How we use your information

On this page you can find out more about how we use your information.

This is also detailed in our Privacy Notice, which you can download below.  

How we use your information

Document File Size
Full Privacy Notice 284 KB
Summary Privacy Notice 624 KB
Young person and easy read Privacy Notice 504 KB

A version of the Privacy Notice for learning disability services will be added soon.  

We are also working with our services to identity patient groups who would benefit from having a tailored version of the Privacy Notice. Once developed, these will be added this page for you to download and print.

Why does the NHS keep information about you?

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is a public authority with a statutory responsibility and a public duty to provide patient care, as guided by the Department of Health.

Your doctor, nurse and the teams of health and social care professionals who care for you, in hospitals and in the community, need to keep records about your health and any treatment and care you have received. 

Your health records help to ensure you receive the best possible care. Therefore it is important that you give accurate information to your care professional and inform them of any relevant changes.

What personal information about you is recorded?

Your doctor, nurse and the team of health and social care professionals caring for you keep records about your treatment and care both on paper and electronically.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal details such as name, address, date of birth, ethnicity, religion, NHS number and next of kin
  • Contact we have with you e.g. hospital admissions, outpatient or clinic appointments and home visits
  • Notes and reports by health and social care professionals about your health, GP details etc
  • Details and records about your treatment and care
  • Results of x-rays, blood tests and any other tests
  • Relevant information about people that care for you and know you well
  • Relevant details about associated people e.g. children in your care, contact details of partners, carers, relatives etc

This information may be given to us directly by you, or by third parties involved in your direct care, such as referral information from your GP, Optician or from other bodies such as schools and social services.

We are involved in integrated care programmes, working with other NHS, local authority, private, voluntary and charity organisations. Information about you may be shared with partners in these programmes, where it is legal to do so and for the purpose of direct care to you.

How your information is used

Your health records are used to make sure that the teams of health and social care professionals caring for you have accurate and up to date information about your medical condition and circumstances.  This ensures that appropriate information is available to all those who treat you and care for you professionally.

We will also manage your records with clear retention periods under the NHS Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care. A copy of the code is available on the NHS Digital Website.

Information collected about you to deliver your health care is also used to:

  • Make sure your care is safe, effective and of the highest standard
  • Support you to manage your own care and work with health and social care professionals
  • Prepare statistical information to look after the health and wellbeing of the general public and plan services to meet the needs of the population
  • Prepare statistical information on our performance for the Department of Health and other regulatory bodies
  • Help train staff, support research and conduct surveys to maintain the quality of our services (you can choose whether or not to be involved personally)
  • Review the care provided e.g. clinical audit
  • Support the funding of your care
  • Report and investigate any complaints, legal claims and untoward incidents

Managing the data

We need to be more able to move electronic information from system to system, extracting the data, processing it and modifying it for the next system. Occasionally, tests will need to be made on the data to check that it has been transferred correctly. This will only be done under carefully controlled conditions and employees and contractors will be under strict contractual obligations to protect your confidentiality.

How we keep your information secure and confidential

All members of staff working in the NHS and other health and social care organisations have a legal duty to keep information about you strictly confidential.

The sensitivity of patient information is well established in the NHS and social care, all staff are given training on their duty of data protection and confidentiality to you.  The NHS also has a code of confidentiality which all staff must adhere to.

We keep all paper and electronic records secure to prevent unauthorised access in accordance with the principles and requirements of data protection laws in the UK.

When information may be shared and who with

We will only ever share your information with other organisations if it is in your best interests for your care, or there is an overriding public interest, you have given your explicit consent, or we are required to do so by a court order or under an Act of Parliament. Examples could be when a baby is born, when a death occurs, or when a reportable infectious disease is diagnosed.

There may be exceptional circumstances where the reasons for disclosure are so important that they override the obligation of confidentiality, such as to prevent someone being seriously harmed, or there is another legal basis and requirement to share information.

We may also share relevant information about you to:

  • Assess and plan the type of care and treatment you need
  • Provide up to date information to other health and social organisations involved in your care
  • Keep your GP fully informed of the care we have provided to you
  • Provide continuity of your care and wellbeing to external organisations, when appropriate
  • Review and audit the quality of the services we  provide

For the provision of care to you, we may share your information with your GP, hospital trust, emergency services, or any other health or social care, voluntary, charity and private sector practitioners directly involved in your care.

Where there is a lawful justification, we may share your information with other agencies such as NHS England, NHS Digital, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the police, the fire service, auditors, system testers and developers, data quality officers, academics and researchers.

Your rights under data protection laws

Data protection laws give individuals rights in respect of the personal information that we hold about you.  These are:

  • To be informed why, where and how we use your information
  • To ask for access to your information
  • To ask for information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • To ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  • To ask us to restrict the use of your information
  • To ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way, without impacting the quality of the information
  • To object to how your information is used
  • To challenge any decisions made without human intervention (i.e. automated decision making)

While we will always respect your rights, there may be times we are unable to respect your wishes (for example where it would require us to act unlawfully).

Accessing your information

You have the right of access to your own records as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation.  With some exceptions, this entitles individuals to a copy of information held about them.

You may authorise a third party to seek access on your behalf (e.g. a solicitor), but we will need your written consent.

Where a service user is incapable of managing his or her own affairs, a person appointed by the court to manager those affairs may seek access.

Generally, a child aged 13 or over will be considered competent to request their own records. If the child is deemed not to have capacity to consent, under the Children Act 1989, authority must be given by an individual who has parental responsibility.

Access may be limited or denied if:

  • Disclosing information may cause serious harm to you
  • Giving access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who had not consented to disclosure

If you require a copy of your records, you download and complete the attached request form.  This can be sent to us in the following ways:

Post:

Subject Access Team
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust HQ
225 Old Street
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL6 7SR

Email: pcn-tr.sar@nhs.net

You can also make a request by phone on 0161 716 3149/3959, or speak to the healthcare professional involved in your care. 

You are entitled to receive some or all of your information within one calendar month and this is usually free of charge.

This right does not cover the records of deceased patients.  Statutory rights of access to these are contained within the Access to Health Records Act 1990. 

Any person with a claim arising from the death of a patient has a right of access to information directly relevant to the claim. A request under deceased records should also be made using the above contacts.

What if information we hold about you is wrong?

You can ask us to correct inaccurate or incomplete information.  If the health professional agrees that the information is inaccurate of incomplete, they will correct the records and give you a copy. 

As far as is reasonable, we will inform any third parties who have been given the inaccurate information.

If the health professional does not agree that the information is inaccurate, they will make a note on the record of the point you have brought to their attention.

Recording mobile phone numbers

We record mobile telephone numbers to enable us to contact you in circumstances such as if an appointment has to be rearranged, or in an emergency.

Some services also provide a text reminder service so that you can be reminded of your appointment.  If you prefer not to be contacted in this way, please tell us so we can remove your number from the system.

Providing feedback

We value feedback from our service users and their carer and we may occasionally contact you to ask about your experience of our services.  This helps us to plan and improve the services we provide. 

If you prefer not to be contacted in this way please tell us.

As a foundation trust, we are required to participate in the Friends and Family Test to evaluate the effectiveness of our services. You may be contacted and asked to complete a survey.

Teaching clinicians

Some medical files are needed to teach student clinicians about rare cases.  This is an important feature of clinical training. Access to your information is closely monitored.

Clinical placements

Clinical placements for students commonly take place within the NHS.  Students, such as student nurses, medical students or social work students could be receiving training in service that is caring for you. 

This may be when you are an inpatient or in a community setting (such as a day hospital), or when you are being visited by health or social care staff at home.

If staff would like a student to be present they will always ask for your permission before that meeting or episode of treatment.  If you do not want a student to be present you may refuse without the treatment or care you receive being affected.

Occasionally, for assessment purposes, students may request that their supervisor be present.  Again, you may refuse if this makes you feel uncomfortable.

Your NHS number 

Every person registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS number.  It is made up of 10 digits for example 123 456 7890.

Everyone working in the NHS needs to use your NHS number to identity you correctly.  It is an important step towards improving the safety of your healthcare.

you should bring your NHS number to hospital appointments, or quote it if you need to telephone a service for any enquiries.  This will allow staff to check that they have the right patient details by checking this against your NHS number. 

To improve safety and accuracy always check your NHS number on correspondence the NHS sends to you.

If you do not know your NHS number, contact your GP.  You may be asked for proof of identity, for example a passport or other form of identity.  This is to protect your privacy.

Clinical audit

The quality of care provided to you is sometimes reviewed through the process of clinical audit.  This may involve members of the health care team, or the clinical audit department, reviewing patient records. 

Clinical audits are subject to approval from the Clinical Audit Department to ensure patient notes are only accessed if absolutely necessary, in line with NHS guidelines.  Any information collected from this review is anonymised so that individual patients cannot be identified.

Research

We recognise the potential benefits of research to the future of healthcare.  We want every patient to have the opportunity to take part in research studies that are relevant to them, because we know that being involved in research helps provide better care to our patients.   

We are involved in local and national research programmes which may involve the use of patient information.  

The Health Research Authority and government departments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales set standards for NHS organisations, to make sure we protect your privacy and comply with the law when you are involved in research. 

To find out how your information may be used for research please visit the HRA website.

If you would like to find out more about what research is happening in the trust, please contact the Innovation and Research Department on 0161 716 3086.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) acts on behalf of service users, families and carers to negotiate prompt solutions and help bring about changes in the way that services are developed. 

As well as providing a confidential advice and support service, PALS will help guide you through the difference services available from the NHS. You can contact the team on 0161 716 3178.

Comments and complaints

We want to learn from comments and complaints about our services.  If you have any, please speak with a member of staff.  Every effort will be made to resolve any concerns and complaining will not cause any difficulties in your care with us.

You can also contact the Complaints Department via post at:

Trust Headquarters
225 Old Street
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL6 7SR

Tel:  0161 716 3083

Becoming a member of our Trust

By becoming a Trust governor, you can be the voice of your community, find out more about your local mental health and community services, receive updates, comment on our plans and receive invitations to health events

For more information get in touch:

Further information

If you want to find out more or have any concerns, then please speak to the staff currently providing your care and treatment.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact the Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter:

Data Protection Officer
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Trust HQ
225 Old Street
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL6 7SR

For further information contact our Information Governance Department:

  • Post: 

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Trust HQ
225 Old Street
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL6 7SR

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).  The ICO can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF

More information is available on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

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