Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a right to know who holds personal information about you. This person or organisation is called the data controller. In the NHS, the data controller is usually your local NHS board and your GP surgery. The NHS must keep your personal health information confidential. It is your right.
Please be aware that our staff are bound to the NHS code of confidentiality. Our staff are therefore not permitted to discuss any of our patient’s medical history, this includes their registration status, without their written consent to do so.
Once we have received their written consent and verified this with the patient, then we can provide you with this information, this includes complaining on behalf of a patient, but excludes patients who are unable to act on their own behalf and already have a designated person or carer responsible for their medical care.
We therefore respectfully ask parents and guardians not to request information regarding their relatives or to complain on their behalf unless we have their written consent to do so.
Please note in Scotland if you are 12 or over, the law assumes you can make your own decisions about your health care information unless there is evidence to suggest you can’t. If you are under 12, you may still be able to make decisions about your health care information but the doctor must believe that you understand enough to do this.
For further information please refer to Confidentiality it’s your right.
What if I am under 16?
It explains that anyone who looks after your health has to keep information about you private. This may be doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other health workers.
The information tells you only about how things work in the health service, not other organisations such as your school or social services.
When you are young, your parents are usually involved in your health care. They may make decisions for you, and speak to health workers on your behalf. But as you get older you have more rights. You can decide if you want your parents to be involved or not.
- In Scotland if you are 12 or over, the law assumes you can make your own decisions about your health care information unless there is evidence to suggest you can’t.
- If you are under 12, you may still be able to make decisions about your health care information but the doctor must believe that you understand enough to do this.
- When we talk about parents, we also mean anyone who is your legal guardian.
- If you want to talk about your health in private, and you need an interpreter, ask our reception staff to arrange this for you.
- If you are over 12 years of age Practice staff are unable to provide confidential information to your parent or guardian unless you have given us written permission to do so.
Information kindly provided by Health Rights Information Scotland.
Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS)
The Patient Rights Act provided for the establishment of PASS. PASS operates independently of the NHS, and provides free, confidential information, advice and support to anyone who uses the NHS in Scotland. The service promotes an awareness and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of patients and can advise and support people who wish to give feedback, make comments, raise concerns or make complaints about treatment and care provided. Further information can be found on the PASS web site: