The only individuals who have access to your records regularly, are those involved in providing your service. The NHS and other agencies, including social services and private healthcare organisations work together so we may need to share information about you, with other professionals and services involved in your care. Everyone involved in your service has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure.
When other agencies are involved in providing a service, they will have access to your records. However, in these circumstances only the relevant amount of information is shared.
We share your data with other professionals in order to provide the most appropriate treatment and support for you, and your carers, or when the welfare of other people is involved.
Examples of who we share personal information with:
- ambulance services
- external care providers
- social care
- hospitals and other health partners
- housing organisations
- voluntary organisations
The information from your patient record will only be used for purposes that benefit your care - we would never share it for marketing or insurance purposes.
Under the common law duty of confidence, you have the right to refuse/withdraw your consent to information sharing at any time. Please discuss this with your relevant care professional as this could have implications in how you receive further care, including delays in you receiving care.
However, a person’s right to confidentiality is not absolute and there may be other circumstances when we must share information from your patient record with other agencies. In these rare circumstances we are not required to have your consent.
Examples of this are:
- If there is a concern that you are putting yourself at risk of serious harm
- If there is concern that you are putting another person at risk of serious harm
- If there is concern that you are putting a child at risk of harm
- If we have been instructed to do so by a Court
- If the information is essential for the investigation of a serious crime
- If you are subject to the Mental Health Act (1983), there are circumstances in which your ‘nearest relative’ must receive information even if you object
- If your information falls within a category that needs to be notified for public health or other legal reasons, such as certain infectious diseases
Your information will not be disclosed to third parties such as partners, relatives, friends or carers without your consent unless the:
NHS Digital, on behalf of NHS England assess the effectiveness of the care provided by publicly-funded services - we have to share information from your patient record such as referrals, assessments, diagnoses, activities (e.g. taking a blood pressure test) and in some cases, your answers to questionnaires on a regular basis to meet our NHS contract obligations.
You have the right to object to us sharing your information to NHS Digital – this will not affect your care in any way.
More about opting out of sharing your data with NHS Digital