Accessibility

Confidentiality and Data Protection

Confidentiality and Data Protection

How your information is used to help you

ConfidentialityAs part of your treatment, health professionals are required to record details of your condition and the care you receive. This is to ensure that:

  • Staff have accurate and up to date information to assess your health needs and decide what care you need in the future
  • Full information is available should you need another form of care, for example if you are referred to a specialist service
  • You receive quality care
  • Your concerns can be properly looked into if you are unhappy with your treatment

Your information also helps us to plan services for the future and allows us to monitor the way public money is spent.

If you do not want certain information or images recorded or shared, please talk to the person in charge of your care. If you feel that you are unable to do this, or you are not happy with the outcome, you should contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), telephone 01823 343536.

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 Direct

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 General Practitioner (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