Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (the Trust) processes information about you in order to provide health care services, and in doing so has to comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that data held about you must only be used for specific purposes as defined by law. This Fair Processing Notice has been created to inform you about the types of information held about you, why that information is held about you, and to whom that information may be shared.
Why we collect information about you:
Your clinical care team and other health and care professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. 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 information about you, such as name, address, date of birth, NHS number and next of kin details,
• Contacts we have had with you, such as day care clinics and/or home visits,
• Notes and reports about your health and any treatment and care you need,
• Details and records about the treatment and care you receive,
• Relevant information from other health and social care professionals, local authorities, voluntary organisations, relatives or those who care for you and know you well.
How your personal information is used:
Your records are used to direct, manage and deliver the care you receive to ensure that:
• The clinical care team and other healthcare professionals involved in your care have accurate and up to date information to assess your health and decide on the most appropriate care for you,
• The clinical care team and other healthcare professionals have the information they need to be able to assess and improve the quality and type of care you receive,
• Your concerns can be properly investigated if a complaint is raised,
• Appropriate information is available if you see another member of the clinical care team, or are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS.
How your records are used to help the Trust:
Your information will also be used to help us manage the Trust and protect the health of the public by being used to:
• Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality.
• Ensure our services can meet service user needs in the future.
• Investigate service users’ queries, complaints and legal claims.
• Prepare statistics on the Trust’s performance.
• Audit Trust accounts and services.
• Undertaking heath research and development (with your consent - you may choose whether or not to be involved).
• Helping to train and educate healthcare professionals.
Some of this information is held centrally within the Trust, but where this is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual service users cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including Universities and Research Institutions.
Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. They may include research and auditing services. This will only be done with your consent, and/or the consent of your carer or next of kin, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health.
How we keep your records confidential and secure:
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure.
You may be receiving care from other organisations as well as the NHS e.g. Social Services and the Voluntary Sector. 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. When we pass on any information we will ensure it is kept confidential and secure.
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. Again, if we do need to disclose your information we will ensure it is kept secure.
Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure.
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, as defined under the Data Protection Act 1998. Occasions when we must pass on information include:
• Notification of births and deaths,
• Where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others such as meningitis or measles,
• Child Protection cases,
• Where a formal court order has been issued,
• Benefits Agency cases,
• National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse to monitor the availability, capacity and effectiveness of treatment for drug misuse in England.
Who do we share your information with?
Everyone working within the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Similarly, anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
We will share information with the following main partner organisations:
• Other NHS Trusts and hospitals that are involved in your care,
• Clinical Commissioning Groups and other NHS bodies,
• General Practitioners (GPs),
• Ambulance Trusts
You may be receiving care from other service providers as well as the NHS, for example Social Care Services. We may need to share some information about you with them so we can all work together for your benefit if they have a genuine need for it or we have your permission. Therefore, we may also share your information, subject to strict agreement about how it will be used, with:
• Social Care Services.
• Education Services.
• Local Authorities
• Voluntary and private sector providers working with the NHS.
We will not disclose your information to any other third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as if the health and safety of others is at risk or if the law requires us to pass on information.
Your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998:
Service users, as data subjects (defined by the Data Protection Act 1998), have a number of rights under the Act, including a general right of access to personal data (electronic or paper) held about them.
Right of Access
You can make your application to see your records, or you can authorise someone else to make an application for you. A parent or guardian, carer, next of kin, a service user representative, or a person appointed by the Court can also apply.
If you wish to access your personal information held by the Trust, please contact:
The Legal Services Department
The Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust
Gloucester Business Park
In order to fulfil our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998, you must provide The Legal Services Department with the following documents:
• completed application form,
• proof of your identity,
• evidence of consent (where appropriate),
• A cheque for an initial £10 (rising to a maximum of £50 for health records) made payable to The Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust,
• An indication of what information you are requesting to enable the Trust to locate it in an efficient manner.
• and any other information required.
Withholding information from you
Information may be withheld if the Trust believes that releasing the information to you could cause serious harm to your physical or mental health. We do not have to tell you that information has been withheld.
Information may also be withheld if another person i.e. third party is identified in the record, and they do not want their information disclosed to you. However, if the other person was acting in their professional capacity in caring for you, in normal circumstances they could not prevent you from having access to that information.
Correcting inaccurate information
We have a duty to ensure your information held by the Trust is accurate and up-to-date. If your information is incorrect, you can ask the Trust to correct your records.
If you are unhappy with the way the Trust has handled your information, you may ask for an internal review by contacting:
The Director of Corporate Governance and Public Affairs
The Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust
Gloucester Business Park
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Office of the Information Commissioner, for a decision.
The Information Commissioner can be contact at:
Office of the Information Commissioner
Cheshire SK9 5AF