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The following information explains why information is collected about you and the ways in which this information may be used.

The principal partner organisations, with whom information may be shared

  • Health Authorities
  • NHS Trusts
  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Ambulance Services
  • Primary Care Trusts

Your information may also, subject to strict agreements describing how it will be used and be shared with:

  • NHS Common Services Agencies such as Primary Care Agencies
  • Social Services
  • Education Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Voluntary Sector Providers
  • Private Sector Providers

Why we collect information about you

Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the National Health Service. These help ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. They may be written down (manual records), or held on a computer. The records may include:

  • Basic details about you, such as address and next of kin
  • Contacts we have had with you, such as clinic visits
  • Notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you have received
  • Details and records about the treatment and care you receive
  • Results of investigations, such as X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, or those who care for you and know you well

How your records are used to help you

Your records are used to guide professionals in the care you receive to ensure that:

  • Your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professionals involved in your care has accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and decide what care you need.
  • Full information is available if you see another doctor, or are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS.
  • There is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received
  • Your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain.

How your records are used to help the NHS

Your information may also be used to help us:

  • Assess the needs of the general population
  • Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future
  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals
  • Conduct health research and development
  • Pay your GP, dentist and hospital for the care they provide
  • Audit NHS accounts and services
  • Prepare statistics on NHS performance
  • Investigate complaints, legal claims oruntoward incidents.

Some of this information will be held centrally, but where this is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units and research institutions.

Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. These may include research and auditing services. This will only be done with your consent, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health.

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