Why we collect information about you
We ask you for information about yourself, so that we can give you appropriate care and treatment. This information is kept, together with details of the care you have received, because it may be needed if we have to see you again. The information may be written down (manual records), or held on a computer and may include:
- Basic details , such as name, address, date of birth, NHS number 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 we keep your records confidential and secure
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep your information confidential, and anyone who receives that information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential. If you are receiving care from other people as well as the NHS, we may need to share relevant information, to enable us all to work together for your benefit.
We will only give information to your relatives, friends and carers if you have given your permission for us to do so. Our aim is that any records we have about you are accurate, secure and held in the strictest confidence.
Under exceptional circumstances we may be obliged to share your information outside of the NHS, for example if we are required to do so by law.
How your records are used to help you
- 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
- Allow us to contact you for health checks (for example, immunisation, cervical smears, breast screening or other preventative treatment)
- Full information is available should you see another doctor, or be referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS, or healthcare provider working on behalf 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 your records are used to help the NHS
Your information may also be used to help us:
- Look after the health of the general public
- Pay your GP, dentist and hospital for the care they provide audit NHS accounts and services
- Investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents
- Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- Teach and train healthcare professionals
- Conduct health research and development
Some of this information will be held centrally, but where this is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including the cancer registry, universities, community safety units and research institutions.
Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. These may include research and auditing services. This will only be done with your consent, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health.
The information on this page and a consent form are available in the leaflet Patient Records:Consent to Share Information.
Can I see my own records?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you, or your next-of-kin with your written consent, have the right to ask to see information written in your health records. We may withhold certain information if it could seriously harm your mental or physical health, or identify a third party. If you are currently receiving treatment and want to see your records, please talk to your doctor or health professional at your next outpatient appointment or during your admission, and they will assist you in doing this. If the health professional is not able to help they will pass your request to someone who can.
Alternatively if you want a copy of your records you should contact the Company Secretary's office at: Isaac Maddox House, Shrub Hill Road, Worcester, WR4 9RW or telephone 01527 488000.
The request can be made by letter or by completing one of the forms below:
Access to Health Records Request Form - Adult
Access to Health Records Request Form - Children (Under 16)
We charge up to £50.00 for access to and provision of copy records. If any information in the record has been recorded in the 40 days before your application and you do not require a copy of your records, access is free of charge. In all other circumstances an access fee of £10 will be made to view your health records. If you want a copy of the health records, the fee will depend on how the records are stored: on computer: maximum £10; partly on computer and partly in another form: maximum £50; totally in another form: maximum £50 (the maximum charges include postage and packaging).