Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential
You may be receiving care from other organisations as well as the NHS (like Social Services).We may need to share some information about you so we can all work together for your benefit.
We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential
We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. Occasions when we must pass on information include:
- Notification of new births
- Where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
- Where a formal court order has been issued
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence
The Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act 1998, which came into force on 1st March 2000, allows you to find out what information about you is held on computer and in certain manual records. This is known as “right of subject access”. It applies to your health records.
If you want to see them you should make a written request to the NHS organisations where you are being, or have been, treated. You are entitled to receive a copy but should note that a charge will usually be made.
You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons.
Freedom of Information
The ICO has published a new Model Publication Scheme that all public authorities are required to adopt.
Model Publication Scheme - further information