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Your information and health records

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Why do we collect information about you?

LPFT aims to provide you with the highest quality care. To do this effectively, efficiently and safely, we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you. The information you provide helps us to ensure you are receiving the best care, information and support that is right for you.

These records may include information such as:

  • Your address, date of birth and emergency contact details.
  • Equality and diversity data (for example, ethnicity, religion). We are legally obliged to collect this information so we and our commissioners can be sure that we provide our services fairly to anyone from any background or community who may need them.
  • Notes and reports about your health, information about your treatment and care.
  • Information from other people who are involved with your care, such as other health and social care professionals or relatives.
  • Records on other contacts we have had with you, for example if you have contacted us with an enquiry, or have attended an event and agreed for us to send you our newsletters.

It is important that we hold accurate information about you and we rely upon you to inform us of any changes. The information about you and the services you receive will be recorded on our computer system. We scan paper letters and reports into this system so everything is in the same place.

As partnership working strengthens between such agencies to ensure best care, information about individuals and whole communities is increasingly being shared across disciplines and organisations.

This means that some of our records are held jointly with other statutory agencies, and other Health and Care agencies that may also be involved in your care such as Lincolnshire County Council and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust; however this will be discussed with you by your healthcare team.

 

How we protect your information

Everyone working for the NHS has a duty to keep your information confidential and secure. Staff and contractors are required to respect their duty of confidentiality to you as part of their professional codes of conduct and by their contracts of employment. We keep paper and electronic records securely to prevent unauthorised access or misuse.

We are registered under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation and we are committed to protecting your privacy and to abide by statutory and good practice guidance regarding maintaining confidentiality and appropriate information security.  To ensure each new regular use of information is legal, we undertake a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), which is a risk assessment recommended by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO),  the regulator of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 25th May 2018. These DPIA risk assessments are processed by the Trust’s Information Governance Team.

Sharing information is strictly governed to protect your privacy rights in accordance with legislation and best practice. However from time to time there may be a need to share some, or all, of your information with other health care professionals, NHS organisations or other qualified health care providers so that we can work together to obtain the best possible care or treatment.

We will not disclose any information that identifies you to anyone outside your care team without your express permission, unless we are required to do so by law or in the best interests of your continuing care. This will be done in consultation and agreement with yourself, or where appropriate, a guardian or relative if you are too ill.  All our staff work within the guidelines of this protocol and the NHS Code of Practice on Confidentiality.
We will not share health information that identifies you (particularly with other government agencies) for any reason other than providing your care unless:

  • You ask us to do so
  • We ask and you give us specific permission
  • We have to do this by law; e.g. child protection, domestic abuse, safeguarding
  • We have special permission because the public good is thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality

The Trust has an appointed Data Protection Officer who can be contacted for advice on information privacy matters. They can be contacted on:
Tel: 01529 222205 Email: dataprotectionofficer@lpft.nhs.uk

Patient confidentiality

  • By law, everyone working for or on behalf of the NHS or other qualified health care providers must respect your confidentiality and keep your information secure.
  • We reassure you that the computer systems we use are subject to strict access controls and only staff who are involved in your care will have access to your records.
  • We will always obtain your consent before sharing your information with other health professionals unless exempted by law.
  • When we do share your information we will always endeavour to use the most secure method available where possible

 

How your health record is used to help the NHS

Health Records are used to assist with:

  • Looking after the health of the general public – e.g. notifying central NHS groups of outbreaks of infectious diseases
  • Reporting events to the appropriate authorities when we are required to do so by law  – e.g. notification of births
  • Paying your GP or hospital for the care you have received
  • The audit of NHS accounts and clinical audit of the quality of services provided
  • Reporting and investigation of complaints, claims and untoward incidents
  • Service planning to ensure we meet the needs of our population in the future
  • Preparing statistics on our performance for the Department of Health
  • Reviewing our care to ensure that it is of the  highest standard
  • Teaching and training health care professionals
  • Conducting health research and development
  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is a research-active Trust involved in developing future treatments and care. You might be asked to take part in a research study. If you are, the researcher will explain the study in detail to you, including why it is necessary and what it will involve. If you decide that you would like to be involved, you will be asked to sign a consent form.  If you do not want to take part, this will not affect your treatment in any way.

National Data Opt Out

The National Data Guardian, Dame Fiona Caldicott, recommended a new opt-out model for data sharing in her Review of data security, consent and opt-outs in 2016. The aim is to allow patients to make an informed decision about how their personal data will be used. It is part of a vision to improve patients’ trust and confidence in how data is looked after by the health and social care system. The National Opt-out ties in with other work on data security and making sure data is only used for the benefit of people’s health and care.

NHS Digital are introducing a new tool that people can use to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for reasons other than their individual care and treatment. It will be secure and accessible, and will be available from 25 May 2018.

Patients and the public who decide they do not want their personally identifiable data used for planning and research purposes will be able to:

  • Set their national data opt-out choice online, or
  • There will be a non-digital alternative for patients and the public who can’t or don’t want to use an online system.
  • Individuals can change their mind anytime.
  • Where patients have already registered with their GP, to prevent their identifiable data leaving NHS Digital, this will be converted to the new national data opt-out.

The national data opt-out will be introduced alongside the new data protection legislation. and all health and care organisations will be required to uphold patient and public choices by March 2020.

For further details please go to: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out-programme

External regulation

From time to time auditors will come to our Trust to quality check the information we hold. Under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 those auditors have the authority to access personal information without the permission of our patients.

Any information recorded by the auditors will be referenced by an identification number instead of the name of a patient and will not be kept for longer than necessary as per Data Protection requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Accessing your health records

The Data Protection Act 2018 entitles you to access your health records.  If you would like copies of your records they will be provided free of charge. 

We have 30 days from when we receive your completed request and confirmation of identification to process and respond. 

There are a number of ways you can request access to your records, these include:

  • Send us a letter or email - please include your personal details i.e. name, date of birth and address, alongside what specific information you would like us to provide. 
  • Alternatively, you can complete an application form (available below): 

          Applying for health records 

          Applying for personal records

 

We will also need proof of your identity, such as a photocopy of your passport, driving licence, birth certificate and a utility bill to confirm your address.

If you require any help completing a request or the application form, please call the access to records department:

Tel: 01529 222327 (office hours 9am and 5pm, Monday – Friday)

Email: records@lpft.nhs.uk

Completed forms or letters should be returned to:

Records Management Team
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Unit 9, The Point
Lions Way
Sleaford
NG34 8GG

For further documentation on how we look after your information and health records, follow the links below

 

Updated August 2018