Accessibility

Confidentiality and Data Protection

Confidentiality and Data Protection

How your information is used to help you

Confidentiality

Having information about our patients helps us provide the best possible care.  This information is crucial in making sure that our care is safe. It is important that those involved in your care have access to it.

We keep that information safe, in line with national laws and regulations, including the Data Protection Act. We have a senior doctor named as our Caldicott Guardian, who is responsible for making sure that patient data is only ever shared appropriately. We also have strict internal processes, with a steering group ensuring that data is used correctly and in line with legislation and national guidance.  

The new Streams mobile app that we are using in partnership with DeepMind will help us make our care even safer, by raising alerts when a patient is so unwell that they are at risk of kidney failure, for example.

In future, when you are cared for at Musgrove, we will be using this app to bring together all the information we normally have about you – but in one place. This means doctors and clinicians treating you will more easily and quickly be able to see important results of your blood tests or scans. We are implementing this app as part of our work as one of the Government’s Global Digital Exemplars for the NHS, in which our long-term partner is IMS MAXIMS.

To prepare for Musgrove Park Hospital using this app, we have also carried out a privacy impact assessment.

 

Keeping your information confidential

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality. The trust has a Staff Code of Confidentiality, which means that relevant information is only shared with people involved in your care, who may come from more than one organisation, for example:

  • Your GP practice
  • Local NHS trusts
  • Social services
  • NHS walk-in centres
  • NHS 111

With your consent, information can also be shared with relatives, partners or friends who act as a carer for you. Consent can only be over-ridden if justified through risk or if the law requires it.

When information needs to be shared with different organisations, it is passed securely and kept confidential by the people who receive it. We only use or pass on information about you which is necessary for your care and treatment.

Sharing your information without consent

The guiding principle is that your information is held in strict confidence.

However, while we would normally seek your consent to share the information held about you, there are some circumstances where this does not apply, for example:

  • To prevent risk to yourself and others
  • Investigation or prevention of serious crime
  • Control of infectious diseases
  • Notification of new births
  • Formal court order

Information for managing and planning

Where necessary patient data is shared with other NHS organisations such as the Department of Health. This enables the NHS to monitor and plan services according to local population.

We may also contact you from time to time to invite your help in promoting public relations in connection with the services of the hospital.

The NHS Register for England and Wales contains basic personal demographic details, such as name, address and date of birth, of all patients registered with a GP.

Data held centrally is not used to make any decisions about the treatment or care you receive from your healthcare provider.

Education and research

Whilst always safeguarding confidentiality, your information can also help us in:

  • Training and educating staff. You will be asked if you wish to be personally involved. Where appropriate your consent will be recorded in writing.
  • Research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee. You will be asked if you wish to be personally identified or involved.
  • Clinical audit and other work to monitor the quality of care provided

Further information

If at any time you would like to know more about how we use your information you can write to the Caldicott Guardian or the Information Governance Department at: Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 5DA