How we use your information

Data controller: Great Bentley Surgery

Data protection officer: Dr RS O’Reilly

  • This practice handles medical records in-line with laws on data protection and confidentiality.
  • We share medical records with those who are involved in providing you with care and treatment.
  • In some circumstances we will also share medical records for medical research, for example to find out more about why people get ill.
  • We share information when the law requires us to do so, for example, to prevent infectious diseases from spreading or to check the care being provided to you is safe.
  • You have the right to be given a copy of your medical record (see below)
  • You have the right to object to your medical records being shared with those who provide you with care.
  • You have the right to object to your information being used for medical research and to plan health services.
  • You have the right to have any mistakes corrected and to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please see the practice privacy notice on the website or speak to a member of staff for more information about your rights.
  • For more detailed information click here for our Practice Privacy Notice
  • We also have a leaflet explaining privacy for children which can be accessed here: Privacy information leaflet for children

You can also download our leaflet called “Your Medical Record” for more information about how your medical record can be used by clicking here: Your Medical Record

Your right to see your health records

A health record is any record of information relating to someone’s physical or mental health that has been made by (or on behalf of) a health professional. This could be anything from the notes made by a GP in your local surgery to results of an MRI scan or X-rays.

Health records are extremely personal and sensitive. They can be held electronically or as paper files, and are kept by a range of different health professionals both in the NHS and the private sector.

How can I access my records?

This is known as a subject access request (SAR).

To do so, you will need to make your request in writing (or by email) to  Great Bentley Surgery (address your letter to the Practice Manager). Alternatively you can complete the dedicated SAR Subject Access Request Form.

We will need your name, address, DOB, and ideally an up to date contact telephone number.

You do not have to give a reason for applying for access to your health records.

However, to save the NHS time and resources, it would be helpful if you would inform us – if you do not need access to your entire health record – of the periods and parts of your health records that you require, along with details which you may feel have relevance (e.g. consultant name, location, diagnosis).

There is no fee for making an SAR, but if manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive, a fee can be charged.

You should receive a reply to your request within one calendar month.

You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons (e.g. to protect the privacy of third parties).

You also have the right to have information explained to you where necessary (e.g. medical abbreviations).

We will provide you with the information by default as a single .PDF file placed on an encrypted CD-ROM which can be accessed easily on most computers. Using this method saves a lot of time and paper. If however, you require paper copies, we can still do this, but it may take longer.

Telephone Call Recording

Great Bentley Surgery records all telephone calls both in and out of the surgery. This is done for monitoring and training purposes and for the protection of both staff, doctors and patients. Access to these call recordings is limited to the practice manager and reception manager only. Call recordings are permanently deleted after a period of 12 months.

Call recordings are rarely accessed and only when there is a legitimate reason to do so. Uses can be to see evidence of abuse by patients, to clarify what was said in conversations when a dispute is experienced, or to recall information in order for the practice to carry out its public duties. Call recording are also used to investigate complaints.

Most access will be with the patient’s permission and knowledge. Recordings remain the property of the practice but form part of a patient’s medical record before being deleted.

General Data Protection Regulations

New data protection regulations came into force on 25th May 2018. If you would like to read more about these new regulations, full details can be found on the Information Commissioners website here.

This GP surgery is research active

All NHS organisations are expected to participate and support health and care research. Conducting high-quality clinical research helps us to keep improving NHS care by finding out which treatments work best.

You may be contacted from time to time about taking part in a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) study. If you are asked about taking part in NIHR research, someone in the care team looking after you will look at your health records to see whether you are eligible to take part before asking you whether you are interested or sending you a letter on behalf of the researcher.

You are free to choose whether or not to take part in any research study you are approached about.

For more details about how your information may be used in research please visit:

For more information on the NIHR please visit