Shackleton Clinic wants to ensure the highest standard of dental care for our patients. We prioritise privacy and confidentiality and our practices conform with the Irish Dental Council Guidelines and the privacy principles of the Data Protection Legislation.
Managing your information
- To provide the best care we need to collect and keep information about you and your dental health on our records. The type of information we need to collect from you includes your name, address,
personal phone number, date of birth, marital status, nationality, PPS number, medical card
number, family history, ethnic background, current lifestyle, next of kin/emergency contact details
and details regarding previous medical history.
- Upon receipt of a signed Registration Form we use this data to communicate with you in the
interests of your own healthcare. We will not forward it to anyone else without your clear
consent. With your consent we can send you appointment reminders and test results.
- We retain your information securely using digital technology however we do not process or
transfer any data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”).
- We will only ask for and keep information that is necessary. We will attempt to keep it accurate
and up-to-date. We can explain the need for any information required in our forms if you need more information.
- Please inform us about any relevant changes that we should know about, such as change of
address, phone numbers, family circumstances, any new treatments or investigations being
carried out relating to your physical, mental or medical health.
- All persons in the practice (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 dentists, dental assistants, nurses or admin team to perform their tasks for the proper functioning of the practice. In this regard, patients should understand that practice staff may have access to their records for:
- Generating a social welfare certificate for the patient.
- Typing referral letters to consultants or allied health professionals
- Opening letters from hospitals and consultants.
- Scanning letters, radiology reports and any other documents not available in electronic format.
- Dealing with patient complaints.
- Handling, printing, photocopying and postage of medico legal and life assurance reports, and of associated documents.
The practice is committed to guarding against accidental disclosures of confidential patient
information. Before disclosing identifiable information about patients, the practice will:
- Take into consideration Freedom of Information and Data Protection principles.
- Be clear about the purpose for disclosure.
- Have the patient’s consent for third party requests.
- Have considered using anonymised information and be certain it is necessary to use identifiable information.
- Be satisfied that we are disclosing the minimum information to the minimum number of people necessary.
- Be satisfied that the intended recipient is aware the information is confidential and that they have their own duty of confidentiality.
Consent for Minors
Where we are required to gather the personal information of a minor (defined as a person aged under 18 years of age*) we will require the attendance and consent of a parent or guardian and will only acquire and store such data with their permission, as well as the awareness of the minor themselves.
* In the medical area, the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997 (Section 23) provides
that a minor who has reached the age of 16 can give consent to medical treatment and/or processing
of their medical data.
Where the parents of the minor are not in a position to provide such consent, the support and of a
recognized body will act ‘in loco parentis’ – for example, the family GP, school principal, social worker
or Gardai will be consulted in order to ensure that any such processing of personal data is being done in the vital interests of the minor. As much as possible, the minor will be made aware of the processing activity and its purposes.
Disclosure of information to other health and social professionals
We may need to pass some of this information to other health and social care professionals 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 confidence that we do.
Disclosures Required or Permitted Under Law
The law provides that in certain instances personal information (including health information) can be
disclosed in the following circumstances:
- Infectious diseases Under Health Act 1947 and 1953 plus amendments and Infectious Diseases
Regs 1981 plus amendment Regs 2016, there is a list of diseases we are obliged to report e.g.
Measles, Anthrax, Lyme, Zika, Covid 19 . For a full list please see www.hspc.ie/notifiablediseases
- Disclosures to insurance companies or requests made by solicitors for your records we will only
release the information with your signed consent.
Data Retention Periods
For clarity our data retention policies adhere to the Data Protection Legislation including Article 5
guidelines on (GDPR) General Privacy Data Regulations effective form 25th May 2018.
For existing patients whose records are dormant, their records will be retained and marked ‘inactive’ as an electronic archive after  years. For a comprehensive description of our retention Principles please reference: https://www.hiqa.ie/system/files/Guidance-on-information-governance.pdf.
Use of Anonymised Information for Training, Teaching and Quality assurance
To provide the highest level of care to the patient, clinical staff may access clinical information for
training, audit or consultation. This may be regarding patient case histories or patients with specific
conditions and in such cases this practice would only communicate the information necessary. If we were to commence a clinical trial you would be asked for your explicit consent.
Right to Rectification
You have the right to have your information corrected, erased, restricted to specified individuals or object to it being processed
Your right of access to your health information
You have the right of access to all the personal information held about you by this practice. If you wish to see your records in most cases it is the quickest to discuss this with your doctor who will outline the information in the record with you. You can make a formal written access request to the practice and the matter can be dealt with formally within 30 calendar days.
Transferring to another practice
If you decide at any time and for whatever reason to transfer to another practice, we will facilitate
that decision by making available to your new dentist a copy of your records on receipt of your signed consent from your new dentist . For medico-legal reasons we will also retain a copy of your records in this practice for an appropriate period of time which may exceed eight years. However, we mark your medical record ‘inactive’ and therefore it is archived and not visible to the Dental Practice team.
For security reasons, the Dental Practice has CCTV cameras at the different access points in the building in order to prevent intruders or individuals who could damage property of the Dental Practice or remove goods or information from the Dental Practice without authorisation. As a member of the public or staff of the dental practice your image will be captured on such CCTV cameras, however the dental practice will only disclose such CCTV footage to other parties where necessary to investigate a break in or other unauthorised access to the dental practice
Making a complaint
If the dental practice does not agree to provide you with access to your personal information or you
have a complaint about our information handling practices you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Data Protection Commission by visiting https://www.dataprotection.ie/docs/complaints/1592.htm
We hope this statement has explained any issues that might arise. If you have any queries about this Privacy Statement please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.