How We Use Your Information and Your Choice
How we use your information and choose if data from your health records is shared
Your health record
When you visit an NHS or social care service, information about you and the care you receive is recorded and stored in a health and care record.
This is so people caring for you can make the best decisions about your care.
The information in your records can include your:
- name, age, address, contact numbers and next of kin
- health conditions
- treatments and medicines
- allergies and past reactions to medicines
- tests, scans and X-ray results
- contact we have had with you during appointments
- lifestyle information, such as whether you smoke or drink
- hospital admission and discharge information
How we use your health record
The people who care for you use your records to:
- Provide a good basis for all health decisions made by you and care professionals
- Allow to provide you with the best and most appropriate care that is safe and effective
- Work effectively with others providing you with care
Others may also need to use records about you to:
- Check the quality of care(such as a clinical audit)
- Protect the health of the general public
- Manage to health service
- Help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your health care
- Help with training of new clinicians
- Help with research
Data Sharing - your choice
There are different types of data sharing. The two main purposes are:
- Primary use for direct patient care
- Secondary use for planning and research
Implied consent is always assumed if your ’opt out’ preference is not recorded.
- Local Shared Electronic Record - Primary use of detailed record for direct patient care by local organisations including District nurses/ Physiotherapy/ hospices/ CHOC(out of hours)/ Adult social care/ NWAS(North West Ambulance Service).
Opting out - of local shared electronic record you should complete a Local Shared Electronic Record Opt out.
- National shared Electronic Record/ Summary Care Record - Your Summary Care Record is a short summary of your GP medical records. All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives health and care professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.
- Your Summary Care Record contains basic information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.
- Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, mat also agree to have additional information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This additional information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations. The choice is yours.
Protecting your SCR information
Staff will ask your permission to view your SCR (except in an emergency where you are unconscious, for example) and only staff with the right levels of security clearance can access the system, so your information is secure. You can ask an organisation to show you a record of who has looked at your SCR - this is called a Subject Access Request.
Find out how to make a subject access request.
Opting out - The purpose of SCR is to improve the care that you receive, however, if you don't want to have an SCR you have the option to opt out. If this is your preference please complete an National Shared Electronic Record Opt out.
Secondary use data used for planning and research
- Type 1 opt out
You can opt out of your GP surgery from sharing your data to NHS digital for planning and research purposes.
Opting out - Complete a Type 1 opt out form from our website
- National Data Opt-Out
You can opt out of NHS Digital and other health and care organisations from sharing your data for research and planning to external organisations. More information can be found on the NHS App or the NHS website
Opting out - visit NHS - Your Data Matters. You are not required to inform us of you decision.
You have the right
Our patients have the right to confidentiality under General Data Protection Regulation(2018), the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law of duty of confidence. To ensure that personal information is obtained and processed fairly and lawfully; only disclosed in appropriate circumstances; is accurate, relevant and not held longer than necessary; and is kept securely.
- You also have the right to ask for a copy of all records about you.
- You can view your medical record via online access. Further details available from our website or by collecting an online access application from our reception area.
- You can complete a Request for medical information form online or a paper copy is available from our Reception
- You must include adequate information on your form, along with details of the information you are requesting and the reason for your request.
- We are required to respond to you within 4 weeks
- You will be required to provide photographic identification before any information is released to you.
If you think anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform the organisation holding your information.
How we keep your records confidential
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
We have a duty to:
- Maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you
- Keep records about you confidential, secure and accurate
- Provide information in a format that is accessible to you (i.e. in large type if you are partially sighted).
We will not share information that identifies you for any reason, unless:
- you ask us to do so
- we ask and you give us specific permission
- we have to do this by law
- we have special permission for health or research purposes
- we have special permission because the interests of the public are thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in STRICT CONFIDENCE.
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