What is the Data Protection Act?
Your health records contain information which can identify you. Under the Data Protection Act we are required to keep all records that can identify someone (for example anything that contains your name, date of birth and address) in a secure place where only authorised members of staff have access to them.
Everyone who works for the NHS, or in partnership with us, has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Any breach of confidentiality by a member of staff is a disciplinary offence.
How does the Data Protection Act work?
The Act works in two ways:
- It gives you the right to find out information held about you.
- It provides a framework to ensure that personal information held by us is handled properly.
How do we use your records to help you?
- The Trust staff involved in your treatment need to have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and provide you with care.
- A record of any treatment or care you receive in hospital will be kept in case you return for further treatment, and to assist other NHS staff who treat you in the future both in the hospital and elsewhere.
- Your records allow hospital staff to assess and investigate the type and quality of care you have received should the need arise.
How does your information help us?
- It helps us to review the care provided for you and other patients, to ensure it is of the highest quality, make sure our services can meet all patients’ needs in future and enable the production of NHS-wide statistics.
- It helps us to train healthcare professionals and support hospital research and development.
- It enables the hospital to be paid for your treatment and to support audits of NHS services and accounts.
- It supports the investigation of any incidents or issues that arise.