Your health records
What are health records?
Your doctor and the other NHS healthcare professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. These records help to ensure that you always receive the best possible care.
These records may be written down (manual records) or held on computer. They may include:
- Basic details such as name, address, date of birth and next of kin
- Contact we have had with you such as clinic visits
- Notes and reports about your health
- Details and records about your treatment and care
- Results of x-rays and laboratory tests
- Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well such as health professionals and relatives
How are my health records used?
Some of the information on your health record is held centrally to be used for statistical purposes. In these instances we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
If we cannot use anonymous information, we may use identifiable information for essential NHS purposes such as research and auditing. This information will only be used with your consent, unless the law requires us to pass on the information. We will ensure that appropriate information is available if you see another health professional or are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS.
For more information, read: IG Health Records Booklet (PDF File 2MB)
Why do you use my health information?
Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive to ensure that:
- Your doctor or other healthcare professional involved in your care has accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and decide the most appropriate care for you
- There is a good information base for healthcare professionals, such as pharmacists, to assess and help improve the type and quality of care you receive
- Your concerns can be properly investigated if a complaint is raised
Your information may also be used to:
- Help protect the health of the public
- Help us manage the NHS, providing evidence of treatment given, so that we receive the payment from those commissioning the service
- Audit accounts and services
- Plan services to meet your health care needs
- Review of care to ensure high standards are met
- Review your care to ensure you are receiving the best treatment
- Prepare statistics for NHS performance
We will seek your consent, if appropriate, for your information to be used:
- For health research and development
- To help teach healthcare professionals
Who do you share my information with?
We may share information with the following main partner organisations:
- NHS hospital trusts and other care providers
- General practitioners (GPs)
- Ambulance services
- Clinical commissioning groups
- NHS England
- NHS commissioning support units
- External organisations providing healthcare services to the NHS
We may also share your information with:
- Social services
- Education services
- Local authorities
- Voluntary sector providers
- Private sector providers
- Police and judicial services
We may also use external companies to process personal information, such as for archiving purposes. These companies are bound by contractual agreements to ensure information is kept confidential and secure.
How do you keep my records confidential?
Staff working for the NHS have a legal duty to keep personal information confidential. We will not disclose your information to a third party without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health and safety of others is at risk or it is required by law. Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
How can I access my health records?
You have a right of access to the information we hold about you on our records:
- Your request must be made in writing to the Data Controller - for information from the hospital or your GP you should write directly to them
- There may be a charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you
- We are required to respond to you within 40 days
- You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number), so that your identity can be verified and your records located - If you think anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know
To find out more about how you can access your health record, contact the CCG or visit the Information Commissioner's Office website.
How do I find out more about health record standards?
For more information on the standards the CCG uses for your personal information, please see the NHS Care Record Guarantee (external website).