How we use your Health Records

Why we collect information about you

In the National Health Service, we aim to provide you with the highest quality of healthcare.

To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we provide or plan to provide to you.

How your records are used

The people who care for you use your records to:

  • Provide a good basis for all health decisions made in consultation with you and other health care professionals
  • Deliver appropriate health care
  • Make sure your health care is safe and effective, and
  • Work effectively with others providing you with health care

You have the right to ask for a copy of all records about you;

  • Your request must be made in writing to the organisation holding your information.
  • We are required to respond to you within 40 working days.
  • You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number etc.)
  • You will be required to provide ID before any information is released to you.

If you think anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform the organisation holding your information

We will not share information that identifies you for any reason unless:

  • You ask us to do so
  • We ask and you give us specific permission
  • We have to do this by law
  • We have special permission for health or research purposes, or
  • We have special permission because the interests of the public are thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality—for example, if you had a serious medical condition that may put others you had come into contact with at risk

The NHS is dedicated to protecting your information.

In order to provide you with the best possible healthcare, we need to maintain proper records of your health and make sure that this is available to your medical team, wherever and whenever possible. All of our staff are trained in their responsibilities to protect your data and are under legal obligations not to disclose this information to unauthorised bodies or people.

We use your records to help us to give you proper healthcare and advice. We also need records to manage and plan the NHS itself in order to provide proper accounting for the public money we spend and to have the right resources in the right place.

We also use medical records in research to help find cures and treatments for illnesses. This helps us and other research bodies better understand diseases and determine which treatments work best under certain circumstances.

When we use this information, we make sure that, wherever possible, we do not use personal details such as your name and address, in order to protect your confidentiality.

When releasing information to researchers, we give them only the minimum data necessary, and all their research is carefully vetted.