How we use your information
HOW WE MANAGE AND PROTECT INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust collects information about you to help us give you the best possible care.
We believe that our patients have the right to expect that the information we hold about them will be kept confidential and our aim is to maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide for you and keep this information confidential and secure.
WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?
We collect information about you and your health. This will enable us to provide the appropriate care and treatment that you need. We also collect information to help our equality and diversity monitoring.
This information may be recorded in writing (i.e. in your medical notes), or electronically on a computer, or a mixture of both.
When you arrive for an appointment, staff may check your details with you to ensure that our records are accurate. To assist with this, it is important that you notify us of any changes to your personal details (e.g. address, contact number, next of kin).
HOW IS THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT USED TO HELP YOU?
The information we collect may be used to help you in the following ways:
- Doctors, nurses or healthcare professionals involved in your care need accurate information about you to assess your health and deliver the care you need
- To ensure information is available if you need to be referred to another health professional or another part of the NHS
- To assess the type and quality of care you have received
- To ensure your concerns can be properly investigated if you are unhappy with the care you have received
HOW ELSE COULD YOUR INFORMATION BE USED?
Your information may also be used to help us:
- Look after the health of the general public
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- Audit NHS accounts and services
- Arrange payment for the person who treats you
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance
- Investigate incidents, complaints or legal claims
- Conduct health research and development
- Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Teach and train healthcare professionals
DO WE SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT YOU WITH ANYONE?
There are times when it is appropriate for us to share information about you and your healthcare with others. We may share your information with the following main partners:
- Health Authorities
- NHS Trusts
- Department of Health
If you are receiving care from other people (such as Social Services) as well as the NHS, we may also need to share relevant information to help us work together for your benefit.
We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances such as the health and safety of another person is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on.
OCCASIONS WHEN WE MUST PASS ON INFORMATION INCLUDE:
- Registering births or deaths
- Reporting some infectious diseases
- To help prevent, detect or prosecute serious crime
- If a court orders us to do so
- When you have expressly agreed – e.g. for an insurance medical
In all cases where we must pass on information, we will only share the minimum amount of information required and where possible data will be anonymised (i.e. does not identify you personally). Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep it confidential. We will always try and obtain your consent wherever possible and inform you if your information is to be shared. We will only give information to your relatives, friends and carers if you want us to and have given your permission.
HOW WE KEEP YOUR INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL
We protect your information in the following ways:
TRAINING - Staff are trained to understand their duty of confidentiality and their responsibilities regarding the security of patient information both on our premises and when out in the community.
ACCESS CONTROLS - Any member of staff being given access to national systems holding patient information will need a special access card called a smartcard, along with a username and password. Many of our local systems also require smartcard access. We also use ‘role based access’ so that staff only see the information that they need to in order to carry out their role.
PRIVACY MONITORING - University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust are committed to safeguarding the privacy of patient information and in order to do this, have implemented a monitoring system which tracks access made to information on our systems and checks that it is properly authorised. The whole process is overseen by a Privacy Officer whose role is to ensure that patient information is only accessed by staff who legitimately need to see it.
INVESTIGATION - If you believe your information is being viewed inappropriately we will investigate and report our findings to you. If we find that someone has deliberately accessed records about you without permission or good reason, we will tell you and take action. This can include disciplinary action, or bringing criminal charges.
RECORDS MANAGEMENT - All healthcare records are stored confidentially in secure locations.
LEGISLATION - There are laws in place to protect your information, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
THE NHS CARE RECORD GUARANTEE - The Care Record Guarantee is our commitment that we will use records about you in ways that respect your rights and promote your health and wellbeing. Copies of the full document can be obtained from:www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/security
CALDICOTT GUARDIAN - Within each NHS organisation there is a designated person named the ‘Caldicott Guardian’ whose responsibility it is to ensure that these laws are upheld.
You have the right to contact the Caldicott Guardian or the Information Commissioner’s Office if you feel that there has been a breach of your confidentiality.
CAN YOU SEE THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU?
If you are concerned about how your health information is used you can speak to the healthcare professional involved in your care or you can contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service / MorecambeBay.PALS@mbht.nhs.uk
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you, what we use it for and if the information is to be shared, who it will be shared with. This is known as a subject access request (SAR). You are entitled to receive a copy of your records and do not have to give a reason for the request, however, there may be a charge, to cover the administrative costs.
You have the right to apply for access to the information we hold about you, whether it is stored electronically or on paper. We have a duty to provide this information in a format that is accessible to you (e.g. large print or Braille) and in a way that you can understand, explaining any abbreviations where necessary.
Where you agree, this access right may be met by enabling you to view the record without obtaining a copy.
In certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons.
After having viewed your records, if you believe any information is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform us of this in writing.
Consent will be required when requesting information relating to someone else.
If you would like to discuss who has access to your information you can talk to your healthcare practitioner about it. If you would like to see your records you can make a written request to us.
YOUR RIGHT TO WITHDRAW CONSENT FOR US TO SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
At any time, you have the right to refuse/withdraw consent to information sharing and to have your objections heard. We will comply with your request where we are able to do so in accordance with the law. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you including how this may affect / delay our ability to provide care or treatment and any alternatives available to you.
Find out more about your confidentiality rights by reading the NHS Code of Confidentiality
Find out more about your health and care records on the NHS England website
Find out more about your Summary Care Record on the Health and Social Care Information Centre website and by reading the NHS Summary Care Record leaflet
The Department of Health has also published a series of confidentiality leaflets including:
- Consent: A Guide for People with Learning Difficulties
- Consent: A Guide for Relatives and Carers
- Consent: A Guide for Children and Young People
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
The Freedom of information Act 2000 provides any person with the right to obtain information held by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, subject to a number of exemptions. If you would like to request some information from us, please visit the Freedom of Information section of our website.
Please note: if your request is for information we hold about you (for example, your health record), please instead see above, under "Can you see the information we hold about you?”
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to lodge a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal information. These details are publicly available from:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 08456 306060