Patient information and how we safeguard it – Question and Answer
The following questions and answers will help explain why the NHS collects information about you and how this information could be used. A leaflet is available to download should you wish.
Your doctors and the team of health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. These records help make sure that you receive the best possible care.
Q -How are records about me kept?
A - Records may be written down (manual) or held on a computer (electronic) and may include:-
- Basic Details about you such as address and next of kin
- Contact we have had with you such as clinic visits
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details and records about your treatment and care
- Results of investigations such as laboratory tests, x-rays
- Relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you and know you well
Q -Where are my records kept?
A - Manual paper records are kept in a closed library which has restricted access. Electronic records are held within the hospital's electronic records system with restricted access.
Q -How do we use your records to help you?
A - Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive to ensure that:-
- Your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional involved in your care have accurate and up to date information to assess your health and decide what care you need when you visit in the future. The information may be shared in the event of an emergency situation in which you are involved.
- There is a good information base for health professionals to assess the type and quality of care you have received.
- Your concerns can be properly investigated should you need to raise a complaint.
- We can also ensure that full information is available for another doctor or if you are referred to another specialist within the hospital.
Q -How do we use your records to help others?
A - The information in your records may be used to help protect the health of the public and to help us manage the hospital by:-
- Making sure our services can meet patient needs in the future.
- Reviewing the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard.
- Helping us to teach healthcare professionals.
- Charging the Primary Care Trust for the care we have provided
- Investigating complaints, legal claims and issues relating to Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
- Helping with health research and development.
- Preparing statistics on performance.
- Auditing services. All information is treated confidentially and anonymised.
NB. Research projects are always approved by the National Ethics Committee.
Q -How do we maintain the confidentiality of your records?
A - Everyone working for the hospital and the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. You may receive care from other people as well as this hospital e.g. your GP. We may need to share some information about you with them so that we can all work together for your benefit. We will only pass information about you to them if they have a genuine need for it. Any one who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
Q -Who are our partnership organisations?
A - Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust
Flintshire Local Health Board
Social Services across Cheshire and Flintshire
Other hospitals or Specialist Centres
Public Health Laboratories
Q -What does the law require?
A - The law requires us to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. Occasions when we must pass on information include:-
- Birth of a baby
- Finding an infectious disease that may endanger the safety of others e.g. meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
- When a formal court order has been issued.
Q -Can you access your health records?
A - Yes the Data Protection Act 1998 allows you to find out what information about you is held. If you want to see your records further information about this can be obtained by contacting:-
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Telephone (01244) 366457.
If at any time you would like to know more about how we use personal information you can also speak to a senior member of the clinical staff who are caring for you.
This privacy notice sets out how The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust) uses and protects any information that you provide to us.