Everyone working for health and social care services has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
Why is information recorded about me?
Your doctor and other health or social care professionals caring for you keep records about the treatment you receive. They may be written down (manual records), or kept on a computer (electronic records).
These records may include:
- basic details about you, for example, address and next of kin
- contacts we have had with you, for example, appointments
- notes and reports about your health and care, for example, change in medication or family circumstances
- details and records about your treatment and care, for example, advice given or referrals made.
- results of investigations
- relevant information from people who care for you and know you well, for example, relatives and your health and social care professionals.
What is the information used for?
Your records are used to help ensure that we provide you with the best possible care.
It is important that your health and social care records are accurate and up-to-date as they will help make sure that any staff who are looking after you are able to provide you with the care you require.
Your records will also aid us with any investigation should you have a problem or concerns regarding your treatment.
We may also use your information to improve the services we provide to you through audits and monitoring, to pay the care provider for your treatment, aid health research and help to teach healthcare professionals.
Will this information include personal details?
Some of your personal information may be used for statistical reporting purposes. These reports may also be passed to organisations involved in health and social care research, for example universities. Occasionally an independent audit (check) will take place to make sure your information is being recorded and stored accurately and securely.
On the rare occasions where it is essential to include personal identifiable information, we will ask for your consent before this information is shared.
When other agencies are involved in your care, we may need to share details about you to
enable us to work together for your benefit. Information will only be shared with them if they have a genuine need for it and where possible we will ask for your consent for this.
Occasions when your information needs to be disclosed (given) include:
- where the health and safety of others is at risk
- when the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances
- when approved by the Secretary of State for Health
- if there is information you do not wish us to share, please advise one of the health or social care professionals involved in your care
Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities. This is only provided after permission has been given by a qualified health professional.
Occasions when information must be passed on include:
- birth notifications
- where we encounter infectious diseases which may be a public health concern for example, meningitis and measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
- where a formal court order has been issued.
We may share information with organisations where they contribute to your health and care. These could include:
- your GP surgery and other NHS organisations
- audit organisations
- Department of Health
- clinical network i.e. cancer care
We may also share some of your information subject to strict agreement on how it will be used with:
- local authorities and education services
- voluntary or private care providers
- police and coroner’s office
If you would like to know more about how we use your information or if, for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described, please speak to the health or social care professionals concerned with your care or contact the trust’s data protection officer.