Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. There are strict codes of conduct in place to ensure your information is safe, whether it is on paper or computer. Our staff have to abide by:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- NHS Code of Confidentiality
- Common Law Duty of Confidence
- Contracts of employment
Why we need information about you
The organisations who are looking after you, such as GP practices and NHS Trusts keep records about the care and treatment you have received. These records ensure you get the best possible care and typically include information such as your name, address, date of birth, details of your care and results of any tests or investigations, prescriptions and any operations you have had. This information may be stored by these organisations on paper or held on an electronic system. The PCT is registered under the Data Protection Act for these purposes.
How your records are used
Your records are used to ensure that:
- The professionals involved in your care have accurate information to make sure you get the most appropriate treatment both now and in the future
- If you need to be referred to another specialist or professional then they can be given the necessary information to plan your care
- Any concerns you have about your treatment can be properly looked into by ourselves or any regulatory bodies reviewing the care provided to you
- We can look at the health trends, costs and needs of our population to make sure we commission the services our local population need
- We can identify specific patients at risk of developing a disease and help to prevent them from becoming ill in the first place.
- Review the care provided to ensure it is of a high standard, such as clinical audits or case reviews
- We pay the organisation or health care professional who has treated you
- NHS services and accounts can be audited
Wherever we can in these situations your personal details will be removed so that you cannot be identified.
Your information may also be used (with your consent) to:
- Teach and train healthcare professionals
- Conduct health research
Who can see your records?
Only staff who have a genuine need to know (as set out in their agreed duties)will be able to see your records.
Who do you share my information with?
In some instances we may need to share some information about you with other agencies who are providing care to you, such as social services, so that we can provide a coordinated approach to your care. When it is beneficial to share your information, the healthcare professional will discuss this with you and ask for your agreement.
Your information will only be disclosed to those who have a genuine need to know and agree to keep your information confidential.
Sharing information without your consent
Your information will not be shared without your consent except in exceptional circumstances where we are legally bound to do so, such as:
- A Court Order
- To aid the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders
- Where there is danger of harm to a vulnerable child or adult
- Infectious diseases which endanger life (but not HIV/AIDS)
How you can help us
Please let your doctor, dentist, hospital or clinic know if your personal details change as soon as possible so your records can be amended. When you attend for an appointment, take the opportunity to check that they have the right information for you.
How do I access my records?
You can request to access any records we hold about you. You can do this by making a written application to the address below:
Information Governance Officer
King Edward VII Hospital, St Leonards Road
Windsor SL4 3DP
Please note that since April 2011 we no longer directly provide healthcare services. Most of the services we previously provided (and the medical records of patients treated by those services) transferred to the responsibility of Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
For more information please see the NHS Care Records Guarantee