What is a Privacy Notice?
A ‘privacy notice’ is a statement issued by the Trust to patients, service users, visitors, carers, the public and our staff that describes how we collect, use, retain and share personal information which we hold.
This privacy notice is issued by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as a healthcare provider, and covers the information we hold about our patients and other individuals that may use our services.
Why have we issued this privacy notice?
This privacy notice explains how and why we use the information you share with us.
What information do we collect?
The information that we collect about you may include the following:
- Name, address, telephone, email, date of birth and next of kin
- Any contact we have had with you through appointments, attendances and home visits
- Details and records of treatment and care, notes and reports about your health, including any allergies or health conditions, results of x-rays, scans, blood tests, etc
- We may ask for sensitive information, including data related to your ethnicity, health, sex, gender and how you identify yourself.
Why do we collect your information?
We collect personal and confidential information about you to support with the delivery of appropriate healthcare and treatment.
How do we collect your information?
Information is collected in a number of ways, via your healthcare professional, referral details from your GP or directly given by you.
How do we use your information and why is this important?
We keep up to date information about you in order to:
- Provide high quality care and meet your needs
- Help us train healthcare professionals and support research
- Support audits of NHS services and accounts
- Support investigation of any incidents or issues that may arise
- Contribute to national NHS statistics.
Do we share your information with anyone else?
We work with a number of other NHS organisations, independent treatment centres and clinics in order to provide you with the best possible care. To support this, your information may be securely shared with other organisations.
We may also need to share some of your information with authorised non-NHS authorities and organisations involved in your care. This might include organisations such as local councils, social services, education services, the police, voluntary and private sector providers, and private healthcare companies. However, any sharing of information will always be governed by specific rules and laws.
In addition, information about you may be used for research purposes. In most instances, the information will be made anonymous so that you cannot be identified. If this is not possible, we will ask your permission or request approval from the Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality Advisory Group.
Please note: Should you not wish information about you to be used for research, please speak to your clinical team who are treating you.
How do we keep your information safe and maintain confidentiality?
Your information may be stored within electronic or paper records, or a combination of both.
All our records are restricted so that only those individuals who have a need to know the information can have access. This might be through the use of technology or other environmental safeguards.
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality. This means that any information that you provide to us in confidence will only be used in connection with the purpose for which it was provided, unless we have specific consent from you, or there are other special circumstances covered by law.
Every NHS organisation has a senior person that is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of your information and enabling appropriate sharing. This person is known as the Caldicott Guardian, and within our Trust this role sits with Dr Mark Hamilton, Associate Medical Director – Quality Improvement & Clinical Transformation. You can find more details online here.
What are your rights?
We would like to stress that, at all times:
- You have the right to know how we will use your personal information
- You have the right to see your health record (your medical notes). This is known as a Right of Subject Access
- You have the right to object to us making use of your information
- You can ask us to change or restrict how we use your information and we will agree if possible.
- You have the right to ask for your information to be changed if it is incorrect, and erased, under certain conditions.
Accessing your Health Record (a ‘Subject Access’ request)
While you are in hospital, you may ask to look at your health record folder. Your notes will be prepared for you and a qualified member of staff will talk you through the content. Your right to see some information may be limited – for example, if it includes details about other people.
To see your health record after you leave hospital, or if you want copies of your health record, please complete an online application at the link below and send or email to the address below:
Medico Legal & Access Team
St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 0208 725 0508