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Is our practice obliged to be on the data protection register?

QOne of our patients has checked the data protection register online and realised our practice is not registered as a data controller. She has complained to the practice manager. Are we obliged to be registered?

You most certainly are obliged to be registered as a data controller and are currently in breach of the law. You should consider yourself lucky the patient has brought this to your attention and not made a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office!

I would hope that you have been registered in the past but, through a simple oversight, have allowed the registration to lapse. You should renew this now as a matter of urgency.

The Information Commissioner's Office routinely sends out reminders four to six weeks before renewal is due. We would suggest you respond promptly on receipt of one of these reminders.

Registration is a simple business that can be completed online if you so wish. You may alternatively download a hard copy of the form or obtain a copy by phoning 01625 545 740. The fee for initial or renewal notification is currently £35.

Beware of unscrupulous companies that offer to carry out the registration process for you at an inflated sum.

Dr Christine Dewbury, Wessex LMCs

Neither Pulse nor Wessex LMCs can accept any legal liability

in respect of the answers given. Readers should seek independent advice before acting on the information concerned.

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