Why we collect information about you
We need to keep records about you on our computer system or on paper records for the use of your doctor and other health professionals about any care that you receive from the NHS. Your doctor is responsible for their accuracy and safekeeping. We keep this information to help ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. Details that are kept may include:
- basic details about you, such as your address
- contacts we have had with you, such as clinical visits
- notes and reports about any treatment or care that you receive
- results of investigations such as x-rays and laboratory tests
- relevant information from other health professionalsor those who care for you and know you well
How your records are used to help you
Your records are used to guide health professionals in the care you receive to ensure that:
- any health professional involved in your care has accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and decide what care you need.
- full information is available if you see another doctor or are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS
- there is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care that you have received
- your concerns can be investigated if you need to complain
You have a right to see your records if you wish. Please ask if you would like further details.
How your records are used to help the NHS
Your information may also be used to help us:
- assess the needs of the population
- review the care we provide
- teach and train other health professionals
- conduct health research and development
- pay your GP, dentist and hospital for the care they provide
- audit NHS accounts and service
- prepare statistics on NHS performance
- investigate legal claims or untoward incidents
Some of this information is used for statistical purposes and stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. This will only be done with your consent unless the law requires information to be passed on.
How we keep your records confidential
Everyone in the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
- You may be receiving care from other organisations and we may need to share information about you if others have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as the health and safety of others or the law requires information to be passed on.
- To ensure privacy we will not disclose information over the telephone or fax unless we are sure that we are talking to you. Information will not be disclosed to family or friends without prior written consent.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential. We are, however, required by law to report certain information to the relevant authorities. Occasions may include:
- notifications of new births
- infectious diseases which may endanger others
- where a formal court order has been issued
Please ask at reception if you would like further details.