Data protection policy

Data protection code of practice for patients

Keeping your records

This practice complies with the data protection act 1998 and this policy describes our procedures for ensuring that personal information about patients is processed fairy and lawfully.

What personal data do we hold?

In order to provide you with a high standard of dental care and attention, we need to hold personal information about you. This personal data comprises:

  • Your past and current medical and dental condition; personal details such as 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 to provide and its cost
  • Notes of conversations/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 information about you?

We need to keep comprehensive and accurate personal data about our patients in order to provide them with safe and appropriate dental care. We also need to process personal data about you in order to provide care under NHS arrangements and to ensure the proper management and administration for the NHS.

Personal privacy rights

Under the general data protection regulations, all our patients who have personal data held about them have the following rights:

  • Right to subject access
  • Right to have inaccuracies deleted
  • Right to have information erased
  • Right to object to direct marketing
  • Right to restrict the processing of their information, including automated decision making
  • Right to data portability
  • Right to be informed
  • Right to rectification

How we process the data

We will process personal data that we hold about you 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 11 years or for children until the age of 25, whichever is longer

  • Security information

Personal data about you is held in the practices computer system and/or in a manual filling system. The information is not accessible to the public and only authorised members of staff have access to it. Our computer system has secure audit trails and we back up information routinely.

Disclosure of information

In order to provide proper and safe dental care, we may need to disclose personal information about you to:

  • Your general medical practitioner
  • The hospital or community dental services
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Dental specialists
  • 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 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 concerned 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.


You have the right of access to the data that we hold about you and receive a copy. Access may be obtained by making a request in writing. We will provide a copy of the record within 1 month of receipt of the request and an explanation of your record should you require it. Should we refuse a request of your record we shall inform you within a month as to why we have refused and you have the right to make a complaint to the supervisory authority and to a judicial remedy.

If you do not agree

If you do not wish personal data that we hold about you to be disclosed or used in a way that is described in the code of practice, please discuss the matter with your dentist. You have the right to object, but this may affect our ability to provide you with dental care

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