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Somerset LMC Weekly Update Friday 29th June 2018

Date sent: Friday 29 June 2018

All Somerset GPs and  Practice Managers  This and previous updates can be found here

GDPR Subject Access requests (SARs) by solicitors As the LMC’s legal advisor predicted some solicitors are demanding medical information under the GDPR for which no fee is chargeable. A SAR involves providing a copy of every piece of information you hold on a patient together with a statement of how it is stored and shared with others plus details including how to contact your DPO and the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). It can only be refused if the request is “manifestly unfounded” (you have no data or consent to release it), if doing so would cause harm or if it would be “excessive” (which remains undefined - 100 pages? 500? And remember to take out all third party information!) when a fee can be negotiated. As the purpose of the GDPR (and the new DPA 2018) is to allow us all to find out what data controllers know about us and what they do with it, this is clearly a good thing in the digital age. However some solicitors, including the BMA’s legal advisors, say that SARs can be used for any purpose. Indeed even asking what a SAR is intended for can lead to threats of reporting to the ICO. As the GDPR is untested in Court interpretation of it is evolving and even the ICO seems reluctant to give definitive advice. But other respected authorities take a different view and are trying to change current BMA guidance which essentially is that a SAR is a SAR if a solicitor says it is. They argue that GDPR does not say that SARs can be used for any purpose. Recital 63 in summary says “A data subject should have the right of access to personal data which have been collected concerning him or her, and to exercise that right easily and at reasonable intervals, in order to be aware of, and verify, the lawfulness of the processing”: that is all a SAR is for. GDPR also contains Article 9(2)(f) for when “processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.” So GDPR has a distinct, separate route for access to records for legal purposes which is not a SAR. GDPR is superseded by other EU members’ laws where they overlap and in the UK this means the Access to Medical Records Act 1990. These are the reasons why we believe that using SARs to support accident and other claims may be unfounded and wrong. It remains to be proved however. We are sorry that we cannot give any more definitive advice at present. If primary care is not to become a free copying service for solicitors a solution must be found at the highest level.

Dermis Triage Service  is not intended to deal with skin malignancies or suspicious lesions in which you want to exclude malignancy. In such cases the 2ww pathway should be used. If, after looking at the information provided in the referral letter (they don’t see the patient), the triaging GPwSI believes this is the case they are quite right in asking the referring practice to make the 2ww referral. This is not least because of the additional information required, such as patient availability to attend.

A&E Psychiatric Liaison: Colleagues in the East of the county have told us how pleased they have been with this service but that the clinician concerned would find it helpful if she could have use of practice bypass numbers to speed up communication with practices when matters are urgent. Emergency departments should already have these as part of a past initiative involving the late lamented unplanned admission enhanced service GPEDs but it seems that some are missing or need updating. Practices willing to share their bypass numbers with their local emergency department please let the LMC office know

CHIS Data sharing Agreement Colleagues will be aware that there were some concerns with this agreement, 

“A meeting took place to review the GP Practice Data Sharing Agreement for the South West Child Health Information Service (SW CHIS), with Health Intelligence’s representative attending the IT leads meeting to further explain the agreement. The following points were confirmed:

Therefore they are not proposing to share clinical data with the Local Authority Education Department(s), just demographic data.

Learning Disabilities Observatory- New Service on CQRS This has popped up on CQRS,we have raised with the GPC to establish if this is in fact contractual, as soon as we receive a reply we will let you know

Porter Dodson Bulletins Practices may have dropped off the distribution list when moving to if you wish to still receive these you will need to subscribe here

Temporary Physiotherapy outpatient move to Dene Barton In preparation for this winter the hospital is planning for high levels of activity. To increase the number of beds available this winter they will temporarily relocate Musgrove’s physiotherapy outpatient service to the vacant ward at Dene Barton Hospital in September. This ward will not be reopening currently as a community hospital inpatient unit due to ongoing staffing vacancies. This site will provide better privacy and dignity for patients in individual rooms and improved parking arrangements. 

They will be informing all physiotherapy outpatients in time for their appointments so they can best plan their visit. The Hydrotherapy pool and some specialist outpatient appointments will remain on site at Musgrove Park Hospital. 

Become a Parkrun Practice? Process for becoming a parkrun practice:

Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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