How we use and protect your personal information
In order to give you the best possible care, we need to collect personal information about you. This guide explains how we use and protect that personal information, as well as your rights in terms of controlling and accessing it.
Our commitment to you
- We’re committed to delivering personalised care and treatment.
- We’re committed to ensuring your personal information is held securely and in the strictest confidence.
We’re registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and comply with Data Protection legislation, Privacy and electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 and National Information Governance guidelines.
The information we’ll collect
We collect personal and health information in order to contact you and ensure you receive the highest standard of care. Your information may be written or held on computer systems and will include:
- Basic details, such as your date of birth, NHS number, address and next-of-kin contacts
- Details about the treatment, care and support that you need and receive
- Results of investigations, such as x-rays and laboratory tests
- Your ethnicity, religion and beliefs in order to meet cultural, religious and language needs and to help us identify if you’re more at risk from specific diseases (e.g. black men have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Source and more information for black men.)
Who may see your information
Our standard practice is to share information with:
- Clinicians involved in your care
- Relatives, partners, friends, your NHS GP, or carers – with your consent
- If you are referred for care, the person or business you are referred to may receive a summary of the care we’ve provided
- Other parts of HCA Healthcare UK
- Other individuals or healthcare organisations involved in your direct care, for example sharing radiology images using a secure portal or arranging care following your treatment with us.
How we use your information
We will use your information to:
- Ensure you receive the correct bill
- Review the care we provide to ensure it’s of the highest standard
- Prepare statistics on performance
- Look after the health of the general public
- Audit accounts and services
- Conduct clinical audits
- Investigate incidents, legal claims or complaints
- Determine your eligibility to participate in research, such as clinical trials – your clinician will always discuss this with you first, and obtain your consent.
- Contribute to national audits that assess the quality of healthcare and compare performance against standards and trends
- Contribute to registries, such as the Cancer Registry, who collate date for research and statistical purposes
We are also legally required to provide hospital performance data to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), which publishes information on the quality and cost of privately funded healthcare. PHIN’s goal is to help patients make more informed choices about where to go for treatment.
The data supplied may include your date of birth and NHS number if you’re registered with a doctor in the UK. You have the option to withhold your personal information, in which case we’ll only share anonymised data with PHIN.
When we may share information without your consent
We will normally ask you for consent to share information about you. However, there are times when we may be required by law to share your information without your consent. These may be:
- Where there is a serious risk of harm or abuse to you or other people
- Where a serious crime, such as assault, is being investigated or where it could be prevented
- Notification of new births or deaths
- Where we encounter infectious diseases that may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
- Where a formal court order has been issued
- Where there is a legal requirement, for example if you had committed a Road Traffic Offence.
We are also required to transfer information to other organisations with legitimate rights. For example:
- The Coroner has a right to information about a patient when notified of a death
- The Health Ombudsman has a right to information relating to a specific enquiry
- The Care Quality Commission has the statutory right to inspect records and make copies as part of hospital or clinic inspections.
Your right to access your information
You can request a copy of some, or all, of the information we hold about you at any time. Please contact us directly if you would like to arrange this.
You may be charged an administrative fee to cover the copies, as per the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. (for more information please see Chapter 10 of the ICO Subject Access Code of Practice guide).
A note on marketing information
We will only send you marketing information if you’ve opted to receive it. This may include information about products and services HCA provides.
How you can help us
It’s important that the information we hold about you is accurate. You can help by informing us if you change your name, address or contact details.
This helps us provide the best clinical care and also ensures that we direct information to the right person or place if we need to contact you.
NHS England (for national audits)
National Cancer Intelligence Network (the Cancer Registry)
For further information on HCA Healthcare UK facilities, please visit www.hcahealthcare.co.uk
Tags: Patient information