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You are here: Home > Your visit > Patient leaflets > Information Governance > Confidentiality of personal information

Confidentiality of personal information

Information about you

Your rights as a data subject

  • Right to be informed—see this leaflet and also our website for our privacy notice
  • Right of access—please see ‘Request your health records’ section and also our website
  • Right to rectification—see ‘How can you help us to help you?’ section
  • Right to erasure—not applicable for health data, see ‘Consent’ section
  • Right to restrict processing—see ‘Consent’ section
  • Right to data portability—we will handle the request accordingly
  • Right to object—see ‘Consent’ section
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling—no known instances

What information do you keep about me?

Collectively, all the information we hold about you is called your health record.

It includes general personal information (such as your name, address, next of kin and GP) and sensitive information (such as health reports, test results, operations and other treatments, ethnicity and religion).

These records may be kept in either or both paper and electronic form.

Why do you need information about me?

We need information about you to identify you on each visit and to ensure that you get the best possible care and treatment appropriate to your needs.

How is information about me used?

Your information is collected so we can use it for your direct care. This will involve sharing it with other health and social care professionals involved in your care, such as doctors, nurses, therapists and your GP—as well as some administrative staff.

We also participate in some national audits and will submit your data to the Secondary Uses Service (SUS), the single repository for healthcare data in England, which enables a range of reporting and analyses to support the NHS in the delivery of healthcare services.

Other reasons we need accurate data about you and other patients include:

  • Ensuring patient needs are met now and in the future
  • Helping staff review the standard of care they provide and inform staff training needs
  • Investigating any complaints or legal claims
  • Ensuring NHS money is spent wisely
  • Improving our services through research

Consent

While we do not require consent to hold and use the information in your records for the provision of healthcare, we will always seek your consent for any secondary use, such as research. The Trust does not use identifiable personal data for research purposes without your agreement.

Sharing of information

Please note that we share information for clinical purposes and as required by UK legislation. For instance, we will automatically send copies of letters and discharge summaries to your GP following a visit, unless you ask us not to. There is more information available on the Trust website indicating how information is shared. You can restrict this by requesting us not to share information.

In certain circumstances, the Trust is legally required to report information to the appropriate authorities. Examples include:

  • When there is a serious risk to public health such as with certain infectious diseases
  • The prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime
  • At the request of a formal court order

In all cases we would only disclose the minimum information necessary.

Objections to use of your information

You can withdraw or object to the use of your information by contacting the Data Protection Officer. See contact details on the blue panel of this leaflet.

Reminder service

For our appointment reminder services, a third party will send automated voice or text messages, or get an agent to call or email you. This reduces missed appointments and ensures you obtain results faster. If you would like to opt out of this service, please state your wishes at the reception desk.

Access to health records

Can I access my health records?

Yes. You are entitled to see most personal data about you. An exception would be where it was deemed to be harmful to you or someone else. Any reference to third parties, apart from NHS professionals, would also have to be hidden, unless their consent was also obtained.

How do I apply to see my health records?

To request a copy of your own (or a dependent’s) health records it would be helpful if you could complete the Access to Health Records Subject Access Request (SAR) application form.

Requests can be verbal or written with or without the form but in all cases the request will need to be recorded accurately and ID obtained to prove identity. The form saves time and confusion for both the requester and the Trust.

Please provide the approximate dates of any treatment for which you want to see the record and say what type of treatment you received. You can either ask for a copy or come in and view the originals, under supervision.

What’s the cost and how long will it take?

Access to information is free and it will be provided within either 1 month or, if the request is complex, up to 3 months.

How can you help us to help you?

Our staff should confirm your basic details such as your name, address and GP practice each time you visit the hospital. If they forget then please remind them. If you spot errors on the automated check-in, please inform a member of staff.

Please make sure that you always:

  • Give us accurate and full information on first contact and check
  • Let us know as soon as possible if any of your personal details have changed, otherwise there is a danger you will miss crucial appointments or that we won’t be able to contact you quickly in an emergency
  • Provide your NHS number if possible
  • Tell us if you notice mistakes in the information we have about you, as this helps us keep our information reliable and up-to-date
  • Always give your full regular registered name rather than nicknames/short name or other name, as we have to match our records with your GP practice records—the spelling and order of names is particularly important and accounts for around 70% of errors

Confidentiality

Health records should not be left where unauthorised people can access or view them. If you observe any instance where we do not respect the confidentiality of your or other’s information we would like you to report this to a member of staff or our Information Governance team at .

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