Direct and indirect care
Processing for direct care purposes
Unless you object, we will normally share information about you with other health and social care professionals who are involved in your direct care. This is so that you may receive the best quality of care. For example, every time you attend the hospital as a patient, we will send your GP a summary of any diagnoses, test results or treatment given.
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS e.g. social care services. We may need to share some information about you with them so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only do this when they have a genuine need for it or we have your permission.
Examples of who we may share your direct care information with are:
- 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 when either you or somebody else’s health and safety is at risk; or the law requires us to pass on information.
Through sharing information ethically and lawfully the NHS is able to improve its understanding of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided.
The processing is necessary for health and social care purposes:
- Preventative and occupational medicine
- The assessment of the working capacity of an employee
- Medical diagnoses
- The provision of healthcare and treatment
- The provision of social care, or
- The management of healthcare or social care systems and services
Processing for indirect care purposes
We also use information we hold about you to:
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality
- Ensure our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Investigate patient queries, complaints and legal claims
- Ensure the hospital receives payment for the care you receive
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance
- Audit NHS accounts and services
- Undertake health research and development (with your consent – you may choose whether or not to be involved)
- Help train and educate healthcare professionals
Nationally there are strict controls on how your information is used for these purposes. These decide whether your information has to be de-identified first and with whom we may share identifiable information with.
You can find out more about these purposes, which are also known as secondary uses, on NHS England the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the Information Commissioner’s Office website.
If you would like to “opt out”
The NHS Constitution states “You have the right to request that your confidential information is not used beyond your own care and treatment and to have your objections considered”. There may be occasions when it is not possible to exercise your right to “opt out”, such as when we have an obligation by law or for the purposes of safeguarding adults and children.
If you wish to opt out please contact the Information Governance Team.