Rights and responsibilities

Your rights

  • To be treated with respect and courtesy. To have privacy, confidentiality and dignity respected.
  • Receive clear understandable information about your treatment and care. Ask questions if you are unsure.
  • Know the name of the person treating you and their professional capacity.
  • To be kept informed on waiting times, delays and cancellations.
  • If you desire you can be accompanied by a friend or relative during consultation or examination.
  • You have the right to refuse treatment – the consequences of refusing treatment will be made clear to you.
  • To be informed of hospital regulations.
  • Provide feedback which will help us improve the quality of care we offer in the future.
  • To know what is being written about you at the time it is being written.
  • To have access to your health records. To apply, please email Information Governance.

Your responsibilities

  • To provide accurate and up-to-date information, and to advise the hospital if you change your address or GP.
  • We appreciate reasonable behaviour from patients, relatives and friends.
  • To provide full information about past or present illness and other health matters which will aid treatment.
  • To confirm that you understand the treatment being provided and course of action.
  • To follow treatment plans recommended. The patient is responsible for the consequences of refusing treatment or not following professional advice.
  • Be considerate to other patients by assisting in the control of noise, smoking and by restricting the number of visitors.
  • Notify the appropriate member of staff if you cannot make an appointment – alternative arrangements can be made, benefiting others.
  • Consider participating in education, training and research.

Your information

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 NHS. This helps to ensure that you receive the best possible care. The record may be written down (manual records), or held on a computer (electronic record).

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 any investigations, such as X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Relevant information from other health professionals, or those who care for you and know you well.
  • Information, as a patient, you may have supplied us with

How your records are used to help you

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

  • Your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professionals (this can include clinical and nonclinical staff) 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:

  • 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
  • Ensure that services provided by health professionals are funded
  • Audit NHS accounts and services
  • Prepare statistics on NHS performance
  • Investigate complaints, legal claims, untoward incidents or concerns

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. Anonymised or pseudonymised statistical information may be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including universities and research institutions.

Where it is not possible to use anonymised information for non-direct patient care, we will seek your consent unless the law requires information to be disclosed or passed on to improve public health.

Who are our Partner organisations?

The principal partner organisations, with which information may be shared are:

  • Healthcare Providers
  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Ambulance Services
  • Health and Social Care Information Centre
  • NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • NHS Commissioning Support Units

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

  • Social Services
  • Education Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Private Sector Providers

How we keep your records

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure.

All manual and electronic records are stored in secure environments to which access is strictly controlled and ensures no unauthorised access. The use of information is strictly controlled and used by us in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998, the common law duty of confidence, the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice, the NHS Records Management Code of Practice and the NHS Information Security Code of Practice.

Electronic data is transferred either via internal secure networks or by dedicated encrypted file transfer methods.

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.

You may be receiving care from other people 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, and when we know that the same safeguards on confidentiality and security will be practiced.

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.

Occasions when we must pass on information include but are not limited to:

  • where a formal court order has been issued;
  • where the safety of yourself or others requires us to

Our guiding principle is that we hold and use your records in strict confidence.

How to get access to your health records

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 would like to see your records you can complete the Subject Access Request form, or make a written request to the Data Access & Disclosure Office. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records but should note that a charge may be made.

You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited, this is known as redaction.

If you become aware that incorrect information has been recorded about you, then you can request that it is corrected or in some circumstances removed. Please complete the Access form and forward to the Data Access & Disclosure Office (details on form).

Your right to withdraw consent

At any time, you have the right to refuse/withdraw consent to information sharing. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you by staff within the organisation.

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