Managing your personal data
The Menopause Hub is what is known as the ‘Controller’ of the personal data you provide to us. We take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide the services you have requested from us, and for the associated administrative purposes.
The Menopause Hub Privacy Statement
This clinic wants to ensure the highest standard of medical care for our patients and clients. We understand that a General Practitioner (GP) or a Medical Doctor (MD) is a trusted professional governed by an ethic of privacy and confidentiality. Our approach is consistent with the Medical Council guidelines and the privacy principles of the Data Protection Regulations. It is not possible to undertake medical care without collecting and processing personal data and data concerning health. In fact, to do so would be in breach of the Medical Council’s ‘Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Doctors’. This document is about advising you of our policies and practices on dealing with your medical information.
Legal Basis for Processing Your Data
The processing of personal data is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the patient and for the provision of health care and public health. In most circumstances we hold your data until 8 years after your death or 8 years since your last contact with the clinic.
Managing Your Information
In order to provide for your care here we need to collect and keep information about you and your health on our records.
• We retain your information securely.
• We will only ask for and keep information that is necessary. We will attempt to keep it as accurate and up to-date as possible. We will explain the need for any information we ask for if you are not sure why it is needed.
• We ask you to inform us about any relevant changes that we should know about. This would include such things as any new treatments or investigations being carried out that we are not aware of. Please also inform us of change of address and phone numbers.
• All persons in the clinic (not already covered by a professional confidentiality code) sign a confidentiality agreement that explicitly makes clear their duties in relation to personal health information and the consequences of breaching that duty.
• Access to patient records is regulated to ensure that they are used only to the extent necessary to enable the secretary or manager to perform their tasks for the proper functioning of the clinic. In this regard, patients should understand that clinic staff may have access to their records for:
• Identifying and printing repeat prescriptions for patients. These are then reviewed and signed by the doctor
• Generating a sickness certificate for the patient. This is then checked and signed by the doctor
• Typing referral letters to hospital consultants or allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and dieticians.
• Opening letters from hospitals and consultants. The letters could be appended to a patient’s paper file or scanned into their electronic patient record.
• Scanning clinical letters, radiology reports and any other documents not available in electronic format.
• Downloading laboratory results and Out of Hours Co-op reports and performing integration of these results into the electronic patient record.
• Photocopying or printing documents for referral to consultants, attendance at another specialised medical clinic or when a patient is changing GP or MD
• Checking for a patient if a hospital or consultant letter is back or if a laboratory or radiology result is back, in order to schedule a conversation with the doctor
• When a patient makes contact with the clinic, checking if they are due for any preventative services, such as contraceptive pill check, cervical smear test, etc.
• Handling, printing, photocopying and postage of medico legal and life assurance reports, and of associated documents.
• Sending and receiving information via Healthmail, secure clinical email.
• And, other activities related to the support of medical care appropriate for clinic support staff.
Disclosure of Information to Other Health and Social Care Professionals
We may need to pass some of this information to other health and social care professionals in order to provide you with the treatment and services you need. Only the relevant part of your record will be released. These other professionals are also legally bound to treat your information with the same duty of care and confidentiality that we do.
Disclosures Required or Permitted Under Law
The law provides that in certain instances personal information (including health information) can be disclosed, for example, in the case of infectious diseases.
Disclosure of information to Employers, Insurance Companies and Solicitors:
• In general, work related Medical Certificates from your GP or MD will only provide a confirmation that you are unfit for work with an indication of when you will be fit to resume work. Where it is considered necessary to provide additional information, we will discuss that with you. However, Department of Social Protection sickness certs for work must include the medical reason you are unfit to work.
• In the case of disclosures to insurance companies or requests made by solicitors for your records we will only release the information with your signed consent.
Use of Information for Training, Teaching and Quality Assurance
It is usual for doctors to discuss patient case histories as part of their continuing medical education or for the purpose of training doctors and/or medical students. In these situations, the identity of the patient concerned will not be revealed.
In other situations, however, it may be beneficial for other doctors within the clinic to be aware of patients with particular conditions and in such cases this clinic would only communicate the information necessary to provide the highest level of care to the patient.
Your Right of Access to Your Health Information
You have the right of access to all the personal information held about you by this clinic. If you wish to see your records, in most cases the quickest way is to discuss this with your doctor who will review the information in the record with you. You can make a formal written access request to the clinic and receive a copy of your medical records. These will be provided to you within thirty days, without cost.
Transferring to Another Clinic or GP / MD
If you decide at any time and for whatever reason to transfer to another clinic or practice, we will facilitate that decision by making available a copy of your records on receipt of your signed consent from your new doctor. For medico-legal reasons we will also retain a copy of your records in this clinic for an appropriate period of time which may exceed eight years.
What are your rights?
If you wish to see what information we hold on you, simply contact us either by post or email and we will endeavour to respond to you within one month of receipt of your request.
If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect, you may request to have it corrected. You can contact us at the address shown below. If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can also contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO) directly at:
The Menopause Hub
You have other rights under data protection regulations in relation to transfer of data to a third country, the right to rectification or erasure, restriction of processing, objection to processing and data portability. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commissioner. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data in a way that is not accordance with the law you can contact the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner at:
Data Protection Commissioner
We hope this information has explained any issues that may arise. If you have any questions, please speak to the clinic secretary or your doctor.