Collecting patient data
Information we collect when you contact us for NHS care and treatment
We aim to provide you with the highest quality care. To do this, we must keep records about you and the care we provide for you.
These records may be on paper and/or kept on a computer. They include:
- Basic details about you, such as your name, address, date of birth
- Contact we have previously had with you
- Notes and reports about your health, treatment and care.
- Relevant information from people who care for you for example, other health professionals and relatives.
It is essential that your details are accurate and up to date. Always check that your personal details are correct and please inform us of any changes as soon as possible.
Telephone calls are recorded for the following purposes:
- To make sure that staff act in compliance with our procedures
- To ensure quality control
- For training, monitoring and service improvement
We also have CCTV in our vehicles and buildings. We also operate Body Worn Cameras where images are collected and used for prevention of aggression or crime against our staff. Further information is provided in our Surveillance Camera Policy, available on request.
How your information is used?
Your information is used to direct, manage and deliver the care you receive to ensure that:
- The paramedics, doctors, nurses 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.
- 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 healthcare professional, or are referred to a specialist or another service of the NHS or other agency connected with your care.
Who do we share 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.
Unless you tell us not to, we will share information with the following main partner organisations:
- Other NHS hospitals that are involved in your care.
- General Practitioners (GPs)
- GP led services – i.e. Out of Hours
- Dentists, opticians, pharmacists
- GNAAS (Great North Air Ambulance Service)
- British Red Cross
- St John’s Ambulance Service
The legal basis for the processing of data for these purposes is that the NHS is an official authority with a public duty to care for its patients, as guided by the Department of Health. Data Protection law says it is appropriate to do so for health and social care treatment of patients, and the management of health or social care systems and services.
Sometimes your care may be provided by members of a care team, which might include people from other organisations such as social care; local authority education; voluntary and private sector providers working with the NHS or other care organisations.
Unless the sharing is specifically related to the direct provision of healthcare to you, we will not share your information with anyone without your permission. However, there are exceptions to this which are listed below:
- The public interest is thought to be of greater importance for example:
o if a serious crime has been committed
o if there are risks to the public or our staff
o to protect vulnerable children or adults
- We have a legal duty, for example registering births, notification of death reporting some infectious diseases, wounding by firearms, road traffic collisions and court orders.
- We need to use the information for medical research. We have to ask permission from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (appointed by the NHS Health Research Authority).
The other instances when we use your data is as below:
- Support future improvements in health and social care nationally
- Help teach health and social care professionals
- Aid health research and developments
- Monitor and audit the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- Investigate complaints, untoward incidents or legal claims
- Prepare reports on NHS and social care performance
Information will not usually include anything that could identify. However on occasions when your personal information has to be used, we will ask for your consent before this information is shared.
Can I see the information you hold about me?
Data Protection laws gives you rights in respect of the personal information that we hold about you. These are:
- To be informed why, where and how we use your information.
- To ask for access to your information.
- To ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete.
- To ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it.
- To ask us to restrict the use of your information.
- To ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way, without impacting the quality of the information.
- To object to how your information is used.
- To challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)
The right of access to this information is referred to as Subject Access Request (SAR). To find out more about Subject Access Requests, please click here.
Great North Care Record
As a partner in the Great North Care Record (GNCR), we need to request and share patient information from and with other relevant parties who are part of their care and ongoing support network.
Full details of the member organisations of the GNCR, what data may be viewed across the GNCR network, and what are the benefits to being part of the GNCR are available from the GNCR website – https://www.greatnorthcarerecord.org.uk/
If patients have any objection to being part of the GNCR they can contact the GNCR helpline on 0344 811 9587 and speak to a member of the team. In order to log and process a patient’s objection, some basic demographic information will be collected from them. The GNCR will always seek to comply with patient requests, but in some circumstances they may have to use patient information to comply with other legal duties.