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INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS REGARDING NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFECTION

 

The NHS in Milton Keynes and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The Chief Medical Officer has announced that the country is moving into the 'Delay' stage of the response to coronavirus from Friday, 13th March 2020.

The new advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is as follows:

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19) if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your conditions gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Stay At Home advice can be found on: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Following the announcement that an individual in the Milton Keynes area has been confirmed as having the coronavirus, PHE is carrying out a thorough risk assessment to trace this individual’s movements in the last fortnight. Patients and staff can be reassured that their safety is the top priority, and patients are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual. The local NHS and Milton Keynes Council are working closely with PHE to support this work. PHE is prioritising contacting people who might have had close and sustained contact with the individual to provide them with health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details in case they become unwell. If you have not been contacted you do not need to take any action.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Testing of suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

Patient Information

your care dataInformation about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.

It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what has worked best.

Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone.

You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything. If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please speak to practice staff or download the opt out form below, complete it and return it to the practice

We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.

doc How information about you helps us to provide better care

patient signpost to set own data opt out

GDPR  - Data Protection Privacy Notice for Patients

Data Protection & Confidentiality Policy GDPR

Fair processing

Under the Data Protection Act your practice is required to process personal data fairly and lawfully.  The methods by which these processes are governed and explained to patients are known as ‘fair processing’. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ‘right to be informed’ encompasses the obligation to provide fair processing information, typically through a privacy notice.  It emphasises the need for transparency over how you use personal data and for privacy notices to be easily accessible.

 

Fair processing includes:

  • telling patients about what type of information you will collect, how you intend to use it and who you may share it with
  • providing assurance to patients that their data will be safe, confidential and used appropriately if they share it with you
  • enabling patients to opt out of sharing their data and making them aware of their rights

 

You can find out more on the NHS England Care Data website

 

Update from NHS England

How Information about you helps us provide better care

Introduction

Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.

It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what has worked best.

Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone.

How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.

We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.

Please take time to read this. You need to make a choice.

Benefits of sharing information

Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by local health services. It may also help researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments and potential solutions.

Information will also help to:

 

  • find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses;

 

  • guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients;

 

  • support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help us to take action to prevent problems;

 

  • improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services; and

 

  • guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources fairly so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients.

 What will we do with the information?

 We will only use the minimum amount of information we need to help us improve patient care and the services we provide.

 We have developed a thorough process that must be followed before any information can be shared. We sometimes release information to approved researchers, if this is allowed under the strict rules in place to protect your privacy. We are very careful with the information and we follow strict rules about how it is stored and used.

 We will make sure that the way we use information is in line with the law, national guidance and best practice. Reports that we publish will never identify a particular person.

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 your GP practice, ask your practice to make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health emergency).

You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care, such as hospitals and community services. You should let your GP know if you want to restrict the use of this information.

Your choice will not affect the care you receive.

Do I need to do anything?

If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign and you can change your mind at any time.

If you have concerns or are not happy for your information to be shared, speak to your GP practice.

Where can I get more information?

How We Use Your Information Patient Leaflet

For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), please go to the website at www.nhs.uk/caredata

You can also get further information from the website at www.hscic.gov.uk.

 Or you can speak to staff at your GP practice.

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