Data Protection Policy, Data Security Policy and CODE of Practice

Why we have this Policy

This practice collects and stores information and is therefore legally obliged to ensure that all data and there are heavy penalties for infringement of the Data Protection Act 1998.

It is important therefore that every team member understands how and why we use such data and how it must be stored and handled securely. We only hold information that is relevant and only for as long as it is needed.

Our data protection code of practice provides the required procedures to ensure that we comply with the 1998 Data Protection Act. It is a condition of engagement that everyone at the practice complies with the code of practice.

Date Name Position held within this practice
14/03/2019 Temitope Ilori Principal Dentist
14/03/2019 Natalie Towler Head Dental Nurse
14/03/2019 Laura Rice Dental Nurse
14/03/2019 Judy Archibald Receptionist
14/10/2020 Chloe Archibald Hygienist
Please read the following policy carefully. You should ask Temitope Ilori who is in charge of the correct operation of this policy if there is anything about which you are unsure.

Tankerton Dental Centre Data Security Policy

We are committed to ensuring the security of personal data held by our practice. This objective is achieved by every member of the practice team complying with this policy.


see also the practice confidentiality policy

All staff employment contracts contain a confidentiality clause.
Access to personal data is on a “need to know” basis only.
Access to information is monitored and breaches of security will not be tolerated and may lead to staff dismissal.ticeName
We have procedures in place to ensure that personal data is regularly reviewed, updated and deleted in a confidential manner when no longer required.For example, we keep patient records for at least 11 years or until the patient is aged 25 – whichever is the longer.
Physical security measures

Personal data is only taken away from the practice premises in exceptional circumstances and when authorised by Temitope Ilori.
If personal data is taken from the premises it must never be left unattended in a car or in a public place.
Records are kept in a lockable fireproof cabinet, which is not easily accessible by patients and visitors to the practice.
Efforts have been made to secure the practice against theft by, for example, the use of intruder alarms, lockable windows and doors.
The practice has in place a business continuity plan in case of a disaster.This includes procedures set out for protecting and restoring personal data.
Information held on computer

Appropriate software controls are used to protect computerised records, for example the use of passwords and encryption. Passwords are only known to those who require access to the information, are changed on a regular basis and are not written down or kept near or on the computer for others to see
Daily and weekly back-ups of computerised data are taken and stored in a fireproof container, off-site. Back-ups are also tested at prescribed intervals to ensure that the information being stored is usable should it be needed
Staff using practice computers will undertake computer training to avoid unintentional deletion or corruption of information
Dental computer systems all have a full audit trail facility preventing the erasure or overwriting of data. The system records details of any amendments made to data, who made them and when
Precautions are taken to avoid loss of data through the introduction of computer viruses

Team Member must:

At all times, comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act (1998),and:

Be aware of the Information Governance declaration that has been made by this practice
Never name, or discuss identifiable information, about a patient outside the practice, including with friends or relatives of the patient
Never post pictures or information which could be identify a patient on any social media site. (See the practice Social Media Policy)
Store patient records securely and confidentially where it is not possible for other patients or individuals to read them
Ensure that information about patients is never left unattended (for example on a screen at the reception desk or at night by cleaning staff)
Store paper records in lockable filing cabinets
Not give any other person or agency (such as a school or college) information about whether a patient has attended for an appointment on a particular day or even is a patient of this practice. It might be suggested that the patient is asked to obtain the dentist’s signature on his or her appointment card to signify attendance if proof is required.
Not provide information about a patient’s appointment record to a patient’s employer
Ensure that when talking to a patient on the telephone or in person in a public area, other patients cannot overhear sensitive-information
Ensure that discussions about patients do not take place in the practice’s public areas
Ensure that messages about a patient’s care are not be left with third parties or left on answering machines. A message to call the practice is all that can be left
Ensure that password-protected computer records are backed-up every day, with back-ups stored away from the practice
Ensure that the computer screen is NOT VISIBLE by patients or members of the public when standing at the Reception desk or public area.
Ensure the appointment book and day list are not visible to patients or anyone not involved in patient care
Never disclose patient information to a third party without consent, including confirming that someone is a patient at the practice or that they have an appointment. This includes disclosure of appointment books, day sheets or computer screens to police officers or Inland Revenue officials, unless on the specific instructions of the dentist
Data must not be removed from the practice and if it is required to convey data to another person (e.g. for referral purposes) this is always made by means of a secured or encrypted method.
Post all written communications, including recalls or reminders, in an envelope
If called upon to demonstrate the practice’s administrative/computer systems, not allow actual patient information to be used (use patient code).
The practice will have achieved Information Governance to level 2 (in accordance with the current HSCIC Version applicable) or its equivalent standard if the practice is not required to be registered for Information Governance with HSCIC.
Use Software of Excellence patient codes, instead of patient names to ensure the minimum personal data is use.
What is ‘personal information?’

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

The patient’s name or even their ‘nickname’ or preferred name as written on a Record, current and previous addresses, bank account/credit card details, telephone number/e-mail address and other means of personal identification such as his or her physical description
Information that the individual is or has been a patient of the practice or attended, cancelled or failed to attend an appointment on a certain day
Information concerning the patient’s physical, mental or oral health or condition or protected characteristics
Information about the treatment that is planned, is being undertaken or has been provided
Information about family members and personal circumstances supplied by the patient or others
The amount that was paid for treatment, the amount owing, or the fact that the patient is a debtor to the practice.
Disciplinary Action

If, after investigation, a team member is found to have breached Data Protection, he or she shall be liable to summary dismissal in accordance with our practice disciplinary policy.

Access to records

Patients have the right of access to their health records held on paper or on computer that we hold about them and to receive a copy, or they may authorise a third party, such as a lawyer, to do so on their behalf. Parents may access their child’s records if this is in the child’s best interests and not contrary to a competent child’s wishes. Formal applications for access must be in writing to Temitope Iloriand accompanied by the appropriate fee.

A request from a patient to see records or for a copy must be referred to the patient’s dentist. The patient should be given the opportunity of coming into the practice to discuss the records and will then be given a photocopy. Care should be taken to ensure that the individual seeking access is the patient in question and where necessary the practice will seek information from the patient to confirm identity. The copy of the record must be supplied within 1month of payment of the fee and receipt of identifying information if this is requested.

Access may be obtained by the patient making a request in writing and the payment of a fee for access of up to £10 (for records held on computer) or £50 (for those held manually or for computer-held records with non-computer radiographs).

Following the GDPR timescalewe will provide a copy of the record within 1 month of the request and fee (where payable).

For inspection only:

If information has been added within the last 40 days, inspection is free of charge
In all other cases, £10.
For copies:

Records held totally on computer, £10
Records held in part on computer and in part manually, £30
Records held totally manually, £50.
Following the GDPR timescale we will provide a copy of the record within 40 days of receipt and fee (where payable) and an explanation of your record should you require it.


Because patients have the right of access to their records, it is essential that information is properly recorded. Records must be:

Contemporaneous and dated
Accurate and comprehensive
Signed by the dentist
Strictly necessary for the purpose
Not derogatory
Unproblematic if such a disclosure to the patient needs to be made
If a patient does not agree

If a patient does not wish personal data that we hold about them to be disclosed, updated or used in the way that is described in this Code of Practice, they must be allowed to discuss the matter with their dentist; however, this may affect our ability to provide them with dental care and they must be made aware of this.

If your employment at this practice has ended

You are reminded that all personal data processed at the practice must by law remain confidential after your employment has terminated. It is an offence under section 55(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, knowingly or recklessly. If the practice suspects that you have committed such an offence, it will contact the Office of the Information Commissioner and you may be prosecuted by the Commissioner or by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions



We will keep your records safely

This practice complies with the Data Protection Act (1998). This means that we will ensure that your information is processed fairly and lawfully.

What personal information do we hold?

Your past and current medical and dental condition; personal details such as your age, national insurance number/NHS number, address, telephone number and your general medical practitioner
Radiographs, clinical photographs and study models
Information about the treatment that we have provided or propose and its cost
Notes of conversations or incidents that might occur for which a record needs to be kept
Records of consent to treatment
Any correspondence relating to you with other health care professionals, for example in the hospital or community services.
Why do we hold this information?

We need to keep accurate personal data about patients in order to provide you with safe and appropriate dental care. We also need to process personal data about you if we are providing care under NHS arrangements and to ensure the proper management and administration of the NHS.

Retaining information

We are required to retain your dental records, X rays and study models while you are a patient of this practice and after you cease to be a patient, for at least eleven years, or for children until age 25, whichever is the longer. Your Dental records will be archived if you haven’t attended the dentist after 4 years.


Your information is held in the practice’s computer system and/or in a manual filing system. The information is only accessible to authorised team members and Care Quality Commission Inspectors. Our computer system has been secured with audit trails and information is regularly backed up to ensure it is not lost.

We may need to disclose your information

In order to provide proper and safe dental care to:

Your general medical practitioner
The hospital or community dental services
Other health professionals caring for you
NHS payment authorities
The Inland Revenue
The Benefits Agency, where you are claiming exemption or remission from NHS charges
Private dental schemes of which you are a member.
Disclosure will take place on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, so that only those individuals/organisations who need to know in order to provide care to you and for the proper administration of Government (whose personnel are covered by strict confidentiality rules) will be given the information. Only that information that the recipient needs to know will be disclosed.

In very limited circumstances or when required by law or a court order, personal data may have to 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 your specific consent. Where possible you will be informed of these requests for disclosure.

The Policies have been issued to existing staff with access to personal data at the practice and will be given to new staff during induction. Should any staff have concerns about the security of personal data within the practice they should contact Temitope Ilori

The practice is registered under the Data Protection Laws with the Information Commissioner