In carrying out some of our roles we may collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or secure specialist services. We may keep your information in written form and/or on a computer.
The records may include basic details about you, such as your name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and also information such as outcomes of needs assessments.
Your information may be used to help assess the needs of the general population and make informed decisions about the provision of future services. Information can also be used to conduct health research and development and monitor NHS performance.
Where information is used for statistical purposes, stringent measures are taken to ensure individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units and research institutions.
Where it is not sufficient to use anonymised information, person identifiable information may be used, but only for essential NHS purposes. This may include research and auditing services. This will only be done with your consent, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health.
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised and consented to by the patient, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law.
Under the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct, all our staff are also required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared.
We may share your information for health purposes with other organisations such as NHS trusts, general practitioners (GPs) and other contracted services providers. We may also need to share information with our partner organisations.
We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. Occasions when we must pass on information include:
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strictest confidence
Information may also be required to be shared for your benefit with other non NHS organisations, from which you are also receiving care, such as social services and other providers from which we commission services. Where information sharing is required with third parties, we will not disclose any health information without your explicit consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires it.
We may be asked to share basic information about you, such as your name and address which does not include sensitive information. This would normally be to assist them to carry out their statutory duties. In these circumstances, where it is not practical to obtain your explicit consent, we are informing you through this notice, which is referred to as a Fair Processing Notice, under the Data Protection Act.
These non-NHS organisations may include, but are not restricted to: social services, education services, local authorities, the police, voluntary and private sector providers.
At any time you have the right to refuse/ withdraw consent to information sharing. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you and could include delays in receiving care.
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to see or have a copy of your health records. You do not need to give a reason but you may be charged a fee.
If you want to access your health records you should make a written request to the NHS organisation(s) where you are being, or have been, treated. You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons.
If you would like to know more about how we use your information please contact our Information Governance team on 01234 897363.
You can also obtain more information about the Data Protection Act 1998, the Care Record Guarantee and the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct, via the internet or your local library.