Why we collect information about you
In the NHS we aim to provide you with the highest quality health care.
To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.
Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you, such as nurses or physiotherapists, keep records about your health and treatment so that they are able to provide you with the best possible care.
These records are called your ‘health care record’ and may be stored in paper form or on central computer databases and may include:
* basic details about you, such as your address, date of birth, and next of kin
* contact we have had with you, such as clinical visits
* notes and reports about your health
* details and records about your treatment and care
* Results of x-rays, laboratory tests etc.
Your health care record is used to ensure that
* health care professionals looking after you have accurate and up-to-date information about you to help them decide on any future care you may require
* full information is available should you see another doctor or be referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS
* there is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received
* your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain
How we keep your information safe
Everyone working for the NHS has a duty to keep your information confidential and secure.
However, from time to time, there may be a need to share some or all of your information with other health care professionals or NHS organisations so that we can work together to provide the best possible care.
We will only ever share your information if it is in the best interests for your NHS, and in certain circumstances, social care.
The CCG will not disclose any information that identifies you to anyone outside your care team without your express permission unless in exceptional circumstances, such as where we are required to do so by law.
You have the right
You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence. The Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply.
We have a duty to
* maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you
* keep records about you confidential, secure and accurate
* Provide information in a format that is accessible to you (for example, in large type if you are partially sighted).
We only share information if
* it ensures you receive the best care possible
* you ask us to do so
* we ask and you give us specific permission
* we have to do this by law
* we have special permission for health or research purposes
* We have special permission because the interests of the public are thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality
How information about you helps us to provide better care
Important information about your health records. You, and everyone who lives with you, should read this carefully. It is important that everyone knows how we share, protect and use information about their health. You have a choice.
We want to improve the quality of care and health services for all. By using information about the care you have received, those involved in providing care and health services can see how well they are doing, and where improvements need to be made.
NHS organisations share information about the care you receive with those who plan health and social care services, as well as with approved researchers and organisations outside the NHS, if this will benefit patient care. As a patient, you may receive care and treatment from a number of places such as your GP practice, hospitals and community services. By bringing this information together from all the different places, we can compare the care provided in one area with the care provided in another, so we can see what worked best. We will use information such as your postcode and NHS number to link your records from these different places. Records are linked in a secure system so your identity is protected. Details that could identify you will be removed before your information is made available to others, such as those planning NHS services and approved researchers.
We sometimes release confidential information to approved researchers, if this is allowed by law and meets the strict rules that are in place to protect your privacy.
What are the benefits of sharing my information?
Sharing information about the care you have received helps us understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care provided. It also helps researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments, and the effectiveness of different services. Your choice will not affect the care you receive.
Information will also help us to:
* find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
* make sure that any changes or improvements to services reflect the needs of local patients
* understand who is most at risk of particular diseases and conditions, so those who plan care can provide preventative services
* improve your understanding of the outcomes of care, giving you greater confidence in health and social care services
* guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and care of all patients
* identify who could be at risk of a condition or would benefit from a particular treatment
* make sure that NHS organisations receive the correct payments for the services they provide.
What will we do with the information?
We will only use the minimum information needed to improve patient care and services.
We are very careful with the information and we follow strict rules about how it is stored and used, and have a thorough process that must be followed before any information can be shared. When we share information we will make sure we do so in line with the law, national guidance and best practice. Information that we publish will never identify a particular person.
We have explained how useful information about you is, and the steps that we take to protect your privacy. However, you may want to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care (except in special circumstances allowed by law, such as when there is a public-health emergency).
If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, please ask the practice to make a note of this in your medical record. This note will prevent your confidential information from being used other than in special circumstances. Information from other places where you receive care, such as hospitals and community services, is collected nationally.
You should also let your GP practice know if you want to prevent the information from those places being shared. The practice will make a separate note of this in your medical record. You may have already asked for information about you not to be shared with others, such as your medical record being shared for your care. You still need to let your GP practice know if you have concerns about your information being shared for the purposes described in this leaflet.
Do I need to do anything?
If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign. And you can change your mind at any time. If you have any questions or are not happy for information about you to be shared, speak to your GP practice.
Where can I get more information? Visit the NHS Choices website at: www.nhs.uk/caredata for more information, a list of common questions, or another format of this leaflet.
More details about how we look after confidential information and how it may be used can be found on the website at: www.hscic.gov.uk/patientconf
To opt out now please contact Reception.
Individual GP Level Data Collection
Poster - how the NHS uses your data
Leaflet - How the NHS uses your data