Your medical record
Why do we need information about you?
To provide you with the best possible healthcare we need to get and keep information about you, including:
• Details such as your name, address, date of birth, GP
• Contact we have had with you, such as clinic visits and hospital admissions
• Notes and reports about your health, and details of any treatment and care you need or have received either from us or others such as your GP
• Results of investigations such as x-rays and tests
• Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well, such as health professionals and relatives.
How your personal information is used
The people who provide healthcare to you, such as your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional will use your records to:
• Confirm who you are when we contact you, or when you contact us
• Make decisions about your ongoing care and treatment
• Make sure your care is safe and effective
• Check the quality of your care
• Check the standard of the care we deliver (e.g. by clinical audit).
Do I have a choice?
If you wish to receive the safest and most appropriate care and treatment possible at our hospital we must maintain an accurate record of relevant information about you.
If you restrict the information you provide, or are unwilling to share this information with others involved in your care, this may limit the treatments we can offer.
If you have any concerns about providing information, or how we share it with other healthcare providers, please discuss this with our staff so that you fully understand the potential impact on your care or treatment.
Who do you share my information with?
We recognise our duty to share information about our patients with healthcare professionals from other organisations to ensure safe and effective continuity of your care. Where appropriate, we have a formal agreement about how this information will be used and kept confidential. Some examples appear below.
• This Trust is part of a group of NHS hospitals in the East Midlands that have a shared NHS radiology system. This enables healthcare professionals in these hospitals to access your radiology record (e.g. x-rays, scans) when necessary, to ensure you receive consistent, safe and effective clinical care and treatment, irrespective of where you receive your care.
• When children and young people attend SFH, information may be shared with relevant health care professionals (e.g. Midwife, Health Visitor, School Nurse).
• We may share relevant information about you with other NHS organisations, such as:
- Other hospitals and healthcare providers that are involved in your care and treatment
- Your GP.
• If you are receiving care from other services outside the NHS, for example social care services, we may need to share information about you so we can work together for your benefit. Therefore, with your permission, we may also share your information with:
- Social Care Services
- Education Services
- Local Authorities
- Voluntary and private sector providers working with the NHS.
Do you ever share my information without my consent?
We will not disclose your information to any other third parties without your consent unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. where we are legally required to report information to the appropriate authorities, including:
• Notifications of new births
• Notifications of infectious diseases such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV or AIDS) which may put other people at risk
• To comply with a court order
• Public interest – for example, there is a risk of death or serious harm
• A legal need to share it – for example, to protect a child under the Children Act and Local Safeguarding Procedures
• A legitimate enquiry from the police under the Data Protection Act for information relating to a serious crime.
Sharing information with your family
With your agreement we will share information about your current care with your family or carer. It is important that we know which family members friends or carers with whom we can share your information. It is not practicable for us to share information with a large number of such people individually.
Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging
When attending the Trust for an outpatient appointment or a procedure you may be asked to confirm that the Trust has an accurate contact number and mobile telephone number for you. With your agreement your mobile number can be used to provide appointment details via SMS text messages.
Use of your information for other purposes
Relevant information about you may also be used to help us to:
• Receive funding and keep track of spending
• Teach and train our staff
• Teach and train students (you can choose whether or not to be involved in such teaching)
• Manage and plan our services
• Help investigate concerns or complaints that you or your family may have.
Wherever possible we use information that does not identify you personally (the information is anonymised).
Using your information for research
Research has a vital role to play in the development of healthcare and health service delivery. The Trust is a research institution, and this is reflected in our aims and values. The Trust’s Research and Innovation Department must approve research before it takes place. If we wish to use your personal information for research, we would only do so with your explicit consent.
How long do you keep my records?
There are NHS standards for how long we need to keep information about you. This varies depending on the type of information. Typically, it will be for 8 years after your last treatment, or until your 25th birthday if you were under 18 at the time of the treatment.
Our policy on the retention and disposal of health records is available on our website.
How do I update the personal information you have about me?
It is essential that we have your correct details to ensure the appropriate care, treatment and follow up is provided to you. If you change your name, address, phone number, or GP, please let our staff know so that your records can to be updated.
Copying letters to patients
Patients have a right to a copy of any letter written about them from one healthcare professional to another. If you do not receive a letter after an appointment or hospital attendance or admission and you wish to receive a copy, please let us know. If you do not want to receive such a letter (or want it delivered to a different address), please let us know.
How do we keep your information secure and confidential?
You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence. Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it secure and confidential.
Your information is held in various secure systems in both paper and electronic form. Our core electronic systems record when, and by whom, your record was accessed.
New systems are subjected to a privacy impact assessment to ensure any risks to privacy are mitigated.
It is mandated that all staff complete annual data protection and confidentiality training, supplemented by a comprehensive range of policies and procedures.
How can I see the information you hold about me?
You have the right to access any information we hold about you. This will be subject to a fee which contributes to the cost of making this information available.
A leaflet on our website APPLICATION FOR SUBJECT ACCESS TO PERSONAL DATA Subject Access Requests explains how to access the information we hold about you.
Alternatively, you can contact:
Access to Health Records
Case Notes Store
King’s Mill Hospital
Sutton in Ashfield
How can I see the NHS health records of someone who has died?
While our duty of confidentiality to our patients continues after death, the Access to Health Records Act (1990) gives certain people the right to request a copy of the health records of a deceased person, if they are:
• A personal representative of the deceased, or
• An executor of the deceased’s estate, or
• Someone who has a claim resulting from the death (this could be a relative or another person).
Details can be found in the leaflet APPLICATION FOR SUBJECT ACCESS TO PERSONAL DATA.
How can I safeguard my own personal information?
The Data Protection Act allows you to see information held about you and get it corrected if it is wrong. The Act also gives you the right to stop your personal information being used for unwanted marketing.
With crimes like identity theft increasing, it is even more important for you to safeguard your information.
Make sure your personal information moves with you, failing to do so could leave you open to identity theft.
If you think an organisation may have breached the Data Protection Act in the way it holds and handles your personal information, you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office. For advice on how to complain visit https://ico.org.uk or telephone 0303 123 1113. For further information about protecting your personal information on-line visit https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/.
We appreciate and encourage feedback. If you need advice or are concerned about any aspect of care or treatment please speak to a member of staff or contact the Patient Experience Team (PET):
The office is open Monday to Friday 8.30am-5:00pm. There will be times when there is no-one available to take your call, however there is an answer machine service 24 hours a day. We recognise that it is not always easy to talk to an answer machine, but please leave a message and we will get back to you.
King's Mill Hospital: 01623 672222
Newark 01636 685692
Patient Experience Team, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, King's Mill Hospital, Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts. NG17 4JL
The Trust endeavours to ensure that the information given here is accurate and impartial.