessary to provide evidence of identity (i.e. Driving Licence).

§  If there is any doubt about the applicant’s identity or entitlement, information will not be released until further evidence is provided. You will be informed if this is the case.

§  Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, Subject Access Requests will be responded to within 30 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  If you are making a request under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, requests will be responded to within 40 days where no entries have been made to the patient/client’s record 40 days immediately preceding the date of this request, otherwise requests will be responded to within 21 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  Under the terms of Section 7 of the Data Protection Act, Information disclosed under a Subject Access Request may have information removed; this is to ensure that the confidentiality is maintained for third parties referred to who have not consented to their information being disclosed.

Print Name

 

Signed (Applicant) 

 

Date

     /       /

 

Please complete and send this document to:

 

 




Notify the data subject in writing that the information cannot be disclosed

 

 

 

 

Release information

 

Text Box: YES

 

Notify the data subject in writing that no information is held by the PRACTICE

 

Text Box: YES – acknowledge receipt of the request, log and assign a reference number

 

Text Box: NO

 

Text Box: YES

 

Text Box: NO

 

Advise requester that the request must be in writing (either using the SAR Form or via email)

 

Request additional supporting information from requester and advise that the one calendar month response timeframe will only apply once all outstanding information has been received.

 

 

This guidance sheet is based on the revised Information Commissioner Subject Access Code of Practice that was issued in July 2017:

 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2014223/subject-access-code-of-practice.pdf

 

1.      What is disproportionate effort?

 

  • The ‘disproportionate effort’ exception is in section 8(2) of the DPA. The Court of Appeal has provided clarification as to its application in its 2017 judgments in the cases of Dawson–Damer 1 and Ittihadieh/Deer and Oxford University 2  

 

  • The DPA does not define ‘disproportionate effort’, but the court has explained that there is scope for assessing whether, in the circumstances of a particular case, complying with a request by supplying a copy of the requested information in permanent form would result in so much work or expense as to outweigh the requester’s right of access to their personal data 

 

  • The court also made it clear that in assessing whether complying with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) you may take into account difficulties which occur throughout the process of complying with the request, including any difficulties you encounter in finding the requested information

 

  • This approach accords with the concept of proportionality in EU law, on which the DPA is based. When responding to SARs, the Information Commissioner expects you to evaluate the particular circumstances of each request, balancing any difficulties involved in complying with the request against the benefits the information might bring to the data subject, whilst bearing in mind the fundamental nature of the right of subject access

 

 

 

2.      How is this applied in practice?

 

  • In order to apply the exception, the burden of proof is on you as data controller to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the SAR, and that it would be disproportionate in all the circumstances of the case for you to take further steps 

 

  • The Information Commissioner considers it good practice for you to engage with the applicant, having an open conversation about the information they require. This might help you to reduce the costs and effort that you would otherwise incur in searching for the information

 

  • If the Information Commissioner receives a complaint about your handling of a subject access request, they may take into account your readiness to engage with the applicant and balance this against the benefit and importance of the information to them, as well as taking into account their level of co-operation with you in the course of the handling of a request 

 

  • Even if you can show that supplying a copy of information in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort, you must still try to comply with the request in some other way, if the applicant agrees. This could form a useful part of your discussions with the applicant, in order to identify an alternative way of satisfying their request

 

  • In addition, even if you do not have to supply a copy of the information in permanent form, the requester still has the right:

 

to be informed whether you are processing their personal data; and

 

if so, to be given a description of:

 

     

    • the personal data in question; o the purpose of the processing; and o the recipients or classes of recipients; and

     

 

     

    • to be given information about the source of the personal data.

     

 

 

3.      Example 

 

An organisation has decided that to supply copies of an individual’s records in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort

 

Rather than refuse the individual access, they speak to her and agree that it would be preferable if she visited their premises and viewed the original documents. They also agree that if there are documents she would like to take away with her, they can arrange to provide copies

 

 

 

 

4.      Key things to remember

 

WSUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST POLICY

 

Introduction


This policy provides the Practice with a process for the management of requests for personal information (for living individuals) under the Data Protection Act (DPA), the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and (for deceased individuals) the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

 

It defines a process for achieving legislative requirements and ensuring effective and consistent management of such requests.

 

The policy ensures that all staff are aware of how a subject access request should be made and to respond quickly.

 

Under the Data Protection Act, subject to certain conditions, an individual is entitled to be:

 

·         Told whether any personal data is being processed;

·         Given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed,
and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people; and

·         Given a copy of the information comprising the data; and given details of the source of the data (where this is available).

 

The Data Protection Act extends equally to all relevant records relating to living individuals, including records held in the private health sector and health professionals’ private practice records.

 

Personal data held by the Practice may be:-

 

·         Personnel/Staff records relating to a member of staff, present, past or prospective, whether permanent, temporary or volunteer

·         Health records consisting of information about the physical or mental health of an identifiable individual made by, or on behalf of, a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

 

Access encompasses the following rights:-

 

·         To obtain a copy of the record in permanent form

·         To have information provided in an intelligible format (and explained where necessary)

The Data Protection Act also gives subjects who now reside outside the UK the right to apply for access to their former UK health and employment records:

 

·         Employees are legally entitled to request their personal records and may take them outside of the UK at their own discretion.

·         Original health records should not be given to people to keep/take outside the UK. A GP or community health professional may be prepared to provide the patient with a summary of treatment; alternatively the patient may make a request for access in the usual way.

 

Organisations must have procedures in place to ensure that individual’s rights of access are met within a timely and appropriate fashion.

 

Individual’s rights regarding the sharing of their personal information are supported by the Care Record Guarantees, which set out high-level commitments for protecting and safeguarding service user information, particularly in regard to individuals’ rights of access to their own information, how information will be shared (both within and outside of the organisation) and how decisions on sharing information will be made.

 

In the response to the Caldicott2 Report, the Department of Health confirmed that service users should have access to information about themselves even if it was obtained through new or non-traditional approaches (for example, virtual consultations) to delivering health and care services.

 

The BMA Confidentiality and Health Records Toolkit helps identify the key factors to take into consideration when making a decision around confidentiality and disclosure of health records.


Scope

 

This policy applies to any request by a patient or member of staff for access to their personal information held by the Practice.

 

This policy applies to all staff (employees, governing body members, contractors) of the Practice.

 

Who can make an Access Request?

 

An application for access to personal data may be made to the Practice by any of the following:-

 

·         an individual

·         a person authorised by the individual in writing to make the application on an individual’s behalf e.g. solicitor, family member, carer

·         a person having parental responsibility for the individual where he/she is a child.

·         a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of an individual who is deemed incompetent

·         individuals who hold a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

·         where the individual has died, the personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the individual’s death (the executor of the deceased’s will; someone who has been appointed as an Administrator of the Estate by the Courts; someone who has the written consent of either of the above to be given access, someone who is in the process of challenging the deceased’s will)

Police Requests

 

The Police may, on occasion, request access to personal data of individuals. Whilst there is an exemption in the Data Protection Act which permits the Practice to disclose information to support the prevention and detection of crime, the Police have no automatic right to access; however they can obtain a Court Order.

 

Solicitor Requests

 

A patient can authorise their solicitor or another third party to make a SAR. As long as the solicitor has provided the patient’s written consent to authorise access to the records, the SAR process should be followed as usual.

 

Insurance Requests

 

Insurance companies however do not have the same privileges to access patient records – the ICO has said that insurance companies using SARs to obtain full medical records is an abuse of the process (the DPA 2018 still says that information must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose the data is processed).

 

It is a criminal offence to make a SAR to access information about individuals’ convictions and cautions – the law sets out various levels of fines, and a clause in the DPA 2018 will soon be enacted to extend this to cover medical records. If you suspect that a SAR from an insurer is not relevant or excessive then it should be reported to the ICO and the Association of British Insurers

 

Requests relating to children/young persons

 

Parental responsibility for a child is defined in the Children’s Act 1989 as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority, which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property’. Although not defined specifically, responsibilities would include safeguarding and promoting a child’s health, development and welfare, including if relevant their employment records. Included in the parental rights which would fulfil the parental responsibilities above are:

 

·         having the child live with the person with responsibility, or having a say in where the child lives;

·         if the child is not living with her/him, having a personal relationship and regular contact with the child;

·         controlling, guiding and directing the child’s upbringing.

 

Foster parents are not ordinarily awarded parental responsibility for a child. It is more likely that this responsibility rests with the child’s social worker and appropriate evidence of identity should be sought in the usual way.

 

The law regards young people aged 16 or 17 to be adults for the purposes of consent to employment or treatment and the right to confidentiality. Therefore, if a 16 year old wishes HR or a medical practitioner to keep their information confidential then that wish must be respected.

 

In some certain cases, children under the age of 16 who have the capacity and understanding to take decisions about their own treatment are also entitled to decide whether personal information may be passed on and generally to have their confidence respected.

 

Where a child is considered capable of making decisions, e.g. about his/her employment or medical treatment, the consent of the child must be sought before a person with parental responsibility may be given access. Where, in the view of the appropriate professional, the child is not capable of understanding the nature of the application, the holder of the record is entitled to deny access if it is not felt to be in the patient’s best interests.

 

The identity and consent of the applicant must always be established.

 

The applicant does not have to give a reason for applying for access.

 

The Practice is a Data Controller and can only provide information held by the organisation. Data controllers in their own right must be applied to directly, the Practice will not transfer requests from one organisation to another.

 

Application

Individuals wishing to exercise their right of access should:

 

  • Make a written application to the Practice holding the records, including via email
  • Provide such further information as the Practice may require to sufficiently identify the individual

An individual may also raise a request using the form in Appendix A, however this is not mandatory.

 

The Practice as “data controller” is responsible for ascertaining the purpose of the request and the manner in which the information is supplied.

 

Fees and Response Time

 

Under GDPR the Practice musts provide information free of charge.  However, we can charge a “reasonable fee” when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.

 

The fee must be based on the administrative cost of providing the information only.

 

The request should be initially passed to the Data Protection Officer who will manage Subject Access Request.

 

If the request involves creating a medical report or interpreting the information in an existing medical record or report, then this would be a request under the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA). Unlike a Subject Access Request, these requests will require new material to be created. This would mean that a fee is payable in such circumstances.

 

Appendix A to this policy prompts the applicant to clarify whether they wish to make this type of request.

 

The request must be complied with without delay and at least within one calendar month of receipt of the request.  This period can be extended for a further two months where requests are complex or numerous, however the Practice must inform the individual within one month of receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.

 

The identity of an individual who provided/recorded information should not be disclosed, nor should the identity of any other person/s referred to in the record(s) of the individual requesting access, unless explicit consent has been given.


The Release Stage


The format of the released information must comply with the requester’s wishes.  Where no specific format is requested, the Practice should provide the information in the same manner as the original request.  For example, requests received via email can be satisfied via email.

 

The release of a health record is subject to consultation with either:-

 

·         The health professional who is currently, or was most recently, responsible for the clinical care of the data subject in connection with the information which is the subject of the request

·         Where there is more than one such health professional, the health professional who is the most suitable to advise on the information which is the subject of the request

 

Once the records have been collated, redacted where applicable and signed off by the Caldicott Lead, they should be sent to the requester. On no account must the original record be released.

 

In denying or restricting access, a reason for the decision does not need to be given but the applicant should be directed through the appropriate complaint channels.

 

Where information is not readily intelligible, an explanation (e.g. of abbreviations or terminology) must be given.

 

If it is agreed that the subject or their representative may directly inspect the record, a health professional or HR administrator must supervise the access. If supervised by an administrator, this person must not comment or advise on the content of the record and if the applicant raises enquiries, an appointment with a health professional must be offered

 

Exemptions

Access may be denied or restricted where:

 

·         The record contains information which relates to or identifies a third party that is not a care professional and has not consented to the disclosure. If possible, the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record which does not contain the third party information

·         Access to all or part of the record will prejudice the carrying out of social work by reason of the fact that serious harm to the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person is likely. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not post the risk of serious harm

·         Access to all or part of the record will seriously harm the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not pose the risk of serious harm

·         If an assessment identifies that to comply with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) of the Data Protection Act (Appendix C).

 

There is no requirement to disclose to the applicant the fact that certain information may have been withheld.

In addition, Article 23 of the GDPR enables Members States, such as the United Kingdom to introduce further exemptions from the GDPR’s transparency obligations and individual rights.  The Data Protection Officer can provide further information regarding exemptions applicable at the time of receipt of the subject access request.


Complaints and Appeals

The applicant has the right to appeal against the decision of the Practice to refuse access to their information.  This appeal should be made to [insert name and role].

 

If an applicant is unhappy with the outcome of their access request, the following complaints channels should be offered:

 

·         meet with the applicant to resolve the complaint locally

·         Advise a patient to make a complaint through the complaint’s process

·         Advise a member of staff to consult with their trade union representative

 

 

 

If individuals remain unhappy with the Practice response, they have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

 https://www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

 

Email: caseworkatico.gsi.gov.uk

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The Caldicott Lead has executive responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

 

The Data Protection Officer has operational responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

 

All staff must be aware of how to recognise and manage a subject access request.  Training will be provided to staff likely to be in receipt of requests covering:-

 

  • Required format of a subject access request
  • Correct identification of the requesting individual
  • Location of personal information
  • Timescales for compliance
  • Provision of information in an intelligible format
  • Action to be taken if the information includes third party data or if it has been determined that access will seriously harm an individual (see exemptions)

 

Monitoring and Review

 

[Insert name and role] monitors all Subject Access Requests to ensure the correct process has been followed and monitors any appeals/complaints relating to Subject Access Requests.

 

Equality Impact

 

In applying this policy, the organisation will have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and provide for good relations between people of diverse groups, in particular on the grounds of the following characteristics protected by the Equality Act (2010); age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation, in addition to offending background, trade union membership, or any other personal characteristic.

 

Appendix A: Form – Subject Access Request Form

 

 

The [PRACTICE] respects the rights of individuals to have copies of their information wherever possible.

Personal information collected from you by this form, is required to enable your request to be processed, this personal information will only be used in connection with the processing of this Subject Access Request.

DPA_Padlock__blue_

Charges Payable: In accordance with legislation no fee will be charged for your request, unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.  Before any further action is taken, we will contact you with details of our “reasonable administrative charges” in order to comply with your request.

 

 

 

PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLOCK CAPITALS – Illegible forms will delay the time taken to respond to requests.

1.

Details of Patient/Clients/Staff members records to be accessed (Please complete one form per person)

Surname                                  

Date of Birth

Forename(s)

Current Address

 

Full Postcode

Any former names (If Applicable)

Telephone Number

Previous Address (If Applicable)

 

Full Postcode

NHS Number (If known/relevant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If further details are available please include in a separate covering note.

 

 




 

2.

Details of Records to be Accessed

In order to locate the records you require please provide as much information as possible. Please list the department or services you have accessed that you require records from: i.e. PALs, complaints, continuing healthcare or Human resources etc (Continue on a separate sheet if required).

Records dated from      

Department or services accessed

    /    /      to        /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Details of applicant (Complete if different to patients/clients/staff members details)

Full Name

 

Company (if Applicable)

 

Relationship with individual who’s records have been requested

 

Address to which a reply should be sent

 

 

Postcode:                                        Tel:

4.

Authorisation to release to applicant (to be completed by the patients/clients/staff member if not making their own request)

I (Print name)                                                                         hereby authorise the [PRACTICE] to release any personal data they may hold relating to me to the above applicant and to whom I authorise to act on my behalf.

 

 

Signature of patient/client/staff member :                                                                            Date:         /       /

5.

Declaration

I declare that information given by me is correct to the best of my knowledge and that I am entitled to apply for access to the health record(s) referred to above, under the terms of the Access to Health Records Act (1990) / Data Protection Act.

Please select one box below:

q  I am the patient/client/staff member (data subject).

q I have been asked to act on behalf of the data subject and they have completed section 4 -authorisation above.

q I am acting on behalf of the data subject who is unable to complete the authorisation section above (Covering letter with further details supplied).

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who has completed the authorisation section above. (Please include proof such as birth certificate)

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who is unable to understand the request and who has consented to my making the request on their behalf.

q I have been appointed the Guardian for the patient/client, who is over age 16 under a Guardianship order (attached).

q I am the deceased patient/client’s personal representative and attach confirmation of my appointment.

q I have a claim arising from the patient/client’s death and wish to access information relevant to my claim (Covering letter with further details to be supplied).

Please Note:   

§  If you are making an application on the behalf of somebody else we require evidence of your authority to do so i.e. personal authority, court order etc.

§  It may be necessary to provide evidence of identity (i.e. Driving Licence).

§  If there is any doubt about the applicant’s identity or entitlement, information will not be released until further evidence is provided. You will be informed if this is the case.

§  Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, Subject Access Requests will be responded to within 30 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  If you are making a request under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, requests will be responded to within 40 days where no entries have been made to the patient/client’s record 40 days immediately preceding the date of this request, otherwise requests will be responded to within 21 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  Under the terms of Section 7 of the Data Protection Act, Information disclosed under a Subject Access Request may have information removed; this is to ensure that the confidentiality is maintained for third parties referred to who have not consented to their information being disclosed.

Print Name

 

Signed (Applicant) 

 

Date

     /       /

 

Please complete and send this document to:

[insert practice address]

 


Has a subject access request been received in writing (completed SAR form or via email)?

 

Do you hold information relating to the data subject?

 

Do you reasonably require more information to process the request?  

 

Text Box: NOText Box: YES

 

 

Text Box: NOText Box: NO

Has all the information to be released been reviewed by the clinical lead / IAO and redacted before submission to the Caldicott Lead?  

 

Can the information be provided without including references to a third party (even after redaction)?

 

Notify the data subject in writing that the information cannot be disclosed

 

Text Box: YES

 

Text Box: NO

 

Clinical lead / IAO to conduct review and redaction process

 

Text Box: APPROVED

 

Release information

 

Text Box: YES

 

Notify the data subject in writing that no information is held by the PRACTICE

 

Text Box: YES – acknowledge receipt of the request, log and assign a reference number

 

Text Box: NO

 

Text Box: YES

 

Text Box: NO

 

Advise requester that the request must be in writing (either using the SAR Form or via email)

 

Request additional supporting information from requester and advise that the one calendar month response timeframe will only apply once all outstanding information has been received.

 

Appendix C - Disproportionate Effort Exemption Guidance

 

This guidance sheet is based on the revised Information Commissioner Subject Access Code of Practice that was issued in July 2017:

 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2014223/subject-access-code-of-practice.pdf

 

1.      What is disproportionate effort?

 

  • The ‘disproportionate effort’ exception is in section 8(2) of the DPA. The Court of Appeal has provided clarification as to its application in its 2017 judgments in the cases of Dawson–Damer 1 and Ittihadieh/Deer and Oxford University 2  

 

  • The DPA does not define ‘disproportionate effort’, but the court has explained that there is scope for assessing whether, in the circumstances of a particular case, complying with a request by supplying a copy of the requested information in permanent form would result in so much work or expense as to outweigh the requester’s right of access to their personal data 

 

  • The court also made it clear that in assessing whether complying with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) you may take into account difficulties which occur throughout the process of complying with the request, including any difficulties you encounter in finding the requested information

 

  • This approach accords with the concept of proportionality in EU law, on which the DPA is based. When responding to SARs, the Information Commissioner expects you to evaluate the particular circumstances of each request, balancing any difficulties involved in complying with the request against the benefits the information might bring to the data subject, whilst bearing in mind the fundamental nature of the right of subject access

 

 

 

2.      How is this applied in practice?

 

  • In order to apply the exception, the burden of proof is on you as data controller to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the SAR, and that it would be disproportionate in all the circumstances of the case for you to take further steps 

 

  • The Information Commissioner considers it good practice for you to engage with the applicant, having an open conversation about the information they require. This might help you to reduce the costs and effort that you would otherwise incur in searching for the information

 

  • If the Information Commissioner receives a complaint about your handling of a subject access request, they may take into account your readiness to engage with the applicant and balance this against the benefit and importance of the information to them, as well as taking into account their level of co-operation with you in the course of the handling of a request 

 

  • Even if you can show that supplying a copy of information in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort, you must still try to comply with the request in some other way, if the applicant agrees. This could form a useful part of your discussions with the applicant, in order to identify an alternative way of satisfying their request

 

  • In addition, even if you do not have to supply a copy of the information in permanent form, the requester still has the right:

 

to be informed whether you are processing their personal data; and

 

if so, to be given a description of:

 

     

    • the personal data in question; o the purpose of the processing; and o the recipients or classes of recipients; and

     

 

     

    • to be given information about the source of the personal data.

     

 

 

3.      Example 

 

An organisation has decided that to supply copies of an individual’s records in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort

 

Rather than refuse the individual access, they speak to her and agree that it would be preferable if she visited their premises and viewed the original documents. They also agree that if there are documents she would like to take away with her, they can arrange to provide copies

 

 

 

 

4.      Key things to remember

 

Where the disproportionate effort argument is used this is NOT a reason for not seeking to respond to a request

 

This is about recognizing the difficulties that an organisation at times may have in finding information and providing a constructive approach that recognizes this

 

The applicant still has the right of appeal and an organisation MUST be able to demonstrate the structured approach that it has taken if the disproportionate effort argument is used

 vSUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST POLICY

 

Introduction


This policy provides the Practice with a process for the management of requests for personal information (for living individuals) under the Data Protection Act (DPA), the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and (for deceased individuals) the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

 

It defines a process for achieving legislative requirements and ensuring effective and consistent management of such requests.

 

The policy ensures that all staff are aware of how a subject access request should be made and to respond quickly.

 

Under the Data Protection Act, subject to certain conditions, an individual is entitled to be:

 

·         Told whether any personal data is being processed;

·         Given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed,
and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people; and

·         Given a copy of the information comprising the data; and given details of the source of the data (where this is available).

 

The Data Protection Act extends equally to all relevant records relating to living individuals, including records held in the private health sector and health professionals’ private practice records.

 

Personal data held by the Practice may be:-

 

·         Personnel/Staff records relating to a member of staff, present, past or prospective, whether permanent, temporary or volunteer

·         Health records consisting of information about the physical or mental health of an identifiable individual made by, or on behalf of, a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

 

Access encompasses the following rights:-

 

·         To obtain a copy of the record in permanent form

·         To have information provided in an intelligible format (and explained where necessary)

The Data Protection Act also gives subjects who now reside outside the UK the right to apply for access to their former UK health and employment records:

 

·         Employees are legally entitled to request their personal records and may take them outside of the UK at their own discretion.

·         Original health records should not be given to people to keep/take outside the UK. A GP or community health professional may be prepared to provide the patient with a summary of treatment; alternatively the patient may make a request for access in the usual way.

 

Organisations must have procedures in place to ensure that individual’s rights of access are met within a timely and appropriate fashion.

 

Individual’s rights regarding the sharing of their personal information are supported by the Care Record Guarantees, which set out high-level commitments for protecting and safeguarding service user information, particularly in regard to individuals’ rights of access to their own information, how information will be shared (both within and outside of the organisation) and how decisions on sharing information will be made.

 

In the response to the Caldicott2 Report, the Department of Health confirmed that service users should have access to information about themselves even if it was obtained through new or non-traditional approaches (for example, virtual consultations) to delivering health and care services.

 

The BMA Confidentiality and Health Records Toolkit helps identify the key factors to take into consideration when making a decision around confidentiality and disclosure of health records.


Scope

 

This policy applies to any request by a patient or member of staff for access to their personal information held by the Practice.

 

This policy applies to all staff (employees, governing body members, contractors) of the Practice.

 

Who can make an Access Request?

 

An application for access to personal data may be made to the Practice by any of the following:-

 

·         an individual

·         a person authorised by the individual in writing to make the application on an individual’s behalf e.g. solicitor, family member, carer

·         a person having parental responsibility for the individual where he/she is a child.

·         a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of an individual who is deemed incompetent

·         individuals who hold a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

·         where the individual has died, the personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the individual’s death (the executor of the deceased’s will; someone who has been appointed as an Administrator of the Estate by the Courts; someone who has the written consent of either of the above to be given access, someone who is in the process of challenging the deceased’s will)

Police Requests

 

The Police may, on occasion, request access to personal data of individuals. Whilst there is an exemption in the Data Protection Act which permits the Practice to disclose information to support the prevention and detection of crime, the Police have no automatic right to access; however they can obtain a Court Order.

 

Solicitor Requests

 

A patient can authorise their solicitor or another third party to make a SAR. As long as the solicitor has provided the patient’s written consent to authorise access to the records, the SAR process should be followed as usual.

 

Insurance Requests

 

Insurance companies however do not have the same privileges to access patient records – the ICO has said that insurance companies using SARs to obtain full medical records is an abuse of the process (the DPA 2018 still says that information must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose the data is processed).

 

It is a criminal offence to make a SAR to access information about individuals’ convictions and cautions – the law sets out various levels of fines, and a clause in the DPA 2018 will soon be enacted to extend this to cover medical records. If you suspect that a SAR from an insurer is not relevant or excessive then it should be reported to the ICO and the Association of British Insurers

 

Requests relating to children/young persons

 

Parental responsibility for a child is defined in the Children’s Act 1989 as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority, which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property’. Although not defined specifically, responsibilities would include safeguarding and promoting a child’s health, development and welfare, including if relevant their employment records. Included in the parental rights which would fulfil the parental responsibilities above are:

 

·         having the child live with the person with responsibility, or having a say in where the child lives;

·         if the child is not living with her/him, having a personal relationship and regular contact with the child;

·         controlling, guiding and directing the child’s upbringing.

 

Foster parents are not ordinarily awarded parental responsibility for a child. It is more likely that this responsibility rests with the child’s social worker and appropriate evidence of identity should be sought in the usual way.

 

The law regards young people aged 16 or 17 to be adults for the purposes of consent to employment or treatment and the right to confidentiality. Therefore, if a 16 year old wishes HR or a medical practitioner to keep their information confidential then that wish must be respected.

 

In some certain cases, children under the age of 16 who have the capacity and understanding to take decisions about their own treatment are also entitled to decide whether personal information may be passed on and generally to have their confidence respected.

 

Where a child is considered capable of making decisions, e.g. about his/her employment or medical treatment, the consent of the child must be sought before a person with parental responsibility may be given access. Where, in the view of the appropriate professional, the child is not capable of understanding the nature of the application, the holder of the record is entitled to deny access if it is not felt to be in the patient’s best interests.

 

The identity and consent of the applicant must always be established.

 

The applicant does not have to give a reason for applying for access.

 

The Practice is a Data Controller and can only provide information held by the organisation. Data controllers in their own right must be applied to directly, the Practice will not transfer requests from one organisation to another.

 

Application

Individuals wishing to exercise their right of access should:

 

  • Make a written application to the Practice holding the records, including via email
  • Provide such further information as the Practice may require to sufficiently identify the individual

An individual may also raise a request using the form in Appendix A, however this is not mandatory.

 

The Practice as “data controller” is responsible for ascertaining the purpose of the request and the manner in which the information is supplied.

 

Fees and Response Time

 

Under GDPR the Practice musts provide information free of charge.  However, we can charge a “reasonable fee” when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.

 

The fee must be based on the administrative cost of providing the information only.

 

The request should be initially passed to the Data Protection Officer who will manage Subject Access Request.

 

If the request involves creating a medical report or interpreting the information in an existing medical record or report, then this would be a request under the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA). Unlike a Subject Access Request, these requests will require new material to be created. This would mean that a fee is payable in such circumstances.

 

Appendix A to this policy prompts the applicant to clarify whether they wish to make this type of request.

 

The request must be complied with without delay and at least within one calendar month of receipt of the request.  This period can be extended for a further two months where requests are complex or numerous, however the Practice must inform the individual within one month of receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.

 

The identity of an individual who provided/recorded information should not be disclosed, nor should the identity of any other person/s referred to in the record(s) of the individual requesting access, unless explicit consent has been given.


The Release Stage


The format of the released information must comply with the requester’s wishes.  Where no specific format is requested, the Practice should provide the information in the same manner as the original request.  For example, requests received via email can be satisfied via email.

 

The release of a health record is subject to consultation with either:-

 

·         The health professional who is currently, or was most recently, responsible for the clinical care of the data subject in connection with the information which is the subject of the request

·         Where there is more than one such health professional, the health professional who is the most suitable to advise on the information which is the subject of the request

 

Once the records have been collated, redacted where applicable and signed off by the Caldicott Lead, they should be sent to the requester. On no account must the original record be released.

 

In denying or restricting access, a reason for the decision does not need to be given but the applicant should be directed through the appropriate complaint channels.

 

Where information is not readily intelligible, an explanation (e.g. of abbreviations or terminology) must be given.

 

If it is agreed that the subject or their representative may directly inspect the record, a health professional or HR administrator must supervise the access. If supervised by an administrator, this person must not comment or advise on the content of the record and if the applicant raises enquiries, an appointment with a health professional must be offered

 

Exemptions

Access may be denied or restricted where:

 

·         The record contains information which relates to or identifies a third party that is not a care professional and has not consented to the disclosure. If possible, the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record which does not contain the third party information

·         Access to all or part of the record will prejudice the carrying out of social work by reason of the fact that serious harm to the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person is likely. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not post the risk of serious harm

·         Access to all or part of the record will seriously harm the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not pose the risk of serious harm

·         If an assessment identifies that to comply with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) of the Data Protection Act (Appendix C).

 

There is no requirement to disclose to the applicant the fact that certain information may have been withheld.

In addition, Article 23 of the GDPR enables Members States, such as the United Kingdom to introduce further exemptions from the GDPR’s transparency obligations and individual rights.  The Data Protection Officer can provide further information regarding exemptions applicable at the time of receipt of the subject access request.


Complaints and Appeals

The applicant has the right to appeal against the decision of the Practice to refuse access to their information.  This appeal should be made to [insert name and role].

 

If an applicant is unhappy with the outcome of their access request, the following complaints channels should be offered:

 

·         meet with the applicant to resolve the complaint locally

·         Advise a patient to make a complaint through the complaint’s process

·         Advise a member of staff to consult with their trade union representative

 

 

 

If individuals remain unhappy with the Practice response, they have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

 https://www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

 

Email: caseworkatico.gsi.gov.uk

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The Caldicott Lead has executive responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

 

The Data Protection Officer has operational responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

 

All staff must be aware of how to recognise and manage a subject access request.  Training will be provided to staff likely to be in receipt of requests covering:-

 

  • Required format of a subject access request
  • Correct identification of the requesting individual
  • Location of personal information
  • Timescales for compliance
  • Provision of information in an intelligible format
  • Action to be taken if the information includes third party data or if it has been determined that access will seriously harm an individual (see exemptions)

 

Monitoring and Review

 

[Insert name and role] monitors all Subject Access Requests to ensure the correct process has been followed and monitors any appeals/complaints relating to Subject Access Requests.

 

Equality Impact

 

In applying this policy, the organisation will have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and provide for good relations between people of diverse groups, in particular on the grounds of the following characteristics protected by the Equality Act (2010); age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation, in addition to offending background, trade union membership, or any other personal characteristic.

 

Appendix A: Form – Subject Access Request Form

 

 

The [PRACTICE] respects the rights of individuals to have copies of their information wherever possible.

Personal information collected from you by this form, is required to enable your request to be processed, this personal information will only be used in connection with the processing of this Subject Access Request.

DPA_Padlock__blue_

Charges Payable: In accordance with legislation no fee will be charged for your request, unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.  Before any further action is taken, we will contact you with details of our “reasonable administrative charges” in order to comply with your request.

 

 

 

PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLOCK CAPITALS – Illegible forms will delay the time taken to respond to requests.

1.

Details of Patient/Clients/Staff members records to be accessed (Please complete one form per person)

Surname                                  

Date of Birth

Forename(s)

Current Address

 

Full Postcode

Any former names (If Applicable)

Telephone Number

Previous Address (If Applicable)

 

Full Postcode

NHS Number (If known/relevant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If further details are available please include in a separate covering note.

 

 




 

2.

Details of Records to be Accessed

In order to locate the records you require please provide as much information as possible. Please list the department or services you have accessed that you require records from: i.e. PALs, complaints, continuing healthcare or Human resources etc (Continue on a separate sheet if required).

Records dated from      

Department or services accessed

    /    /      to        /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Details of applicant (Complete if different to patients/clients/staff members details)

Full Name

 

Company (if Applicable)

 

Relationship with individual who’s records have been requested

 

Address to which a reply should be sent

 

 

Postcode:                                        Tel:

4.

Authorisation to release to applicant (to be completed by the patients/clients/staff member if not making their own request)

I (Print name)                                                                         hereby authorise the [PRACTICE] to release any personal data they may hold relating to me to the above applicant and to whom I authorise to act on my behalf.

 

 

Signature of patient/client/staff member :                                                                            Date:         /       /

5.

Declaration

I declare that information given by me is correct to the best of my knowledge and that I am entitled to apply for access to the health record(s) referred to above, under the terms of the Access to Health Records Act (1990) / Data Protection Act.

Please select one box below:

q  I am the patient/client/staff member (data subject).

q I have been asked to act on behalf of the data subject and they have completed section 4 -authorisation above.

q I am acting on behalf of the data subject who is unable to complete the authorisation section above (Covering letter with further details supplied).

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who has completed the authorisation section above. (Please include proof such as birth certificate)

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who is unable to understand the request and who has consented to my making the request on their behalf.

q I have been appointed the Guardian for the patient/client, who is over age 16 under a Guardianship order (attached).

q I am the deceased patient/client’s personal representative and attach confirmation of my appointment.

q I have a claim arising from the patient/client’s death and wish to access information relevant to my claim (Covering letter with further details to be supplied).

Please Note:   

§  If you are making an application on the behalf of somebody else we require evidence of your authority to do so i.e. personal authority, court order etc.

§  It may be necessary to provide evidence of identity (i.e. Driving Licence).

§  If there is any doubt about the applicant’s identity or entitlement, information will not be released until further evidence is provided. You will be informed if this is the case.

§  Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, Subject Access Requests will be responded to within 30 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  If you are making a request under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, requests will be responded to within 40 days where no entries have been made to the patient/client’s record 40 days immediately preceding the date of this request, otherwise requests will be responded to within 21 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  Under the terms of Section 7 of the Data Protection Act, Information disclosed under a Subject Access Request may have information removed; this is to ensure that the confidentiality is maintained for third parties referred to who have not consented to their information being disclosed.

Print Name

 

Signed (Applicant) 

 

Date

     /       /

 

Please complete and send this document to:

[insert practice address]

 


Has a subject access request been received in writing (completed SAR form or via email)?

 

Do you hold information relating to the data subject?

 

Do you reasonably require more information to process the request?  

 

Text Box: NOText Box: YES

 

 

Text Box: NOText Box: NO

Has all the information to be released been reviewed by the clinical lead / IAO and redacted before submission to the Caldicott Lead?  

 

Can the information be provided without including references to a third party (even after redaction)?

 

Notify the data subject in writing that the information cannot be disclosed

 

Text Box: YES

 

Text Box: NO

 

Clinical lead / IAO to conduct review and redaction process

 

Text Box: APPROVED

 

Release information

 

Text Box: YES

 

Notify the data subject in writing that no information is held by the PRACTICE

 

Text Box: YES – acknowledge receipt of the request, log and assign a reference number

 

Text Box: NO

 

Text Box: YES

 

Text Box: NO

 

Advise requester that the request must be in writing (either using the SAR Form or via email)

 

Request additional supporting information from requester and advise that the one calendar month response timeframe will only apply once all outstanding information has been received.

 

Appendix C - Disproportionate Effort Exemption Guidance

 

This guidance sheet is based on the revised Information Commissioner Subject Access Code of Practice that was issued in July 2017:

 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2014223/subject-access-code-of-practice.pdf

 

1.      What is disproportionate effort?

 

  • The ‘disproportionate effort’ exception is in section 8(2) of the DPA. The Court of Appeal has provided clarification as to its application in its 2017 judgments in the cases of Dawson–Damer 1 and Ittihadieh/Deer and Oxford University 2  

 

  • The DPA does not define ‘disproportionate effort’, but the court has explained that there is scope for assessing whether, in the circumstances of a particular case, complying with a request by supplying a copy of the requested information in permanent form would result in so much work or expense as to outweigh the requester’s right of access to their personal data 

 

  • The court also made it clear that in assessing whether complying with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) you may take into account difficulties which occur throughout the process of complying with the request, including any difficulties you encounter in finding the requested information

 

  • This approach accords with the concept of proportionality in EU law, on which the DPA is based. When responding to SARs, the Information Commissioner expects you to evaluate the particular circumstances of each request, balancing any difficulties involved in complying with the request against the benefits the information might bring to the data subject, whilst bearing in mind the fundamental nature of the right of subject access

 

 

 

2.      How is this applied in practice?

 

  • In order to apply the exception, the burden of proof is on you as data controller to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the SAR, and that it would be disproportionate in all the circumstances of the case for you to take further steps 

 

  • The Information Commissioner considers it good practice for you to engage with the applicant, having an open conversation about the information they require. This might help you to reduce the costs and effort that you would otherwise incur in searching for the information

 

  • If the Information Commissioner receives a complaint about your handling of a subject access request, they may take into account your readiness to engage with the applicant and balance this against the benefit and importance of the information to them, as well as taking into account their level of co-operation with you in the course of the handling of a request 

 

  • Even if you can show that supplying a copy of information in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort, you must still try to comply with the request in some other way, if the applicant agrees. This could form a useful part of your discussions with the applicant, in order to identify an alternative way of satisfying their request

 

  • In addition, even if you do not have to supply a copy of the information in permanent form, the requester still has the right:

 

to be informed whether you are processing their personal data; and

 

if so, to be given a description of:

 

     

    • the personal data in question; o the purpose of the processing; and o the recipients or classes of recipients; and

     

 

     

    • to be given information about the source of the personal data.

     

 

 

3.      Example 

 

An organisation has decided that to supply copies of an individual’s records in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort

 

Rather than refuse the individual access, they speak to her and agree that it would be preferable if she visited their premises and viewed the original documents. They also agree that if there are documents she would like to take away with her, they can arrange to provide copies

 

 

 

 

4.      Key things to remember

 SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST POLICY

 

Introduction


This policy provides the Practice with a process for the management of requests for personal information (for living individuals) under the Data Protection Act (DPA), the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and (for deceased individuals) the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

 

It defines a process for achieving legislative requirements and ensuring effective and consistent management of such requests.

 

The policy ensures that all staff are aware of how a subject access request should be made and to respond quickly.

 

Under the Data Protection Act, subject to certain conditions, an individual is entitled to be:

 

·         Told whether any personal data is being processed;

·         Given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed,
and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people; and

·         Given a copy of the information comprising the data; and given details of the source of the data (where this is available).

 

The Data Protection Act extends equally to all relevant records relating to living individuals, including records held in the private health sector and health professionals’ private practice records.

 

Personal data held by the Practice may be:-

 

·         Personnel/Staff records relating to a member of staff, present, past or prospective, whether permanent, temporary or volunteer

·         Health records consisting of information about the physical or mental health of an identifiable individual made by, or on behalf of, a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

 

Access encompasses the following rights:-

 

·         To obtain a copy of the record in permanent form

·         To have information provided in an intelligible format (and explained where necessary)

The Data Protection Act also gives subjects who now reside outside the UK the right to apply for access to their former UK health and employment records:

 

·         Employees are legally entitled to request their personal records and may take them outside of the UK at their own discretion.

·         Original health records should not be given to people to keep/take outside the UK. A GP or community health professional may be prepared to provide the patient with a summary of treatment; alternatively the patient may make a request for access in the usual way.

 

Organisations must have procedures in place to ensure that individual’s rights of access are met within a timely and appropriate fashion.

 

Individual’s rights regarding the sharing of their personal information are supported by the Care Record Guarantees, which set out high-level commitments for protecting and safeguarding service user information, particularly in regard to individuals’ rights of access to their own information, how information will be shared (both within and outside of the organisation) and how decisions on sharing information will be made.

 

In the response to the Caldicott2 Report, the Department of Health confirmed that service users should have access to information about themselves even if it was obtained through new or non-traditional approaches (for example, virtual consultations) to delivering health and care services.

 

The BMA Confidentiality and Health Records Toolkit helps identify the key factors to take into consideration when making a decision around confidentiality and disclosure of health records.


Scope

 

This policy applies to any request by a patient or member of staff for access to their personal information held by the Practice.

 

This policy applies to all staff (employees, governing body members, contractors) of the Practice.

 

Who can make an Access Request?

 

An application for access to personal data may be made to the Practice by any of the following:-

 

·         an individual

·         a person authorised by the individual in writing to make the application on an individual’s behalf e.g. solicitor, family member, carer

·         a person having parental responsibility for the individual where he/she is a child.

·         a person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of an individual who is deemed incompetent

·         individuals who hold a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

·         where the individual has died, the personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the individual’s death (the executor of the deceased’s will; someone who has been appointed as an Administrator of the Estate by the Courts; someone who has the written consent of either of the above to be given access, someone who is in the process of challenging the deceased’s will)

Police Requests

 

The Police may, on occasion, request access to personal data of individuals. Whilst there is an exemption in the Data Protection Act which permits the Practice to disclose information to support the prevention and detection of crime, the Police have no automatic right to access; however they can obtain a Court Order.

 

Solicitor Requests

 

A patient can authorise their solicitor or another third party to make a SAR. As long as the solicitor has provided the patient’s written consent to authorise access to the records, the SAR process should be followed as usual.

 

Insurance Requests

 

Insurance companies however do not have the same privileges to access patient records – the ICO has said that insurance companies using SARs to obtain full medical records is an abuse of the process (the DPA 2018 still says that information must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose the data is processed).

 

It is a criminal offence to make a SAR to access information about individuals’ convictions and cautions – the law sets out various levels of fines, and a clause in the DPA 2018 will soon be enacted to extend this to cover medical records. If you suspect that a SAR from an insurer is not relevant or excessive then it should be reported to the ICO and the Association of British Insurers

 

Requests relating to children/young persons

 

Parental responsibility for a child is defined in the Children’s Act 1989 as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority, which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property’. Although not defined specifically, responsibilities would include safeguarding and promoting a child’s health, development and welfare, including if relevant their employment records. Included in the parental rights which would fulfil the parental responsibilities above are:

 

·         having the child live with the person with responsibility, or having a say in where the child lives;

·         if the child is not living with her/him, having a personal relationship and regular contact with the child;

·         controlling, guiding and directing the child’s upbringing.

 

Foster parents are not ordinarily awarded parental responsibility for a child. It is more likely that this responsibility rests with the child’s social worker and appropriate evidence of identity should be sought in the usual way.

 

The law regards young people aged 16 or 17 to be adults for the purposes of consent to employment or treatment and the right to confidentiality. Therefore, if a 16 year old wishes HR or a medical practitioner to keep their information confidential then that wish must be respected.

 

In some certain cases, children under the age of 16 who have the capacity and understanding to take decisions about their own treatment are also entitled to decide whether personal information may be passed on and generally to have their confidence respected.

 

Where a child is considered capable of making decisions, e.g. about his/her employment or medical treatment, the consent of the child must be sought before a person with parental responsibility may be given access. Where, in the view of the appropriate professional, the child is not capable of understanding the nature of the application, the holder of the record is entitled to deny access if it is not felt to be in the patient’s best interests.

 

The identity and consent of the applicant must always be established.

 

The applicant does not have to give a reason for applying for access.

 

The Practice is a Data Controller and can only provide information held by the organisation. Data controllers in their own right must be applied to directly, the Practice will not transfer requests from one organisation to another.

 

Application

Individuals wishing to exercise their right of access should:

 

  • Make a written application to the Practice holding the records, including via email
  • Provide such further information as the Practice may require to sufficiently identify the individual

An individual may also raise a request using the form in Appendix A, however this is not mandatory.

 

The Practice as “data controller” is responsible for ascertaining the purpose of the request and the manner in which the information is supplied.

 

Fees and Response Time

 

Under GDPR the Practice musts provide information free of charge.  However, we can charge a “reasonable fee” when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.

 

The fee must be based on the administrative cost of providing the information only.

 

The request should be initially passed to the Data Protection Officer who will manage Subject Access Request.

 

If the request involves creating a medical report or interpreting the information in an existing medical record or report, then this would be a request under the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA). Unlike a Subject Access Request, these requests will require new material to be created. This would mean that a fee is payable in such circumstances.

 

Appendix A to this policy prompts the applicant to clarify whether they wish to make this type of request.

 

The request must be complied with without delay and at least within one calendar month of receipt of the request.  This period can be extended for a further two months where requests are complex or numerous, however the Practice must inform the individual within one month of receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.

 

The identity of an individual who provided/recorded information should not be disclosed, nor should the identity of any other person/s referred to in the record(s) of the individual requesting access, unless explicit consent has been given.


The Release Stage


The format of the released information must comply with the requester’s wishes.  Where no specific format is requested, the Practice should provide the information in the same manner as the original request.  For example, requests received via email can be satisfied via email.

 

The release of a health record is subject to consultation with either:-

 

·         The health professional who is currently, or was most recently, responsible for the clinical care of the data subject in connection with the information which is the subject of the request

·         Where there is more than one such health professional, the health professional who is the most suitable to advise on the information which is the subject of the request

 

Once the records have been collated, redacted where applicable and signed off by the Caldicott Lead, they should be sent to the requester. On no account must the original record be released.

 

In denying or restricting access, a reason for the decision does not need to be given but the applicant should be directed through the appropriate complaint channels.

 

Where information is not readily intelligible, an explanation (e.g. of abbreviations or terminology) must be given.

 

If it is agreed that the subject or their representative may directly inspect the record, a health professional or HR administrator must supervise the access. If supervised by an administrator, this person must not comment or advise on the content of the record and if the applicant raises enquiries, an appointment with a health professional must be offered

 

Exemptions

Access may be denied or restricted where:

 

·         The record contains information which relates to or identifies a third party that is not a care professional and has not consented to the disclosure. If possible, the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record which does not contain the third party information

·         Access to all or part of the record will prejudice the carrying out of social work by reason of the fact that serious harm to the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person is likely. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not post the risk of serious harm

·         Access to all or part of the record will seriously harm the physical or mental well-being of the individual or any other person. If possible the individual should be provided with access to that part of the record that does not pose the risk of serious harm

·         If an assessment identifies that to comply with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) of the Data Protection Act (Appendix C).

 

There is no requirement to disclose to the applicant the fact that certain information may have been withheld.

In addition, Article 23 of the GDPR enables Members States, such as the United Kingdom to introduce further exemptions from the GDPR’s transparency obligations and individual rights.  The Data Protection Officer can provide further information regarding exemptions applicable at the time of receipt of the subject access request.


Complaints and Appeals

The applicant has the right to appeal against the decision of the Practice to refuse access to their information.  This appeal should be made to [insert name and role].

 

If an applicant is unhappy with the outcome of their access request, the following complaints channels should be offered:

 

·         meet with the applicant to resolve the complaint locally

·         Advise a patient to make a complaint through the complaint’s process

·         Advise a member of staff to consult with their trade union representative

 

 

 

If individuals remain unhappy with the Practice response, they have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

 https://www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

 

Email: caseworkatico.gsi.gov.uk

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The Caldicott Lead has executive responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

 

The Data Protection Officer has operational responsibility for Subject Access Requests.

 

All staff must be aware of how to recognise and manage a subject access request.  Training will be provided to staff likely to be in receipt of requests covering:-

 

  • Required format of a subject access request
  • Correct identification of the requesting individual
  • Location of personal information
  • Timescales for compliance
  • Provision of information in an intelligible format
  • Action to be taken if the information includes third party data or if it has been determined that access will seriously harm an individual (see exemptions)

 

Monitoring and Review

 

[Insert name and role] monitors all Subject Access Requests to ensure the correct process has been followed and monitors any appeals/complaints relating to Subject Access Requests.

 

Equality Impact

 

In applying this policy, the organisation will have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and provide for good relations between people of diverse groups, in particular on the grounds of the following characteristics protected by the Equality Act (2010); age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation, in addition to offending background, trade union membership, or any other personal characteristic.

 

Appendix A: Form – Subject Access Request Form

 

 

The [PRACTICE] respects the rights of individuals to have copies of their information wherever possible.

Personal information collected from you by this form, is required to enable your request to be processed, this personal information will only be used in connection with the processing of this Subject Access Request.

DPA_Padlock__blue_

Charges Payable: In accordance with legislation no fee will be charged for your request, unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.  Before any further action is taken, we will contact you with details of our “reasonable administrative charges” in order to comply with your request.

 

 

 

PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLOCK CAPITALS – Illegible forms will delay the time taken to respond to requests.

1.

Details of Patient/Clients/Staff members records to be accessed (Please complete one form per person)

Surname                                  

Date of Birth

Forename(s)

Current Address

 

Full Postcode

Any former names (If Applicable)

Telephone Number

Previous Address (If Applicable)

 

Full Postcode

NHS Number (If known/relevant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If further details are available please include in a separate covering note.

 

 




 

2.

Details of Records to be Accessed

In order to locate the records you require please provide as much information as possible. Please list the department or services you have accessed that you require records from: i.e. PALs, complaints, continuing healthcare or Human resources etc (Continue on a separate sheet if required).

Records dated from      

Department or services accessed

    /    /      to        /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

   /    /       to       /    /

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Details of applicant (Complete if different to patients/clients/staff members details)

Full Name

 

Company (if Applicable)

 

Relationship with individual who’s records have been requested

 

Address to which a reply should be sent

 

 

Postcode:                                        Tel:

4.

Authorisation to release to applicant (to be completed by the patients/clients/staff member if not making their own request)

I (Print name)                                                                         hereby authorise the [PRACTICE] to release any personal data they may hold relating to me to the above applicant and to whom I authorise to act on my behalf.

 

 

Signature of patient/client/staff member :                                                                            Date:         /       /

5.

Declaration

I declare that information given by me is correct to the best of my knowledge and that I am entitled to apply for access to the health record(s) referred to above, under the terms of the Access to Health Records Act (1990) / Data Protection Act.

Please select one box below:

q  I am the patient/client/staff member (data subject).

q I have been asked to act on behalf of the data subject and they have completed section 4 -authorisation above.

q I am acting on behalf of the data subject who is unable to complete the authorisation section above (Covering letter with further details supplied).

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who has completed the authorisation section above. (Please include proof such as birth certificate)

q I am the parent/guardian of a data subject under 16 years old who is unable to understand the request and who has consented to my making the request on their behalf.

q I have been appointed the Guardian for the patient/client, who is over age 16 under a Guardianship order (attached).

q I am the deceased patient/client’s personal representative and attach confirmation of my appointment.

q I have a claim arising from the patient/client’s death and wish to access information relevant to my claim (Covering letter with further details to be supplied).

Please Note:   

§  If you are making an application on the behalf of somebody else we require evidence of your authority to do so i.e. personal authority, court order etc.

§  It may be necessary to provide evidence of identity (i.e. Driving Licence).

§  If there is any doubt about the applicant’s identity or entitlement, information will not be released until further evidence is provided. You will be informed if this is the case.

§  Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, Subject Access Requests will be responded to within 30 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  If you are making a request under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, requests will be responded to within 40 days where no entries have been made to the patient/client’s record 40 days immediately preceding the date of this request, otherwise requests will be responded to within 21 days after receiving all necessary information and/or fee required to process the request.

§  Under the terms of Section 7 of the Data Protection Act, Information disclosed under a Subject Access Request may have information removed; this is to ensure that the confidentiality is maintained for third parties referred to who have not consented to their information being disclosed.

Print Name

 

Signed (Applicant) 

 

Date

     /       /

 

Please complete and send this document to:

[insert practice address]

 

 

 

 

Appendix C - Disproportionate Effort Exemption Guidance

 

This guidance sheet is based on the revised Information Commissioner Subject Access Code of Practice that was issued in July 2017:

 

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2014223/subject-access-code-of-practice.pdf

 

1.      What is disproportionate effort?

 

  • The ‘disproportionate effort’ exception is in section 8(2) of the DPA. The Court of Appeal has provided clarification as to its application in its 2017 judgments in the cases of Dawson–Damer 1 and Ittihadieh/Deer and Oxford University 2  

 

  • The DPA does not define ‘disproportionate effort’, but the court has explained that there is scope for assessing whether, in the circumstances of a particular case, complying with a request by supplying a copy of the requested information in permanent form would result in so much work or expense as to outweigh the requester’s right of access to their personal data 

 

  • The court also made it clear that in assessing whether complying with a SAR would involve disproportionate effort under section 8(2)(a) you may take into account difficulties which occur throughout the process of complying with the request, including any difficulties you encounter in finding the requested information

 

  • This approach accords with the concept of proportionality in EU law, on which the DPA is based. When responding to SARs, the Information Commissioner expects you to evaluate the particular circumstances of each request, balancing any difficulties involved in complying with the request against the benefits the information might bring to the data subject, whilst bearing in mind the fundamental nature of the right of subject access

   

2.      How is this applied in practice?

 

  • In order to apply the exception, the burden of proof is on you as data controller to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the SAR, and that it would be disproportionate in all the circumstances of the case for you to take further steps 

 

  • The Information Commissioner considers it good practice for you to engage with the applicant, having an open conversation about the information they require. This might help you to reduce the costs and effort that you would otherwise incur in searching for the information

 

  • If the Information Commissioner receives a complaint about your handling of a subject access request, they may take into account your readiness to engage with the applicant and balance this against the benefit and importance of the information to them, as well as taking into account their level of co-operation with you in the course of the handling of a request 

 

  • Even if you can show that supplying a copy of information in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort, you must still try to comply with the request in some other way, if the applicant agrees. This could form a useful part of your discussions with the applicant, in order to identify an alternative way of satisfying their request

 

  • In addition, even if you do not have to supply a copy of the information in permanent form, the requester still has the right:

 

to be informed whether you are processing their personal data; and

 

if so, to be given a description of:

 

     

    • the personal data in question; o the purpose of the processing; and o the recipients or classes of recipients; and

     

 

     

    • to be given information about the source of the personal data.

     

 3.      Example 

 

An organisation has decided that to supply copies of an individual’s records in permanent form would involve disproportionate effort

 

Rather than refuse the individual access, they speak to her and agree that it would be preferable if she visited their premises and viewed the original documents. They also agree that if there are documents she would like to take away with her, they can arrange to provide copies

   

4.      Key things to remember

 

Where the disproportionate effort argument is used this is NOT a reason for not seeking to respond to a request

 

This is about recognizing the difficulties that an organisation at times may have in finding information and providing a constructive approach that recognizes this

 

The applicant still has the right of appeal and an organisation MUST be able to demonstrate the structured approach that it has taken if the disproportionate effort argument is used