Privacy Policy

How Beacon manages your personal information

Patient Information Privacy Notice

The practice keeps information about you, your health, treatment and care. Health records are held on paper and electronically. We have a legal duty to keep accurate health records. Personal information must be kept confidential and secure in line with Data Protection Legislation and Regulation.

What is personal information?

This is information that can identify you and includes:

  • your name, date of birth, address, phone numbers and email address
  • your hospital number and NHS number
  • information about your health, care, treatment and results of investigations

We may also ask for other information, such as whether you have a disability, your religion or beliefs, sexuality and race. This helps us plan to meet any particular care needs.

Data Protection Legislation and Regulation 

The practice must manage your personal information in line with the:

UK Data Protection Act 18 EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We must be clear about the legal basis for processing your information and we record this. Our staff members are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your privacy. We aim to maintain high standards and we regularly check and report on how we are doing. Where we, as a practice, find that we fall below the acceptable standards we investigate and report serious incidents to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

How do we use your information for direct care?

For Beacon staff to be involved in your treatment we need to have accurate and up to date information to assess your health and provide you with care.  As a GP practice, we have been authorised by the Government to provide healthcare and as such must keep accurate records for this care. Under GDPR our legal basis for holding this information is Article 6(1) (e) and 9(2) (h).

You may receive care from staff from other care organisations – such as Devon Doctors, Livewell South  West and University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust – and it will be necessary for us to share relevant information with them to insure that your care is optimised.  This will include other health care, social care and educational organisations. Your identifiable information will only be shared for direct care purposes.

Identifying patients who might be at risk of certain diseases

Your medical records will be searched by a computer programme so that we can identify patients who might be at high risk from certain diseases such as heart disease or unplanned admissions to hospital. This means we can offer patients additional care or support as early as possible. This process will involve linking information from your GP record with information from other health or social care services you have used. Information which identifies you will only be seen by this practice.

What we do not use your information for

Your health information is never collected for direct marketing and is not sold on to third parties. We do not use your information to make automated decisions with no human intervention.

How long do we keep your health record for?

This personal information forms part of your health record (a lifelong record) and needs to be kept to enable general practice to provide a high standard of care to you. Information is held for specified periods of time as set out in the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 – NHS Digital.

How do I know information about me will be kept in a confidential way?

We ensure the security of your information held on our computer systems and areas where paper records are held are robust to prevent unauthorised access.

What are your information rights?

You have a number of rights under the Data Protection Legislation:

  1. To be informed why, where and how we use your information
  2. To ask for access to your information through your medical records
  3. To ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  4. To ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  5. To ask us to restrict the use of your information in certain circumstances
  6. In limited circumstances to ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another
  7. To object to how your information is used
  8. To challenge decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)

Other uses of your information

Sometimes we need to pass on your information by law, for example:

  • To notify a birth
  • When an infectious disease is encountered that may endanger the safety of others (such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
  • Where a formal court order has been issued For prevention and detection of crime
  • Where female genital mutilation is diagnosed

How does your information help us to improve services?

We may use your information to help look after the health of the public and to make sure that our services can meet future patient needs. Your information may also be used to help us to:

  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals
  • Audit NHS accounts and services
  • Investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents

National Data Opt-out Programme

NHS Digital is developing a new system to support the national data opt-out which will give patients more control over how identifiable health and care information is used. The system will offer patients and the public the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether they wish their personally identifiable data to be used just for their individual care and treatment or also used for research and planning purposes.

Type 1 opt-out: medical records held at your GP practice

You can also tell your GP practice if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out. This opt-out request can only be recorded by your GP practice.


Beacon Medical Group is a research active practice and adhere to the NIHR privacy policy. This privacy policy sets out how the NIHR uses and protects any information, including your personal information - that the NIHR collects and receives when you use any of its websites, systems or services.

NIHR Privacy Policy: To view the NIHR’s privacy policy on how your data is used for research, please click the link below.


AccuRx are governed by a Data Processing Agreement and will only act under the instructions of the Data Controller (the Practice). AccuRx have completed the Data Security an Protection Toolkit assurances (under NHS ODS Code 8JT17 and both the Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certification.


The Practice may collect, hold and share information about you in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to plan and manage services, check that care is being provided and prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

Information about your COVID-19 status may be shared within the NHS and with other partners involved in your care and treatment, along with:

  • NHS England,
  • NHS Digital,
  • Public Health England,
  • CCG,
  • The Department of Health,
  • Other Government Departments where it’s legally required, or where it is necessary for the protection of public health or management of the outbreak.

We do not need your consent or agreement to do this.

More information can be found at: and

Population Health Analytics

As well as using your information to support the delivery of care to you, your data may be used to help improve the way health and social care is delivered to patients and service users throughout all patinets of Beacon Medical Group using Population Health Management methods. We will only use a pseudonomised extract (ie not identifiable information) which will be sent securely to Livewell and UHP and in partnership with Optum. Please note that at no time will patient identifiable data be used in the delivery of this programme. Patients who have a “type 1” opt- out, will be excluded from this programme and will not have their data extracted for this purpose. Further information about Population Health Management can be found here . We will rely on Public interest task as the legal basis for processing your data for this purpose.​

GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19)

To support the response to the coronavirus outbreak, NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse healthcare information about patients, including from their GP record, for the duration of the coronavirus emergency period. See GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19) for more information.


To ensure you get the right care within the right timeframe, the practice is now using eConsult to gather information about your concern when you call the practice. This involves you answering questions over the phone that you could be asked by a Pharmacist or GP and will likely save you a similar phone call and even a trip to the practice.

When you call the practice, the call handler, with your verbal consent, will enter the information that you provide over the phone into eConsult on your behalf and eConsult will then send this information to the practice for a clinician to review. For further information, including eConsult’s privacy notice, click the following link:

You can also use eConsult via the NHSApp. Further information regarding the role of NHS England and the practice can be found:

Contact for Data Protection Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about how we manage your Information then please contact our Data Protection Officer.

Data Protection Officer Beacon Medical Group,
Plympton Health Centre,
Mudge Way,
01752 346634


Bex Lovewell, Data Protection Officer

Bex Lovewell
Data Protection Officer
Delt Shared Services Ltd.
Derriford Business Park

01752 580321 ​


The UK regulator for Data Protection Legislation can be contacted as follows:

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
03031 231113


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Last Updated: 21/08/20