What types of personal data do we handle?
We process personal information to enable us to support the provision of healthcare services to patients, maintain our own accounts and records, promote our services, and to support and manage our employees. We also process personal information about health care professionals that deliver services throughout the NHS.
We also use information to support and monitor the health services commissioned in England to enable the delivery of high quality healthcare. This type of information will usually be provided to NHS England in an aggregate or anonymised form, so that we cannot identify an individual.
Sharing your information
There are a number of reasons why we share information. This can be due to:
- Our obligations to comply with current legislation
- Our duty to comply with a Court Order
- You have consented to disclosure
Security of your information
We take our duty to protect your personal information and confidentiality seriously. We are committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality and security of personal data for which we are responsible, whether computerised or on paper.
All staff are required to undertake annual information governance training. The training ensures that staff are aware of their information governance responsibilities and follow best practice guidelines ensuring the necessary safeguards and appropriate use of person-identifiable and confidential information.
Under the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct, all our staff are also required to protect your information, and inform you of how your information will be used. This includes, in most circumstances, allowing you to decide if and how your information can be shared.
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the common law duty of confidentiality. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised and consented to by the service user, unless it is required or permitted by the law.
North West London DPO : NWLDPO Service ([email protected]) North West London DPC: Mohital Haque
Information Governance Lead: Dr Wijayawickrama Caldicot Guardian: Dr Wijayawickrama
How the NHS & Care Services use your information
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
- improving the quality and standards of care provided
research into the development of new treatments
- preventing illness and diseases
- planning services
- monitoring safety
This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters. On this web page you will:
- See what is meant by confidential patient information
- Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
- Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
- Understand more about who uses the data
- Find out how your data is protected
- Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
- Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
- See the situations where the opt-out will not apply
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.
Health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care.