Protecting you and your information

Why the NHS collects information about you

Health professionals, who deal with your healthcare such as Doctors, Community Nurses, Dentists and your pharmacist, need to record information about your health and the care you are receiving from the NHS. This ensures that the people who provide and support your care:

  • Are able to work with you to make that care safe and effective.
  • Have accurate and up to date information about your health.
  • Help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your healthcare.

Type of Information held by the NHS:

  • Personal details about you, for example name, address and postcode.
  • Information about your health, treatments, and care.
How we respect your confidentiality

By law everyone working for or on behalf of the NHS must respect your confidentiality and keep all information about your secure. The NHS understands just how sensitive your information is to you, so all staff are provided with training on information security and confidentiality.

It may be necessary to share information about you with other professionals such as the Local Authority, the Police or Social Services to ensure your healthcare and safety is maintained. In these circumstances we will ask you before we share this information.

Sometimes we a legal duty to share information about people without asking you, for example:

  • Births of children
  • Reporting some infectious diseases
  • Reporting gunshot wounds to the police
  • Because a court orders us to do so

If very rare situations information maybe shared without asking you when the public good is though to be of greater importance than your confidentiality, for example

  • When a serious crime has been committed.
  • When there are serious risks to the public or NHS staff.
  • To protect children
Your rights of access to your information

You or someone lawfully acting on your behalf is legally entitled, to inspect or request a copy of information an organisation holds about you. There may be an administration charge for this, but this will be confirmed with you before hand.

If you wish to see information about you then please ask the doctor, nurse or healthcare professional looking after you. An appointment maybe made for a member of medical staff to explain any part of the record with you.

If you wish to obtain a copy of your information then please see our accessing information page

How you can help

Each NHS organisation you come into contact with needs to keep your personal details up to date, you can help the NHS to do this by:

  • Always giving your full first name and last name, full address and postcode and confirm any particular spelling.
  • Always advise the NHS of any changes to your contact details, for example your name, address or telephone number.

For more information: view our your healthcare information section

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