The people who provide you with health and social care use your records to make sure your care is safe and effective; to support decisions about your health made between you and care professionals and to work effectively with other health and social care professionals who are providing you with care.
Health and social care professionals who are involved in providing treatment or care have a duty to fully involve you with decisions about your care, including discussing and agreeing with you what they will record about you, and to share information with other care providers when it’s needed to make sure you get the best possible care. This is as important as the duty to protect your confidentiality.
Health and social care professionals have always shared information about people in order to provide the best possible care.
The most secure and effective way to do this is to allow other organisations who provide you with care to access your records directly.
Sharing may be locally between providers who use the same records systems or through the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG). This is a GP sharing service held inside the secure NHS network.
Sharing is ONLY between professionals directly involved with your care.
Your records are also used for other legal purposes which do not directly relate to care, such as:
- Checking the quality of care and care records (known as clinical audit)
- Protection of the health of the general public
- Keeping track of NHS spending
- Managing and improving services
- Teaching health workers
- Assisting with research
- Statistical purposes
- Investigating any concerns or complaints that you and your family may have about your care
Wherever possible, all information that could identify you is removed from records before using them for purposes other than your direct care.
Some research or audits require person-identifiable information to be effective. We will always ask your permission before information that could identify you is used for research. We will never sell your information or provide it to any organisation for sales or marketing purposes.
There are some occasions where we are legally obliged to share information that names you without asking you, for example:
- Registering births
- Reporting some infectious diseases
- Reporting gunshot wounds to the police
- Where a Court orders us to do so
In rare situations, sharing may be authorised when the public good outweighs your rights to confidentiality, for example:
- When a serious crime has been committed.
- To protect children or adults who are not able to decide for themselves whether their information should be shared.
- When there are serious risks of harm to the public or staff providing treatment or care.
Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal
The Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal is a shared care record hosted by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. This is an electronic record that allows health and social care professionals to quickly and securely access relevant information about your care and treatment while they are looking after you.
Before your information is accessed in this way you will be informed where possible that this is happening.
Nottingham CityCare Partnership CiC provides information such as your test results, medication and care plans for other health and social care providers across Nottinghamshire to see this information about you.
Your information is stored securely and only accessed by staff who have a legitimate reason to do so.
Further information can be found in the following leaflet or by visiting www.connectednottinghamshire.nhs.uk.
National Data Opt-out
The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs.
Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
By 2020 all health and care organisations are required to be compliant with the national data opt-out policy, where confidential patient information is used for research and planning purposes. NHS Digital and Public Health England are already compliant and are applying national data opt-outs.