Sharing your information
Everyone working within the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Similarly, anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential. We will share information with the following main partner organisations:
- Other NHS Trusts and hospitals that are involved in your care
- Commissioning Support Units, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other NHS bodies
- General Practitioners (GPs)
- Ambulance Services
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS, for example Social Care Services. We may need to share some information about you with them so we can all work together for your benefit if they have a genuine need for it or we have your permission. Therefore, we may also share your information, subject to strict agreement about how it will be used, with:
- Social Care Services
- Education Services
- Local Authorities
- Voluntary and private sector providers working with the NHS
We will not disclose your information to any other third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as if the health and safety of others is at risk or if the law requires us to pass on information.
The NHS Care Record Guarantee
The Care Record Guarantee is our commitment that we will use records about you in ways that respect your rights and promote your health and wellbeing. Copies of the full document can be obtained from: www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/security
Disclosure of information
You have the right to restrict how and with whom we share the personal information in your records that identifies you. This must be noted explicitly within your records in order that all professionals and staff treating and involved with you are aware of your decision. By choosing this option, it may make the provision of treatment or care more difficult or unavailable. You can also change your mind at any time about a disclosure decision.
How your personal information is used to improve the NHS
Your information will also be used to help us manage the NHS and protect the health of the public by being used to:
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality
- Ensure our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Investigate patient queries, complaints and legal claims
- Ensure the Trust receives payment for the care you receive
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance
- Audit NHS accounts and services
- Undertaking health research and development (with your consent - you may choose whether or not to be involved)
- Helping to train and educate healthcare professionals
How the NHS and care services use your information
The Trust is one of many organisations working in the health and care system to improve care for patients and the public.
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided
- research into the development of new treatments
- preventing illness and diseases
- monitoring safety
- planning services
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
We are compliant with the national data opt-out policy.