Confidentiality Policy

Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment of all our staff

At this practice, the need for the strict confidentiality of personal information is taken very seriously. This document sets out the policy for maintaining confidentiality and all members of the practice team must comply with these safeguards as part of their contract of employment/contract for the services with the practice. Matthew Calder is the Data Controller for the Practice and the Information Governance Lead.

The General Dental Council states:

All Staff must follow the General Dental Council’s rules for maintaining patient confidentiality.

‘The dentist/patient relationship is founded on trust and a dentist should not disclose to a third party information about a patient acquired in a professional capacity without the permission of the patient. To do so may lead to a charge of serious professional misconduct. A dentist should be aware that the duty of confidentiality extends to other members of the dental team. There may, however, be circumstances in which the public interest outweighs a dentist’s duty of confidentiality and in which disclosure would be justified. Communications with patients should not compromise confidentiality. In the interests of security and confidentiality, for example, it is advisable that all postal communications to patients are sent in sealed envelopes.’

What is Personal Information?

In a dental context, personal information held by a dentist about a patient includes:

Principles of Confidentiality

In practice, this means that all patient information, whether held on paper, computer, visually or audio recorded, or held in the memory of the professional, must not normally be disclosed without the consent of the patient.
Cwmbran Dental Care has adopted the following principles of confidentiality:

Disclosure to Third Parties

There are certain circumstances in which a dentist may decide to disclose information to a third party or may be required to disclose by law. Responsibility for the disclosure rests with the patient’s dentist and under no circumstances can any other member of staff make a decision to disclose. Where a decision has been made to disclose personal information, an attempt should be made to obtain the patient’s permission for the information to be released or where appropriate to encourage the patient to release the information themselves. Failing this, it is advisable to contact the BDA or your defence organisation before acting. A brief summary of the circumstances is given below.

When Disclosure can be made?

Before releasing any confidential information in the public interest, you must be prepared to explain and justify the decision and any action taken. A Court Order can order patient information to be released without consent. In such circumstances, only the minimum information should be released to follow the order.

Disclosure of information necessary in order to provide care and for the functioning of the NHS

Information may need to be disclosed to third party organisations to ensure the provision of care and the proper functioning of the NHS. In practical terms, this type of disclosure occurs when a referral of the patient to another dentist or health care provider such as the hospital is made.

Disclosing Patient Information

If the patient consents to their information being disclosed:

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Cwmbran Dental Care
19a Caradoc Road,
NP44 1PP
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Call us: 01633 877618