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How We Use Your Information
Collecting Your Information
Why we collect information about you
The health professionals caring for you (or your child) keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive. These records help to ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. The information may be written down on paper, held on a computer, or a mixture of both. The records may include:
• basic details about you, such as name, date of birth, address, NHS number, next of kin and ethnicity;
• details and records about your health, treatment and care you receive;
• contacts we have had with you, such as visits to a health professional;
• relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those people who care for you;
• information based on the professional opinion of the staff caring for you.
How we ensure your information is accurate
Under the fourth principle of the Data Protection Act, we have a duty to make sure that your information is accurate and current. You may request that any incorrect information held on your records is corrected.
Using Your Information
How your information is used to help you
Your information is used to ensure that:
• staff caring for you have up to date and accurate information to help them decide the best possible care and treatment needed for you;
• we can keep you informed and contact you in relation to your care and treatment;
• health care services and treatments meet the needs of local communities;
• there is an accurate record for looking back and assessing the type and quality of care you have received;
How your information is used for other purposes
In addition to supporting the care you receive, your information may also be used to help us:
• look after the health of the local community and general public;
• review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard;
• teach and train health care professionals;
• participate in and conduct approved research;
• conduct audits;
• investigate complaints;
• make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future;
• prepare statistics on NHS performance because we are mandated to do so;
• monitor the way public money is spent.
There are many aspects of your care that we must record, but if you do not want certain information recorded or shared with others, please talk to the person in charge of your care. We will always ask for your consent if we would like to use your information for purposes other than your direct care.
How we keep your information confidential and secure
You have the right to privacy and confidentiality under the Data Protection Act (1998), the Human Rights Act (1998) and the common law duty of confidence (the Equality Act 2010 may also apply). Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality. In order to do so, we:
• maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you;
• keep records about you confidential, and physically secure;
• only give access to your information to staff who are providing you with care, or are involved in your care.
Your care may not only involve the NHS, but also involve agencies such as Social Services or private health care providers. We may need to share information about you so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it and usually only with your consent. When we pass on any information we will ensure it is kept confidential and secure.
Sharing your information
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust works closely with other organisations to support patient care. This means that information will be shared between hospitals and other organisations that may be caring for you. These may include:
• your GP;
• other hospitals;
• your pharmacy;
• Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG);
• NHS regulatory authorities;
• The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA);
• out of hours health care services;
• NHS walk in centres;
• ambulance services;
• NHS common services agencies such as dentists;
• local authority departments, including social services, education and housing;
• voluntary sector providers who are directly involved in your care;
The sharing of sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law. Generally your information will only be seen by those involved in providing or administering your care. We will ask for your consent before information is shared. If you are unable to consent for any reason, we will only share information where it is clearly in your best interests to do so. When information is shared, it is transferred securely and anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure.
With your consent, information can be shared with relatives, partners, friends or carers.
Sharing your information without consent
We will normally ask you for your consent to share information about you. There are times however when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent. These may be:
• where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people (including child protection or safeguarding vulnerable adult concerns);
• where a serious crime is being investigated or where it could be prevented;
• notification of new births;
• where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others;
• where a formal court order has been issued;
• where there is a legal requirement.
If you do not wish your personal information to be shared
If you do not wish your personal information that we hold about you to be used or shared in the way that has been described, please discuss the matter with us. You have the right to object, but this may affect our ability to provide you with care or advice. Please note, many of the reasons and uses described above are both mandatory and legal obligations placed on the Trust to collect and record information about the services we provide and patients we care and provide treatment for.
Accessing Your Records
How to access your or your child’s, health records
You also have the right to apply for access to the information we hold about you. Access covers:
• the right to obtain a copy of your record in permanent form
• the right to have the information provided to you in a way you can understand (and explained where necessary, e.g. abbreviations).
Should you wish to see your own or your child’s health records, or obtain a copy of them, you should telephone or write to the Legal Department at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and your request will be processed. Please note that a charge will be made for administration and the time involved in processing your request.
The Access to Records Department
Clinical Sciences Building
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
Clifford Bridge Road
Tel No: 024 7696 8813 (direct line)