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Confidentiality

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.

Our staff are bound by the NHS code of confidentiality. Our staff aren’t permitted to discuss any aspect of a patient’s medical history – including their registration status – without their written consent to do so.

Once we’ve received their written consent, then we can provide you with information about someone else – 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.

What if I’m under 16?

When you’re 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’re 12 or over, the law assumes you can make your own decisions about your health care information unless there’s evidence to suggest you can’t.
  • If you’re 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, or you need an interpreter, ask our reception staff to arrange this for you.
  • If you’re over 12 years of age Practice staff aren’t able to provide confidential information to your parent or guardian unless you have given us permission to do so.

Patient Advice and Support Service (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 here on the PASS website.