How We Use Your Data

Your Information: What you need to know

How we use your information

Your Doctor and other health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. These help to ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. They may be written down (manual records) or held on computer. These records may include:

  • Basic detail about you, such as address and next of kin.
  • Contacts we have had with you such as clinic visits.
  • Notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you have received.
  • Results of investigations such as x-rays and laboratory tests.
  • Relevant information from other health professionals or those who care for you and know you well.

Your information may be used to help us:

  • Assess the needs of the general population.
  • Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future.
  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard.
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals.
  • Audit NHS accounts and services and prepare statistics on NHS performance
  • Investigate complaints, legal claims or significant events.

Some of this information will be held centrally but where it is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

How we share your information

Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units and research institutions.

Where it is not possible to use economised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes, these 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.

We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by qualified health professionals. Occasions when we must pass on information include:

  • Notifications of new births
  • Where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV / AIDS).
  • Where a formal court order has been used.

How we ensure the confidentiality of the information in your health record

Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.

You may be receiving care from other organisations as well as the NHS (like Social Services). We may need to share some information about you so that we can all work together for your benefit. We can only ever use or pass on information about you if the others involved in your care 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 when the health and safety of others is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on.

Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.


Requesting a copy of your health record

 The Data Protection Act of March 2000 allows you to find information that is held on computers or in manual records, this right is called the ‘right of subject access’. Find out how to request a copy of your health record here.

.You are entitled to receive a copy but please be aware that there may be a charge for this. Also in certain circumstances your right to see some details may be limited in your own interests or for other reasons.

If you wish to register any objection to the sharing of confidential information as outlined above or wish for further information or wish to discuss any issues of confidentiality please contact us directly.

 Any objection will be respected if possible unless the disclosure is required by law or is essential in order to protect you or someone else from the risk of death or serious harm.