How We Use Your Health Records
This page explains:
- Why the NHS collects information about you and how it is used
- Who we may share information with
- Your right to see your health records and how we keep your records confidential
Why we collect information about you
In the National Health Service we aim to provide you with the highest quality of 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
These records may include:
- Basic details about you such as address, date of birth, 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.
- Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well such as health professionals and relatives
It is good practice for people in the NHS who provide care to:
- Discuss and agree with you what they are going to record about you
- Give you a copy of letters they are writing about you, and
- Show you what they have recorded about you, if you ask
How your records are used
The people who care for you use your records to:
- Provide a good basis for all health decisions made in consultation with you and other health care professionals
- Deliver appropriate health care
- Make sure your health care is safe and effective, and
- Work effectively with others providing you with health care
Others may also need to use records about you to:
- Check the quality of health care (such as clinical audit)
- Protect the health of the general public
- Keep track of NHS spending
- Manage the health service
- Help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your health care
- Teach health workers and
- Help with research
Some information will be held centrally to be used for statistical purposes. In these instances we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
We use anonymous information, wherever possible, but on occasions we may use personal identifiable information for essential NHS purposes such as research and auditing. However, this information will only be used with your consent, unless the law requires us to pass on the information.
You have the right
You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence (the Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply).
You also have the right to ask for a copy of all records about you (a fee may be charged).
- Your request must be made in writing to the organisation holding your information
- There may be a charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within 40 working days
- You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number etc)
- You will be required to provide ID before any information is released to you.
- You have the right to obtain a copy of records in permanent form
- You have the right to request that information is in an intelligible format with medical abbreviations explained
- You have the right to view the records without obtaining a copy
If you think anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform the organisation holding your information.
The Data Protection Act 2018 requires organisations to notify the Information Commissioner of the purposes for which they process personal information.
How we keep your records confidential
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
We have a duty to:
- Maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you
- Keep records about you confidential and secure
- Provide information in a format that is accessible to you (e.g. large type if you are partially sighted)
We will not share information that identifies you for any reason unless:
- 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, or
- We have special permission because the interests of the public are thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality—for example, if you had a serious medical condition that may put others you had come into contact with at risk
We hold your records in strict confidence.
We may be required or asked to share information, with your consent and subject to strict sharing protocols on how it will be used, with:
- NHS England
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Social Services
- Education Services
- Local Authorities
- Voluntary Sector Providers
- Private Sector
Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
If you require this information in a different format or you need further information or assistance, please contact 01773 601700 or by writing to 22 Nottingham Road, Somercotes, Derbyshire, DE55 4JJ.