Data protection code of practice for patients

This practice complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and this policy describes our procedures for ensuring that personal information about patients is processed fairly and lawfully.

Personal data that we hold

We must keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about you to provide you with a high standard of appropriate dental care. We also need to process personal data about you to provide care under the NHS arrangements and to ensure the proper management and administration of the NHS.
The personal data that we hold includes:

  • Personal details such as your date of birth, National Insurance number/NHS number, address, telephone number and your general medical practitioner.
  • Your past and current medical and dental health.
  • Radiographs, clinical photographs and study models.
  • Information about the treatment that we have provided or propose to provide and its cost
  • Notes of conversations about your care
  • Records of consent to treatment
  • Correspondence with other health care professionals relating to you, for example in the hospital or community services.

Processing data

We will process this personal data in the following way:

Retaining information

We will retain your dental records while you are a practice patient and after you cease to be a patient, for at least eleven years or for children until age of 25 whichever is the longer.

Security of information

Personal data about you is held in the practice computer system and/or in a manual filing system. The information is not accessible to the public; only authorised members of staff have access to it. Staff are trained in their legal responsibilities under the Data Protection Act and practical procedures for maintaining confidentiality.
We take precautions to keep the practice premises, filing systems and computers physically secure. Our computer system has secure audit trails and we back up information routinely.

Disclosure of information

To provide roper and safe dental care we may need to disclose personal information about you to:

  • Your general medical practitioner
  • The hospital or community dental services
  • Other health professionals caring for you
  • NHS payment authorities
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • The Department for Work and Pensions and its agencies, where you are claiming exemption or remission from NGS charges
  • Private dental schemes of which you are a member.

Where possible, you will be informed of these requests for disclosure.
Disclosure will take place on a need to know basis. We will only provide information to individuals or organisations who need it to provide care to you or to ensure the proper administration of government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules). We will only disclose information that the recipient needs to have.

In limited circumstances or if required by law or a court order, personal data may be disclosed to a third party not connected with your health care.
In all other situations, disclosure that is not covered by this Code of Practice will only occur when we have specific consent.


You can access the data we hold about you and to receive a copy by submitting a written request.

If you do not agree

If you do not wish personal data that we hold about you to be disclosed or used in the way that is described in this Code, you should discuss the matter with your dentist. You should be aware however that objecting to how we process your information may affect our ability to provide you with dental care.

Please also see our Privacy Policy

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