Data protection and health records
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office to process personal and sensitive personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 (data controller).
All our staff have a duty to ensure that personal information, given in confidence, remains confidential. The duty of confidence is conferred by common law, statute, disciplinary codes and our contract of employment.
The Trust also has a senior person called a Caldicott Guardian who is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of service users health records and making sure their information is used properly. The Trust’s Caldicott Guardian is the Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director.
Data Protection and why we collect information about you
The hospital keeps records about the healthcare and treatment that our patients receive. This helps to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.
Keeping your records confidential
NHS employees must comply with the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information you provide to the hospital in confidence will only be used for the purposes explained to you and to which you have consented, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law.
All our staff are required by law to protect your information. They should also keep you informed about the purposes your information will be used for and how it will be shared.
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is obliged to hold your information in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Your personal information is also used to manage the NHS
Your information will also help us manage the NHS and its finances in addition to protecting the health of the public by being used to:
- review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality, e.g. through clinical audit
- planning for the future so that our services can meet the needs of the general public
- investigate concerns, complaints and legal claims
- secure payment for the services we provide
- generate statistics on how the NHS performs
- audit NHS accounts and services
- conduct health research and development (you can choose not to be involved and your consent will be required)
- train and educate healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses
Sharing information with other NHS organisations
We may share your personal information with other NHS organisations such as NHS Trusts, general practitioners (GPs) and ambulance services.
Information sharing with non-NHS organisations
We may need to share some of your healthcare related information with other non-NHS organisations from which you may also be receiving care. Examples of such organisations may include Social Services but we will not disclose any health information to third parties without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires it.
We may also be asked by other statutory bodies to share basic information about you, such as your name and address, but not sensitive information from your health records. This would normally be to assist them to carry out their statutory duties. In these circumstances, where it is not practical to obtain your explicit consent, we are informing you through this notice, which is referred to as a Fair Processing Notice, under the Data Protection Act.
- Social Services, Education Services, Local Authorities, The Police, Private and Voluntary Sector Care Providers
This Trust is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds purposes.
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. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you and could include delays in receiving care.
Access to Your Health Records
All our patients have the right to see their own medical records and can write to the medico-legal team at:
The Medical Records Department
Warrington WA5 1QG
Or they can be contacted by telephone on 01925 662164.
There are charges to get copies of your health records including an administration fee, and any photocopying and postage costs up to a maximum of £50. You can also apply for access to your medical record by downloading a subject access request form.
Queries on Data Protection Issues
If you have any questions about data protection, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org