Your records are used to direct, manage and deliver the care you receive. Information collected about you to deliver your health care is used to assist with:
Making sure your care is of high standard
Your information is used by the clinical care team and other healthcare professionals involved in your care. Clinical staff access your information to view the care you have been provided and to ensure the care they give you is appropriate, safe and effective.
Administrative staff may also access your records to support our clinical staff in the delivery of your care, additionally administrative staff ensure the care you have been provided with is recorded correctly and will communicate this with your GP.
Where appropriate, information about your care will be shared with other organisations to enable continuation/support of your care e.g. other NHS hospitals, hospices, community services, your GP and Social Services.
If you need to be transferred to another hospital for further treatment, information about your medical condition and care will be sent to the hospital you are being transferred to.
Using statistical information to look after the health and wellbeing of the general public and planning services to meet the needs of the population
Anonymised information about patient care is sent to NHS Digital on a daily basis. NHS Digital manages information sent to the Department of Health & Social Care. This information is used by NHS Digital and the Department of Health & Social Care to review the treatment provided to patients across the NHS and identify trends/changes in the health of the population. Further information on the work undertaken by NHS Digital can be found on the NHS Digital website.
Assessing your condition against a set of criteria to ensure you are receiving the best possible care
The Department of Health & Social Care mandates all NHS Trusts to undertake clinical audits on care delivered to patients, which can be undertaken by clinical staff employed by us or by external audit companies. This could involve individuals who have not been involved with your direct care accessing your medical records. Further information on national clinical audit can be found on the NHS England website.
We have an annual clinical audit programme which requires all clinical staff to participate. Clinical staff consider patient medical records to review the care provided, and to identify ways in which the care could be improved in the future.
Preparing statistics on our performance for the Department of Health and other regulatory bodies
Every NHS Trust is performance managed. Statistical information about patient care is collated by the Trust e.g. the length of time patients are treated in the Emergency Department, how long patients have waited for an outpatient appointment, etc.
The Trust will use and share coded patient information to undertake statistical analysis on the management and performance of NHS Services locally and the NHS as a whole. In these instances, we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.
We use statistical information about patients to improve the services it provides such as reviewing the length of time a patient has stayed in hospital or the number of hospital infections. Normally this information is anonymised so individual patients cannot be identified.
To help improve the quality of services and better outcomes for patients, ensuring the right treatment is being provided to patients, the Department of Health & Social Care has mandated for Trusts to achieve certain standards – Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN). To achieve these standards the Trust will work with other NHS organisations to share information relating to patients to provide them with the best possible care e.g. frequent A&E attenders.
Read the privacy notice for A&E services provided by acute hospitals in Surrey and North East Hampshire.
Visit the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website for more information.
Help train staff and support research
We teach and train students and newly qualified doctors and nurses and help them to gain valuable experience and practice in delivering medical care.
Undertaking research is an important element of providing and improving healthcare. Clinical staff are actively encouraged to participate in research studies. The Trust’s research and development team manages all research projects undertaken by us. Your participation in a research project will only take place with your explicit consent. The Trust works with external research partners e.g. universities to pilot new ways of working, with the aim to provide improved and more efficient services to patients. Where the Trust undertakes this work you will be informed and be asked if you wish to participate.
Supporting the funding of your care
We receive payment for the services we provide to patients.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England are responsible for paying us for these services. In order to be paid for the services delivered, information on patients’ treatment needs to be passed to these clinical commissioning groups.
The information will be coded so individual patients cannot be identified. In some cases, the names of the patients may need to be provided; for instance when requesting funding for high cost drugs
Reporting and investigation of complaints, claims and untoward incidents
In order to deal with issues raised by you or to process your complaint or legal claim, staff within our legal team and complaints team will access your medical records and may share this information with other staff as well as external third parties where applicable, including our solicitors or the NHS Resolution.
We take patient safety very seriously. If an incident occurs which was not expected we will investigate it, therefore the staff involved in your care, with support from the Trust’s risk management team, will access your medical records.
Reporting events to the appropriate authorities when we are required to do so by law
If we need to use your personal information for any reason beyond those stated above, we will discuss this with you. You have the right to ask us not to use your information in this way. However, there are exceptions to this which are listed below.
The public interest is thought to be of greater importance for example:
- If a serious crime has been committed
- If there are risks to the public or our staff
- To protect vulnerable children or adults
We have a legal duty, for example registering births, reporting some infectious diseases, wounding by firearms and court orders.
We need to use the information for medical research. We have to ask permission from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (appointment by the NHS Health Research Authority).
For information about how patient data is used in health and care research on the NHS Health Research Authority website.
Sharing your information with NHS and external organisations
We will share your information with other organisations, to assist with giving you the best care possible. Where we share your information with these organisations, they are subject to strict information sharing protocols. Anyone who receives information from the Trust has a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure. Only information that is required and appropriate to support your care and treatment will be provided.
There are occasions where we have a legal duty to pass patient information to external organisations which operate to oversee and address issues relating to the management of the NHS as a whole.
The Summary Care Record (SCR) is a summary electronic patient record of national health services patient data held on a central secure database covering the whole of England. The purpose of the system is to make ‘essential’ patient data readily available anywhere the patient seeks treatment. The Trust does not feed any information into the system however staff that are treating you at the Trust may access the SCR to view your record, this will be done with your consent.
NHS Patient Survey Programme (NPSP)
The NHS national patient survey programme is part of the government’s commitment to ensure hospital patient feedback informs the continued development and improvement of our medical services, improving the standard of your healthcare. Your contact information may be used for the purpose of the NPSP, where relevant this will include passing those details to an approved contractor who has been appointed for the purpose of carrying out the survey only.
Anonymised reports produced by the survey programme are used to help make service improvements.
Find out more about the national patient survey programme
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust patient survey results
If you wish for your information not be used in this way please contact the Trust’s data protection officer.
Friends and Family Test (FFT)
As part of the NHS Constitution, we may also use your mobile number for the purpose of the FFT to gather feedback on services provided. If you do not wish for your mobile number to be used in this way, reply with STOP to the reminder message and this will automatically opt you out of the FFT.
Find out more about the Friends and Family Test on our patient feedback page.