Information that we hold
We can only keep and use information for specific reasons set out in the law. If we want to keep and use information about your health, we can only do so in particular circumstances. Below, we describe the information we hold and why, and the lawful basis for collecting and using it.
We hold personal information about you including your name, date of birth, address, telephone number and email address. This information allows us to fulfil our contract with you to provide appointments. We will also use the information to send you reminders and recall appointments as we have a legitimate interest to ensure your continuing care and to make you aware of our services.
We hold information about your dental and general health, including
- Clinical records made by dentists and other dental professionals involved with your care and treatment
- X-rays, clinical photographs, digital scans of your mouth and teeth, and study models
- Medical and dental histories
- Treatment plans and consent
- Notes of conversations with you about your care
- Dates of your appointments
- Details of any complaints you have made and how these complaints were dealt with
- Correspondence with you and other health professionals or institutions.
We collect and use this information to allow us to fulfil our contract with you to discuss your treatment options and provide dental care that meets your needs. We also use this information for the legitimate interest of ensuring the quality of the treatment we provide.
We hold information about the fees we have charged, the amounts you have paid and some payment details. This information forms part of our contractual obligation to you to provide dental care and allows us to meet legal financial requirements.
How we use your information
To provide you with the dental care and treatment that you need, we require up-to-date and accurate information about you. We may contact you to conduct patient surveys or to find out if you are happy with the treatment you received for quality control purposes. We will seek your preference for how we contact you about your dental care. Our usual methods are telephone, email or letter.
If we wish to use your information for dental research or dental education, we will discuss this with you and seek your consent. Depending on the purpose and if possible, we will anonymise your information. If this is not possible we will inform you and discuss your options. We may use your contact details to inform you of products and services available at our Practice.
We have CCTV at the practice for the purposes of patient and staff safety. Please ask to see our policy for CCTV for further details.
Your information is normally used only by those working at the practice but there may be instances where we need to share it – for example, with:
- Your doctor
- The hospital or community dental services or other health professionals caring for you
- Specialist dental or medical services to which we may refer you
- Dental laboratories
- Debt collection agencies
- Private dental schemes of which you are a member.
We will only disclose your information on a need-to-know basis and will limit any information that we share to the minimum necessary. We will let you know in advance if we send your medical information to another medical provider and we will give you the details of that provider at that time.
In certain circumstances or if required by law, we may need to disclose your information to a third party not connected with your health care, including HMRC or other law enforcement or government agencies.
Keeping your information safe
We store your personal information securely on our practice computer system and in a manual filing system. Your information cannot be accessed by those who do not work at the practice; only those working at the practice have access to your information. They understand their legal responsibility to maintain confidentiality and follow practice procedures to ensure this.
We take precautions to ensure security of the practice premises, the practice filing systems and computers.
We use high-quality specialist dental software to record and use your personal information safely and effectively. Our computer system has a secure audit trail and we back-up information routinely.
We use cloud computing facilities for storing some of your information. The practice has a rigorous agreement with our provider to ensure that we meet the obligations described in this policy and that we keep your information securely.
We keep your records for 10 years after the date of your last visit to the Practice or until you reach the age of 25 years, whichever is the longer. At your request, we will delete non-essential information (for example some contact details) before the end of this period.
Access to your information and other rights
You have a right to access the information that we hold about you and to receive a copy. We do not usually charge you for copies of your information; if we pass on a charge, we will explain the reasons.
You can also request us to:
- Correct any information that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete. If we have disclosed that information to a third party, we will let them know about the change.
- Erase some of the information we hold. For legal reasons, we may be unable to erase certain information (for example, information about your dental treatment). However, we can, if you ask us to, delete some contact details and other non-clinical information.
- Stop using your information – for example, sending you reminders for appointments or information about our service. Even if you have given us consent to send you marketing information, you may withdraw that consent at any time.
- Stop using information if you believe the information is inaccurate or you believe we are using your information illegally.
- Supply your information electronically to another dentist.
If we are relying on your consent to use your personal information for a particular purpose, you may withdraw your consent at any time and we will stop using your information for that purpose.
All requests should be made by email to our data protection officer Dr Julian Caplan at email@example.com
If you do not agree
If you do not wish us to use your personal information as described, you should discuss the matter with your dentist. If you object to the way that we collect and use your information, we may not be able to continue to provide your dental care.
If you have any concerns about how we use your information and you do not feel able to discuss it with your dentist or anyone at the practice, you should contact The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF (0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745).