Data Security Policy
Pitsmoor Dental Health Centre
Data Protection Policy
We may have to collect and use information about people with whom we work. This personal information must be handled and dealt with properly, however it is collected, recorded and used, and whether it be on paper, in computer records or recorded by any other means.
We regard the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to our successful operation and to maintaining confidence between us and those with whom we carry out business. We will ensure that we treat personal information lawfully and correctly.
To this end we fully endorse and adhere to the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This policy applies to the processing of personal data in manual and electronic records kept by us in connection with our human resources function as described below. It also covers our response to any data breach and other rights under the GDPR.
This policy applies to the personal data of patients, job applicants, existing and former employees, apprentices, volunteers, placement students, workers and self-employed contractors. These are referred to in this policy as relevant individuals.
“Personal data” is information that relates to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified from that information, for example, a person’s name, identification number, location, online identifier. It can also include pseudonymised data.
“Special categories of personal data” is data which relates to an individual’s health, sex life, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, political opinion, religion, and trade union membership. It also includes genetic and biometric data (where used for ID purposes).
“Criminal offence data” is data which relates to an individual’s criminal convictions and offences.
“Data processing” is any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
3.DATA PROTECTION PRINCIPLES
Under GDPR, all personal data obtained and held by us must be processed according to a set of core principles. In accordance with these principles, we will ensure that:
- processing will be fair, lawful and transparent
- data be collected for specific, explicit, and legitimate purposes
- data collected will be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing
- data will be kept accurate and up to date. Data which is found to be inaccurate will be rectified or erased without delay
- data is not kept for longer than is necessary for its given purpose
- data will be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage by using appropriate technical or organisation measures
- we will comply with the relevant GDPR procedures for international transferring of personal data
4.TYPES OF DATA HELD ON EMPLOYEES
We keep several categories of personal data on our employees in order to carry out effective and efficient processes. We keep this data in a personnel file relating to each employee and we also hold the data within our computer systems, for example, our holiday booking system.
Specifically, we hold the following types of data:
- personal details such as name, address, phone numbers
- information gathered via the recruitment process such as that entered into a CV or included in a CV cover letter, references from former employers, details on your education and employment history etc.
- details relating to pay administration such as National Insurance numbers, bank account details and tax codes
- medical or health information
- information relating to your employment with us, including: a)job title and job description b) your salary and your wider terms and conditions of employment
- details of formal and informal proceedings involving you such as letters of concern, disciplinary and grievance proceedings, your annual leave records, appraisal and performance information
- internal and external training modules undertaken
All of the above information is required for our processing activities. More information on those processing activities are included in our privacy notice for employees, which is available from your manager.
Staff have the following rights in relation to the personal data we hold on them:
- the right to be informed about the data we hold on them and what we do with it;
- the right of access to the data we hold on them. More information on this can be found in the section headed “Access to Data” below and in our separate policy on Subject Access Requests”;
- the right for any inaccuracies in the data we hold on them, however they come to light, to be corrected. This is also known as ‘rectification’;
- the right to have data deleted in certain circumstances. This is also known as ‘erasure’;
- the right to restrict the processing of the data;
- the right to transfer the data we hold on them to another party. This is also known as ‘portability’;
- the right to object to the inclusion of any information;
- the right to regulate any automated decision-making and profiling of personal data.
More information can be found on each of these rights in our separate policy on employee rights under GDPR
6. TYPES OF DATA HELD ON PATIENTS
In order to provide patients with a high standard of dental care and attention, we need to hold some personal information. This personal data comprises of:
- past and current medical and dental condition; personal details such as age, NI number, address, telephone number and your general medical practitioner
- radiographs, clinical photographs and study models
- information about the treatment that we have provided or propose to provide and its cost
- notes of conversations/incidents that might occur for which a record needs to be kept
- records of consent to treatment
- any correspondence relating to you with other health care professionals, for example in the hospital or community services.
We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about our patients in order to provide them with safe and appropriate dental care. We also need to process personal data about them in order to provide care under NHS arrangements and to ensure the proper management and administration of the NHS. We will process personal data that we hold about patients in the following way:
We will retain dental records while they are a practice patient and after they cease to be a patient, for at least eleven years or for children until age 25, whichever is the longer. Personal data about patients is held in the practice’s computer system. The information is not accessible to the public and only authorised members of staff have access to it via password entry. Our computer system has secure audit trails and we back up information routinely. Archived paper records are stored within locked fireproof metal filing cabinets within the building. In order to provide proper and safe dental care, we may need to disclose personal information about patients to:
- general medical practitioner
- the hospital or community dental services
- other health professionals caring for them
- NHS payment authorities
- the Inland Revenue
- the Benefits Agency, where patients are claiming exemption or remission from NHS charges
- Private dental schemes of which patients are a member.
Disclosure will take place on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, so that only those individuals/organisations who need to know in order to provide care to patients and for the proper administration of Government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules) will be given the information. Only that information that the recipient needs to know will be disclosed. In very limited circumstances or when required by law or a court order, personal data may have to be disclosed to a third party not connected with a patients health care. In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this Code of Practice will only occur when we have patient’s specific consent. Where possible patients will be informed of these requests for disclosure.
Patients have the right of access to the data that we hold about them and to receive a copy. Access may be obtained by making a request in writing with proof of identity. We will provide a copy of the record within 28 days of receipt of the request and an explanation of the record should you require it.
If patients do not wish personal data that we hold about them to be disclosed or used in the way that is described in this Code of Practice, they must discuss the matter with the dentist. Patients have the right to object, but this may affect our ability to provide them with dental care.
In order to protect the personal data of relevant individuals, those within our business who must process data as part of their role have been made aware of our policies on data protection.
We have also appointed employees with responsibility for reviewing and auditing our data protection systems.
8. LAWFUL BASES OF PROCESSING
We acknowledge that processing may be only be carried out where a lawful basis for that processing exists and we have assigned a lawful basis against each processing activity.
Where no other lawful basis applies, we may seek to rely on the persons consent in order to process data.
However, we recognise the high standard attached to its use. We understand that consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Where consent is to be sought, we will do so on a specific and individual basis where appropriate. Persons will be given clear instructions on the desired processing activity, informed of the consequences of their consent and of their clear right to withdraw consent at any time.
9. ACCESS TO DATA
As stated above, employees and patients have a right to access the personal data that we hold on them. To exercise this right, they should make a Subject Access Request. We will comply with the request without delay, and within one month unless, in accordance with legislation, we decide that an extension is required. Those who make a request will be kept fully informed of any decision to extend the time limit.
No charge will be made for complying with a request unless the request is manifestly unfounded, excessive or repetitive, or unless a request is made for duplicate copies to be provided to parties other than the person making the request. In these circumstances, a reasonable charge will be applied.
Further information on making a subject access request is contained in our Subject Access Request policy.
The Company may be required to disclose certain data/information to any person. The circumstances leading to such disclosures may include:
- to assist law enforcement or a relevant authority to prevent or detect crime or prosecute offenders or to assess or collect any tax or duty.
These kinds of disclosures will only be made when strictly necessary for the purpose.
All our employees are aware that hard copy personal information should be kept in a locked filing cabinet, drawer, or safe.
Employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities when their role involves the processing of data. All employees are instructed to store files or written information of a confidential nature in a secure manner so that are only accessed by people who have a need and a right to access them and to ensure that screen locks are implemented on all PCs, laptops etc. when unattended. No files or written information of a confidential nature are left where they can be read by unauthorised people.
Where data is computerised, it is be coded, encrypted and password protected both on a local hard drive and on a network drive that is regularly backed up. The backup copy is kept on a removable storage media kept in a locked filing cabinet.
Employees must always use the passwords provided to access the computer system and not abuse them by passing them on to people who should not have them.
Personal data relating to employees or patients is not kept or transported on laptops, USB sticks, or similar devices, unless prior authorisation has been received. Where personal data is recorded on any such device it is protected by:
- ensuring that data is recorded on such devices only where absolutely necessary.
- using an encrypted system — a folder should be created to store the files that need extra protection and all files created or moved to this folder should be automatically encrypted.
- ensuring that laptops or USB drives are not left where they can be stolen.
Failure to follow the Company’s rules on data security may be dealt with via the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Appropriate sanctions include dismissal with or without notice dependent on the severity of the failure.
12. THIRD PARTY PROCESSING
Where we engage third parties to process data on our behalf, we ensure, via a data processing agreement with the third party, that the third party takes such measures in order to maintain the Company’s commitment to protecting data.
13.INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS
The Company does not transfer personal data to any recipients outside of the EEA.
14. REQUIREMENT TO NOTIFY BREACHES
All data breaches will be recorded on our Data Breach Register. Where legally required, we will report a breach to the Information Commissioner within 72 hours of discovery. In addition, where legally required, we will inform the individual whose data was subject to breach.
More information on breach notification is available in our Breach Notification policy.
New employees must read and understand the policies on data protection as part of their induction.
All employees receive training covering basic information about confidentiality, data protection and the actions to take upon identifying a potential data breach.
The nominated data controller/auditors/protection officers for the Company are trained appropriately in their roles under the GDPR.
All employees who need to use the computer system are trained to protect individuals’ private data, to ensure data security, and to understand the consequences to them as individuals and the Company of any potential lapses and breaches of the Company’s policies and procedures.
The Company keeps records of its processing activities including the purpose for the processing and retention periods in its HR Data Record. These records will be kept up to date so that they reflect current processing activities.
17. DATA PROTECTION COMPLIANCE
Our Data Protection Officer is:
- Alan Moffatt- principal dentist
Our appointed compliance officer in respect of our data protection activities is:
- Nicholai Butler- Clinical manager
Policy date: 21 May 2018
Reviewed: 4th March 2021