Why do we collect information about you?
To provide you with the best possible care we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided, or plan to provide to you.
Find out more about what information we hold, why it is required and how it is used and shared.
What records do we hold?
If you are a patient we hold records about you which may include:
Basic details such as address, date of birth, next of kin/emergency contact details
Name, address, date of birth. We collect your name, address and date of birth to enable us to send you letters about your care such as appointment letters. Additionally, your name, address and date of birth are used to identify you and distinguish you from other patients. A change of name or incorrect date of birth can result in misidentification. .
Telephone numbers. We will collect contact telephone numbers for you which will be used to contact you about your care. We will use any mobile telephone number provided to send a text message reminder of a forthcoming appointment.
If you do not wish for your mobile number to be used in this way, please contact the information governance department: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01276 526 607.
Next of kin / emergency contact. We collect details of your next of kin as a person you would like to be contacted in an emergency. The person you name as a next of kin has no legal right to any confidential information held by us about you or to make any decisions about your care. An individual who wishes to make a decision about your care must obtain the appropriate legal Power of Attorney. When a patient dies in the hospital, we will contact the patient’s relatives and/or the named next of kin to provide information on the bereavement services managed by the Trust such as a bereavement meeting with an emergency department consultant or the annual memorial service. If a named next of kin or patients relative does not wish to be contacted in this way, they should inform the member of staff involved with the care of their relative.
Ethnicity. We are legally required to collect your ethnicity to ensure that we provide a fair, open organisation where all patients receive equal treatment. An individual’s ethnicity can also have a bearing on the type of illnesses an individual is susceptible to. Anonymised information on patient’s illnesses/disease and their ethnicity is passed by us to the Department of Health who shares this information with the World Health Organisation to identify patterns in illness or diseases.
Disability or language preferences. This information is collected to enable the Trust to provide care which meets your needs such as accommodating wheelchair users or providing interpreters.
Religion. We offer all patients a Chaplaincy service. Your religion is passed to the chaplains who run this service to enable them to visit you whilst in hospital to ensure the pastoral and spiritual needs of patients, their families and staff members are adequately supported.
Details about contact we have had with you such as clinical visits
We maintain manual and electronic information about your inpatient , outpatients visits and visits to A&E. Details of your outpatient clinic visits, stays in hospital, appointment letters, notes, x-rays, laboratory tests and reports relating to your health and treatment are stored in a manual and electronic record.
Your record is shared with the clinical staff providing your care, to ensure consistent/appropriate and safe healthcare is provided to you.
Notes and reports about your health
During your treatment the healthcare professional you see will make notes, write a report or letter about the care they have provided to you, copies of letters will be sent to your GP and a copy will be placed in your manual and electronic record. Therefore it is very important we have your correct GP details.
Where we do not have your correct GP details this will result in information about your care you have been given not being received by your GP in a timely manner, which could affect your on-going care.
Details and records about your treatment and care
To ensure the treatment and care provided to you by is appropriate and consistent, details and records about the treatment and care you have been provided will be recorded, this will ensure that if there is a full and comprehensive record of the care you have been provided, which is available to all clinical staff who are involved with providing you care and treatment.
We work in partnership with other NHS organisations such Royal Surrey, Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, St George’s Hospital and clinical staff employed by these NHS organisations.
The clinical staff from these organisations will meet on a weekly basis to review a patient’s care and treatment to ensure the best care and treatment is being provided.
Results of x-rays, laboratory tests, etc.
This information is collected to enable us to provide care which meets your needs such as accommodating wheelchair users, or providing interpreters.
Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well, such as health and social care professionals and relatives.
When you visit your GP or another NHS trust and they refer you to Frimley Health for treatment, they will write to the hospital detailing your current medical conditions and the treatment required.
We may also obtain information to assist in giving you the best most appropriate care from other people who care for you and know you well for example health and social care professionals and relatives.
It is good practice for people in the NHS who provide care to discuss and agree with you what they are going to record about you. Open the bar below for more information.
Discuss and agree with you what they are going to record about you
The NHS has seven key principles, one of which is “The NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does”. Trust staff will work with you to deliver the best possible care including discussing with you the care they are going to provide.
Give you a copy of letters they are writing about you, if you ask
We try to make sure that patients are involved with the decisions about their care. A copy of letters sent to your GP about your care will also be sent to you
Show you what they have recorded about you, if you ask.
To continue to include you in decisions about your care, whilst you are in hospital if you ask, staff can show you what they have written in your medical record about the care you are being provided. However, if you wish to obtain a copy of your medical records, you will need to put your request in writing to us. Information on how to request a copy of your medical record can be found in the 'Our Obligation' section below.
How your records are used
The people who care for you use your records to:
Provide a good basis for all health decisions made by you and care professionals treating you
Your information is used by clinical, support workers and administrative staff. This could include professionals based in another location. Clinical staff access your information to view the care you have been provided and to ensure the care they give you is appropriate, safe and effective.
Allow you to work with those providing your care
The NHS has seven key principles, one of which is “The NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does”. We will work with you to deliver the best possible care.
Make sure your care is safe and effective; and
Clinical support workers and administrative staff may also access your records to support our clinical staff e.g. medical secretaries in the delivery of your care, additionally administrative staff ensure the care you have been provided with is recorded correctly and will communicate this with your GP.
Work effectively with others providing you with care.
Where appropriate, information about your care will be shared with other organisations to enable continuation/support of your care e.g. other NHS hospitals, your GP and social services.
If you need to be transferred to another hospital for further treatment, information about your medical condition and care will be sent to the hospital you are being transferred to.
If needed we work with social services staff whilst you are still in hospital to plan your discharge home. Information relating to your discharge arrangements will be recorded by social services within their manual and computerised records.
We are a vascular hub and a cardiac centre for Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. Therefore, details of your clinical care could be shared between the NHS trusts in these counties to support and deliver your care e.g. your x-ray images taken at Basingstoke could be shared with clinicians based at Frimley Park to discuss your care, and then passed to Royal Surrey where your care will be provided.
For example, we have a contract with South East Coast Ambulance Services (SECAM) to provide you transport to and from the hospital. Therefore, information such as your name and address will be shared with SECAM to enable them to transport you to and from the hospital. The company will also be provided with basic information about your medical condition to ensure they provide the correct type of transport e.g. room for a wheelchair, oxygen supply, etc. to
Other mays also need to use records about you to:
Support you during your time in hospital
Information collected about you will be shared with Trust staff to support your time in hospitals e.g. the Trust offers all patients a Chaplaincy service, your religion is passed to the Trust Chaplains running this service to enable them to visit you whilst in hospital to ensure the pastoral and spiritual needs of patients, their families and staff members are adequately addressed.
Any dietary requirements are passed to the Catering staff with your choice of meal to ensure your dietary needs are met
Check the quality of care (such as Clinical Audit)
We have an annual clinical audit programme which requires all clinical staff to participate.
Clinical staff consider patient medical records to review the care provided and to identify ways in which the care could be improved in the future.
Further information on our Clinical Audit programme can be obtained from the Clinical Audit Department.
The Trust is currently participating in a number of national Clinical Audits. Further information can be found at: National Clinical Audits
Occasionally, external companies will audit our treatment of patients to provide assurance to the us and our commissioners on the care and treatment provided to patients. In some instances the auditors may review a patient’s medical record. These individuals are bound by strict codes of confidentiality. If you do not wish your records to be accessed by these staff, please contact the Information Governance Department on 01276 526 607 or email: email@example.com
The Department of Health mandates all NHS trusts to undertake clinical audits on care delivered to patients, which can be undertaken by clinical staff employed by us or by external audit companies. This could involve individuals who have not been involved with your direct care accessing your medical records. Further information on national clinical audit can be found on the Department of Health website:http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_112270
Protect the health of the general public
Annoymised information about patient care is sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on a daily basis. This information is used by the HSCIC to review the treatment provided to patients across the NHS and identify trends/changes in the health of the population. Further information on the work undertaken by the HSCIC can be found at: Health and Social Care Information Centre
Keep track of NHS spending
We receive payment for the services we provide to patients.
Clinical commissioning groups (CCG’s) are responsible for paying us for these services.
In order to be paid for the services delivered, information on patient’s treatment needs to be passed to these clinical commissioning groups.
The information will be coded so individual patients cannot be identified. In some cases, the names of the patients will need to be provided for instance when requesting funding for high cost drugs, or specialised care such as IVF treatment.
Manage the health service
Every NHS Trust is performance managed. Statistical information about patient care is collated by the Trust e.g. the length of time patients are treated in the Emergency Department, how long patients have waited for an outpatient appointment, etc.
Help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your health care
In order to deal with issues raised by you or to process your complaint or legal claim, staff within our legal team and complaints department will access your medical records and may share this information with other staff as well as external third parties where applicable including our solicitors or the NHS Litigation Authority.
We take patient safety very seriously so when an incident occurs which was not expected we will investigate. When this happens the staff involved in your care, with support from the risk management department, will access your medical records.
Teach health workers; and
We take in new doctors and nurses to work with us to gain valuable experience and practice in delivering medical care.
We will use patient medical records to train these new doctors and nurses. If you do not wish for your medical records to be used in this way, please contact the information governance department: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone: 01276 526 607.
Help with research
Undertaking research is an important element of providing healthcare. Clinical staff are actively encouraged to participate in research trials. The research and development Department manages all research projects undertaken by us. Your participation in a research project will only take place with your explicit consent.
We will hold coded patient information centrally to be used for statistical purposes. In these instances we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
We use statistical information about patients to improve the services it provides such as reviewing the length of time a patient has stayed in hospital or the number of hospital infections. Normally this information is anonymised so individual patients cannot be identified.
The Health and Social Care Centre manages all the information sent to the Department of Health. Further information on how they process your information can be obtained via Health and Social Care Information Centre.
We will use anonymous information to further support patient care including teaching or training of staff.
There are occasions when we will use your medical records but only for essential purposes such as auditing clinical care which helps to ensure our services are of a high quality.
The Trust occasionally works with other organisations e.g. universities, external organisations to pilot new ways of working with the aim to provide improved and more efficient services to patients. Where the Trust undertakes this work you will be informed and be asked if you wish to participate. Some examples of projects the Trust is asking patients to participate in are detailed below:
If you do not wish for us to use your information in the ways mentioned, please inform us in writing to the Information Governance Dept.
Who are our partner organisations?
We will share information with other NHS partner organisations (e.g. hospitals, GP, Dentist, NHS Community Services etc.) to continue and support your care.
We will also share your information with other organisations, to assist with giving you the best care possible. Where we share you information with these organisations, they are subject to strict information sharing protocols. Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure.
Only information that is required and appropriate to support your care and treatment will be provided.
Permission from yourself will be sort before sending the information unless we have a legal obligation to provide the information or we have to because the interest of the public is thought to be greater importance.
Some of the other organisations we may share your information with are: Social Services, Education Services, Local Authorities, Voluntary Sector providers, Private Sector providers
We accommodate both Hampshire and Surrey social services and work with social services staff whilst you are still in hospital to plan your discharge home. Information relating to your discharge arrangements will be recorded by social services within their manual and computerised records.
We share patient information with other external NHS organisations which operate to oversee and address issues relating to the management of the whole NHS such as NHS Counter Fraud Management Services or NHS Prescription Service. Sharing patient information with these organisations contributes to providing an efficient and effective NHS.
The NHS Counter Fraud Service is responsible for policy and operational matters relating to the prevention, detection and investigation of fraud in the NHS. In some instances information relating to patients will be shared within the NHS Counter Fraud Service. Further information on the NHS Counter Fraud Service can be found at: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/396.aspx
The NHS Security Management Service collects information on reported security incidents (e.g. thefts of patient/staff property, assaults on NHS staff) from each NHS hospital to collate information to identify patterns in these incidents. Further information on the NHS Security Management Service can be found at: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/413.aspx
There are occasions where we have a legal duty to pass patient information to external organisations. These include: notification of new birth, notification of infectious diseases e.g. meningitis or where a formal court order has been issued.
We will notify the Central Registrar of Births every time a baby is born and there is a death in our hospitals. Additionally, where it is identified a patient has an infectious disease we have a legal obligation to notify the Health Protection Agency.
To protect your best interests, your information may be shared in an emergency situation. We have developed extensive emergency contingency plans including in the event of fire, flood, loss of power, etc. If an emergency occurred within the hospital, details of patients currently within the hospital or due to come into hospital might be shared with external organisations that are assisting us to manage the emergency. For example, in the case of severe weather the Trust has a contract with a company to provide 4 wheel drive vehicles to enable patients to get to and from hospital. Patient information would be shared with the company providing this service.
We occasionally use external companies based outside of England e.g. Scotland, USA to measure and monitor outcomes of clinical procedures to enable us to provide the best possible care.
The radiology department has a contract with Alliance Medical to provide out of hours reporting on x-ray images. This means that if you attend here late at night and have an x-ray, a clinician is available to review the x-ray and provide a report to the consultant providing your care.
We are working with the Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network as part of the Enhancing Quality Programme & Enhanced Recovery programme. The Enhancing Quality Programme (EQ) is a clinical change programme which triangulates information to drive quality improvements in clinical interventions, patient reported outcomes and patient experience.
The Enhancing Quality (EQ) Programme began data analysis with patients discharged from hospital in July 2010. The acute clinical conditions for which quality measures exist are:
• Heart Failure (HF)
• Hip and Knee replacement surgery (H&K)
• Pneumonia (PN)
• Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) MINAP
Further information can be found at: http://nww.enhancingqualitycollaborative.nhs.uk/
Where we share your information with these organisation we will let you know.
All organisations we share your information with, are subject to strict information sharing protocols. Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure.
We will not share information with external organisations unless:
• It supports your care and treatment
• You ask us to do so
• We ask your permission,
• We have to by law
• We have special permission for health or research purposes; or
• We have to because the interests of the public are through to be of greater importance than your confidentiality
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you secure.
We will not disclose any patient/personal information to a third party such as a private organisation, solicitor, employer, police officer without obtaining your explicit consent.
Where you have asked a company to act on your behalf e.g. solicitor, we will not release information about you without your explicit consent.
Where we receive requests relating to your care by a police officer or employer your information will not be released without your explicit consent
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence.
We will not disclose any patient or personal information to a third party such as a private organisation, solicitor, employer, police officer without obtaining your explicit consent.
Where you have asked a company to act on your behalf e.g. solicitor, we will not release information about you without your explicit consent. Where we receive requests relating to your care by a police officer or employer your information will not be released without your explicit consent.
Staff must only access your information if they are involved in your care..
All staff working for the NHS are bound by the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality which means only staff involved with your care are entitled to access information relating to you.
This is detailed within the confidentiality agreements signed by staff working here and is included within mandated training provided to staff.
All clinical staff are bound by strict professional codes of conduct which incorporate confidentiality clauses. Further information can be found on the British Medical Association (BMA) and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NWC) websites.
We audit staff access to patient information to ensure they continue to abide by the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality.
You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Common Law Duty of Confidence
The above acts outline the legal framework that govern that, information provided by patients to us has been provided in confidence and must remain confidential unless the patient has given their consent for their information to be shared.
Staff must only use patient information to provide healthcare to a patient. Where staff wish to share information about a patient’s treatment with another organisation (e.g. social services, GP, other NHS trust), they must inform the patient. Where staff wish to use patient information for another reason (e.g. teaching, training, research), then explicit consent must be obtained from the patient
We have a duty to:
Maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you
We have a legal obligation to store your medical information. The length of time we will store your information is set out by the Department of Health. The longest we will keep a patient’s record is 20 years after their care has stopped. More information on the retention of records in the NHS can be found on the Department of Health website.http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4131747
We have a legal obligation to ensure your information is accurate and up to date. If any of the information held about you is incorrect, please contact a member of staff or contact the Trust's Data Quality Team on 01276 522 403.
We see over 250,000 patients a year, which is a challenge to ensure the information is always accurate and up to date. Our staff will check with patients that we have the most accurate and up to date information. However, where patients identify information held by us is inaccurate, they are asked to notify us either in person when they attend an appointment, or by contacting the number above.
Keep records about you confidential and secure
All staff working for the NHS are bound by strict confidentiality agreements. We also ensure all staff are trained on both the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality to ensure they know and understand how to keep your information secure and confidential at all times.
Our information technology department has deployed technical security measures to keep your information secure when stored electronically
Provide information in a format accessible to you (e.g. in large type if you are partially sighted). To provide you a copy of your records when you ask (in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998)
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals have the right to obtain a copy of their own information held by us.
There is an administration cost for providing copies of information which is a charge we are legally able to pass on to the individual requesting copies of their information. This charge will either be £10.00 or £50.00 depending on the information requested.
To obtain a copy of your medical records, please place your request in writing to:
Information Governance Department
2nd Floor, Pine House
Frimley Health NHS Foundation NHS Trust
Surrey GU16 7UJ
Tel: 01276 522 570
You will need to provide your information (e.g. full name, address, date of birth, Hospital/NHS number). Open the bar below for more details.
Your information (e.g. full name, address, date of birth, Hospital/NHS number)
This ensures we are providing confidential information to only the patient. Whilst you might have been regularly treated in the hospital, the staff who process your request for information will never have met you and need to ensure they do not disclose your confidential records to the wrong person.
2 proofs of identification
This ensures the Trust is providing confidential information to only the patient. Whilst you might have been regularly treated in the hospital, the staff who process your request for information will never have met you and need to ensure they do not disclose your confidential records to the wrong person.
If requesting another person’s information, their consent or your legal proof of authority
If you wish for another person to process your request on your behalf, this is ok, as long as they have your written permission to do so. This will be requested by us when we receive a request for copies of your medical records.
Due to the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, we are unable to provide copies of a deceased patient’s medical records. However, there are some very restricted circumstances when a person could be provided copies of a deceased individual’s medical record. Further guidance and assistance can be obtained from the information governance team on 01276 522 427.
The administration fee
We will charge an administration fee for providing copies of your medical records, which will not exceed £50. We are required to respond to you within 40 calendar days from date of receiving the administration fee.
Unfortunately, due to the volumes of requests we receive, we charge patients for a copy of their medical records to cover administration costs. We receive over 3,500 requests for medical records every year.
We charge £10 for copies of electronic patient records such as x-rays and £50 for copies of the paper health record. When you submit your request us we will confirm the administration charge and methods of payment. Upon payment we will process your request for information.
We aim to prioritise patient requests for copies of their medical records. However, occasionally there are technical reasons why this might not be possible.
Completion of Private Insurance Forms
From the 1st April 2015 Frimley Health NHS Trust will have a new policy concerning the completion of health insurance forms for NHS admissions.
If the form only requires verification of dates of admission and a hospital stamp, patients can send their forms to Admissions Office, Pine House (Tel:01276 526369) to be processed.
If any medical details are required, the forms must be sent to your consultant’s secretary to be completed by the consultant or a member of his or her team for which there may be a charge.
If the consultant will not complete the form, copies of your medical records can be obtained by contacting the Information Governance Department: (Tel:01276 522 427 or email@example.com.
There will be a charge for providing copies of your medical records from between £10 to £50.
To enable and support clinical care we will no longer process private health insurance forms for Emergency Department attendances.
Any queries relating to this change of process, please contact the Information Governance Department on 01276 604675