Data Sharing & Confidentiality

Privacy Notice

Fair Processing Notice under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018 (formerly the Data Protection Act 1998) - How we use your personal information 

The Privacy Notice below explains why the GP practices collects information about you and how that information may be used.

Blackthorn Health Centre Privacy Notice

privacy notice


Confidentiality & Medical Records

The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:

  • To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses, hospital services and any clinics hosted by the local Practice Federation (Eastleigh Southern Practices Network)
  • To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
  • When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases, or for the prevention and detection of crime

Anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health plan services e.g. for diabetic care.

If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such away, please let us know. Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.

Freedom of Information

Information about the General Practitioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the Practice Manager.

Access to records

In accordance with the Data Protection Act of 2018 and access to health records act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the secretaries and may be subject to administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.

Case study

The GP refers you to Orthopaedics. Within the referral letter are your significant medical problems, your allergies, your medications and your recent consultation with the GP. The Consultant is able to use this information to ensure they are treating you safely.


Contact Details

We are able to hold your home number, mobile number, and email address. By giving these details to us, you consent to us using them to contact you by phone, email or SMS. Please ensure these details are kept up to date, particularly for teenagers and young people who may have the contact details for their parent or carer on their record.

Appointment reminders are now sent out via SMS message for all patients over 16 for all face-to-face consultations, with the exception of on the day Duty Doctor appointments. This service is provided by MJog. The SMS message sent does not include any identifiable data of yourself. It is just the date and time of the appointment.

In addition, certain health campaigns (such as the annual Flu Jab) reminders will be sent via SMS message. This service is again provided by MJog. The SMS message sent does not include any identifiable data of yourself.



Blackthorn Health Centre actively supports clinical research studies within primary care. The NHS Constitution states that Research is a core function of the NHS. Clinical Research is a major driver of innovation and central to NHS practice for maintaining and developing high standards of patient care.

Ultimately, clinical research means patients get access to new treatments, interventions and medicines. Investment in research means better, more cost effective care for patients.

For more information, please see the practice's Research page.

National Data Opt-Out

The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018 and replaces the previous ‘type 2’ opt-out.

NHS Digital collects information from a range of places where people receive care, such as hospitals and community services. The new programme provides a facility for individuals to opt-out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes.For anyone who had an existing type 2 opt-out, it will have been automatically converted to a national data opt-out from 25 May 2018 and you will receive a letter giving you more information and a leaflet explaining the new national data opt-out.

The national data opt-out choice can be viewed or changed at any time by using the online service at

National Institute for Health Research

In 2006 the Department of Health set up The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to improve the health and wealth of the nation through Research.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) was introduced to provide the infrastructure to the NHS to allow high quality research to be set up and delivered efficiently and effectively. Blackthorn Health Centre is part of a network of local practices participating in research activities under the banner of CRN Wessex. To find out more about the work of the NIHR Clinical Research Network go to

What is Primary Care Research?

The CRN Primary Care speciality works in collaboration with researchers and primary care practitioners such as GP’s, practice nurses, pharmacists and dentists to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS.  A wide range of research studies are supported which look at:

  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle
  • Disease diagnosis and prevention
  • Management of long-term illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension
  • Prevention of future ill-health
  • Treating common conditions such as tonsillitis or influenza

What are the benefits of GP practices taking part in Research?

  • It offers patients access to new treatments
  • It brings new dimension to practice and added skills to those involved
  • It provides national gold standard training for research
  • It offers mentorship and support to those involved in research within practice

How can you help and take part at Blackthorn Health Centre?

There are many various ways a patient can become involved in studies:

  • A doctor or nurse may talk to you about a particular study and ask whether you would be interested in participating
  • You may be sent information through the post if we feel you may be a suitable participant
  • You may read information about a current study in the patient waiting room or on the practice website and wish to take part by contacting your GP or the Research Nurse.

You are under no obligation to participate in any research project. Your care and your relationship with your doctor or nurse will not be affected in any way if you decided not to take part in a research study. You will always receive clear information about what taking part in a research study would involve. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and obtain further details about a study. If you do agree to take part in a study you will be asked to sign a consent form. This will clearly state which parts of your notes (if any) may be looked at for the purposes of the research study. Nobody from outside this practice will be given your contact details or have access to your medical records without your prior consent.

Please note: the funding for our research activity is via the CRN so does not come out of the practice's own budget and therefore does not affect our patients' services. All clinical research carried out at Blackthorn Health Centre is thoroughly checked and approved by ethical committees thus ensuring it is appropriate and safe to perform. Your participation is entirely voluntary and can be withdrawn by yourself at any time without any explanation required.

Case study

Bournemouth University, in conjunction with the National Institute for Health Research, are testing whether participating in Tai Chi slows the progress of mild cognitive impairment. The practice writes to the patient / carer of anyone with this diagnoses and invites them to take part in the study. The letter from the practice contains information the research team if they wish to participate.


data sharing

Data Sharing

NHS England aims to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as hospitals, community services and us, your GP practice. This will allow them to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another.

The information below explains why information is collected about you, the ways in which this information may be used and who will be collecting it.

Do I Have A Choice?

Yes. You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside this practice, complete the Data Extraction Opt-Out form below and return it signed to the practice at your convenience. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by the law.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form

If you have any concerns about who has access to your medical information, or questions about sharing information with other agencies, please contact the practice.


Summary Care Record (SCR)

What is a Summary Care Record?

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic record containing information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from, and any serious reactions to medicines you have had. Storing this information in one place makes it easier for relevant healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed. This information could make a difference to how a doctor decides to care for you, for example which medicines they choose to prescribe you.

With your consent, additional information can also be added to your record. However, please note as per an amendment to the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002, this additional data is automatically included within your Summary Care Record until Sunday 30th April 2023, pending any further extensions.

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, you can opt-out by completing the Data Extraction Opt Out Form and returning it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form



General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR)

Purpose: Patients personal confidential data will be extracted and shared with NHS Digital in order to support vital health and care planning and research. Further information can be found here

Patients may opt-out of having their information shared for Planning or Research by applying a National Data Opt-Out or a Type 1 Opt-Out.  Details of how to Opt-Out can be found on our Privacy Notice.  For the National Data Opt-Out patients are required to register their preference below.

For Type 1 Opt Out you can complete the form and return it to their registered practice for action ahead of the first data extraction, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday 1st September 2021. (Please note this original date was Wednesday 23rd June 2021).

Legal Basis : The legal basis for this activity can be found at this link : General Practice Data for Planning and Research: NHS Digital Transparency Notice - NHS Digital

Processor: NHS Digital

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, please fill in the Data Extraction Opt-Out form and return it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form

For more information please see NHS Digitial's GPDPR Transparency Notice.



What is EMIS Web Data Sharing?

Some appointments (such as ESP Hub appointments) are provided at other local practices or Hubs. Data Sharing agreements are setup so as to share your information to the clinician you are seeing.

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, you can opt-out by completing the Data Extraction Opt Out Form and returning it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form

Case study

You would like to see a GP on a Saturday. Through this setup the Hub GP is able to see your medical records in the same way that a Blackthorn Health Centre GP can.


Care and Health Information Exchange (CHIE) - formally Hampshire Health Record (HHR)

What is the Care and Health Information Exchange (CHIE)?

The Care and Health Information Exchange (CHIE) - formally Hampshire Health Record (HHR) - is an electronic record containing key information about your medical history from hospital, general practice, community care and social services in Hampshire and Dorset. It is a safe way of sharing information about patients to those treating them. This lets them provide faster and more accurate care. CHIE is a much more detailed version of the SCR.

What information is available in my Care and Health Information Exchange Record?

Your Care and Health Information Exchange records contains information about the medication you are currently taking, your allergies, test results, and other critical medical and care information, such as diseases you have and operations you have had. Health and care staff can access your information if they have your permission to do so.

Who uses the Care and Health Information Exchange Records?

The Care and Health Information Exchange record benefits nearly all clinicians within the local (Hampshire) NHS and is used by a variety of people, from hospital doctors and pharmacists, to community nurses, podiatrists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, as well as your GP.

Having access to your record allows clinicians to have a much wider view of information than they might otherwise have to hand, which in turn is beneficial to providing your regular health care. In situations where a clinician may not have any history of your previous treatments, for example in Accident & Emergency, access to information about allergies, diagnosis and medication can provide vital details that will help them give you the best care and advice possible.

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, you can opt-out by completing the Data Extraction Opt-Out form and returning it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form


Case study

You are brought in to A&E at Southampton General Hospital. You are unconscious. The doctor is able to access your coded medical records to check your medication, allergies and significant medical problems to ascertain you don't have epilepsy or diabetes. Note they are able to access your CHIE record without your consent in an emergency.

All CHIE access is audit trailed. For more information and to request a copy of your record, fill out the appropriate form found here.


Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG)

The MIG project enables GPs to see information recorded by the community teams about a patient, and for community staff to see information recorded by the GPs without having to log onto another system or to search for the patient in another system.

Who uses MIG?

Information will be available between the following organisations within Hampshire:

  • GP practice
  • Mental Health
  • Children’s Services
  • Older People’s Mental Health Inpatients
  • Older Person’s Mental Health Community
  • Adult Nursing and Therapies

Who can see my information on MIG?

Of the above, all patients will have a GP record, but not all patients will have one of the other records. The GP record will only be visible to the other service if the other service has a record of their own. Staff will only be able to access MIG with your consent, and access will be audited.

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, please fill in the Data Extraction Opt-Out form and return it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form

Case study

The Health Visitor for a mum and new baby wants to check that they have had their 8 week check. The Health Visitor can use MIG to check this has been done and no concerns were raised by mum or the GP.


Secondary use of GP Patient Identifiable Data

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (the Act) gives the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) statutory powers, under section 259(1), to require data from health or social care bodies or organisations who provide health or adult social care in England, where it has been Directed to establish an information system by the Department of Health (DH) (on behalf of the Secretary of State) or NHS England.

When a direction is received, the HSCIC can issue a Data Provision Notice to the appropriate providers of the required data who are then legally required, under section 259(5) of the Act, to provide the data in the form and manner specified below.

The data collected varies per each data extraction, However as an example, below are the details regarding the Med3 extraction.

The purpose of the anonymised data collection is to provide the Department for Work and Pensions with information derived from computer generated ‘Med3’ forms, known as fit notes, to:

  • undertake research analysis to inform policy relating to employment and sickness absence, including evaluation of the new Fit for Work service, which provides an occupational health assessment, and Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit
  • identify geographic, Intergrated Care System (ICS) and GP practice level differences in sickness absence management to inform policy development and continuous improvement, resulting people returning to work sooner
  • enable baseline comparisons for the Fit for Work service
  • use fit note data to build an understanding of the drivers for benefit claiming
  • enable ICSs to self audit their fit note to inform their own policy and commissioning decisions

This collection is formed of anonymous data extracted from fit notes issued in GP practice systems. The data includes:

  • How many eMED3 fit notes are issued
  • How many patients are recorded as ‘unfit’ or ‘maybe fit’ for work
  • Fit note duration
  • Gender
  • Health condition type aggregated to a high level diagnosis code, for example, paranoid schizophrenia would be classed as a Mental Disorder
  • Location, including ICS areas
  • Whether workplace adaptations were recommended

More information and a list of all the Data Extractions in this category can be found at NHS Digital's website.

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, please fill in the Data Extraction Opt-Out form and return it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form


Health Checks

To ensure you receive the best possible care, you may be contacted to invite you to participate in health improvement programmes, for example, the NHS Health Check or UHS Lung Health Check. We may invite you for an appointment using a data processor who works entirely under our direction.

Nobody outside the practice will see confidential information about you during the invitation process.

For more information on the NHS Health Check, please visit:

For more information on the UHS Lung Health Check, please visit:

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, please fill in the Data Extraction Opt-Out form and return it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form


Audits with Section 251 Approval

What is Section 251?

Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 as re-enacted by Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 allows the Secretary of State for Health to make regulations to set aside the common law duty of confidentiality for defined medical purposes.

The Regulations that enable this power are called the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002. Any references to ‘section 251 support or approval’ actually refers to approval given under the authority of the Regulations.

The HRA (Health Research Authority) took on responsibility for Section 251 in April 2013, establishing the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) function.

Why was Section 251 created?

Section 251 came about because it was recognised that there were essential activities of the NHS, and important medical research, that required the use of identifiable patient information – but, because patient consent had not been obtained to use people’s personal and confidential information for these other purposes, there was no secure basis in law for these uses.

Section 251 was established to enable the common law duty of confidentiality to be overridden to enable disclosure of confidential patient information for medical purposes, where it was not possible to use anonymised information and where seeking consent was not practical, having regard to the cost and technology available.

What can I do if I don’t want my record shared?

If you don’t want to have your information shared, please fill in the Data Extraction Opt-Out form and return it to the practice.

Data Extraction Opt-Out Form




This project is no longer running.



This policy was last reviewed: November 2022