Patient confidentiality

WHY WE COLLECT INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

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

  • basic details 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 need
  • Details and records about the treatment and care you receive
  • Results of investigations, such as x-rays and laboratory tests
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you and know you well

HOW YOUR RECORDS ARE USED TO HELP YOU

Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive to ensure:

  • Your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professionals involved in your care have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and decide what care you need when you visit in the future.
  • 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 RECORDS CONFIDENTIAL

Everyone working for 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 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. We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or 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. We are required by law to report certain information to the appropiate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. Occasions when we must pass on information includes.

  • Notification 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 issued

You can download our Practice Leaflet ‘Your Information – what you need to know’
YOUR_INFORMATION_WHAT_YOU_NEED_TO_KNOW

You should also read the other information in the Patient Information section – Summary Care Record, Enhanced Data Sharing, Care.data.