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Medical Records

In this section:

Patient Records

Protecting the Information

A patient information guide to how information is used in the NHS:

Your Medical Record - Protecting your information

How the information is used to help the patient

The team of professionals caring for patients keep records about their health and the care. These are important to help ensure that patients receive the best possible care and treatment.

The Medical Records are used to:

The information also helps us to plan services for the future. It also allows us to monitor the way public money is spent.

If a patient does not want certain information recorded, they can talk to the person in charge of their care or write to the Trust.

Education and research

Whilst always safeguarding confidentiality, patient information can also help us in:

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Confidentiality

Keeping information confidential

Everyone working for The NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality. This means that relevant information is only shared with people involved in the patient's care, who may come from more than one organisation, for example:

If the patient consents, information can also be shared with relatives, partners or friends who act as carers. Consent can also be over-ridden if justified through risk or if it is required by law.

When information needs to be passed between people from different organisations, it is passed securely and kept confidential by the people who receive it. We only pass on information about a patient if it is in their interest. Whenever we can, we shall remove patient identifiable information.

Sharing information without consent

There are circumstances where we have to pass on information about a patient. While we would normally seek their consent, there are times when we may have to share information without consent, for example:

However, the guiding principle is that patient information is held in strict confidence.

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Information for managing and planning

In order to manage and plan within the NHS, some of the patient's information is sent to staff working in other organisations who has responsibility for the patient's care, and to the Department of Health. A copy of this information is also held centrally.

The NHS register for England and Wales contains basic personal details of all patients registered with a General Practitioner (GP).

Further copies of this centrally held information are strictly controlled by the NHS Information Authority which takes advice from the Security and Confidentiality Advisory Group. This is an independent body that reports to the Government Chief Medical Officer.

Information held centrally is not used to make any decisions about the treatment or care patients receive from their hospital or GP.

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Further information

If a patient would like to know more about how we use their information they can:

Caldicott Guardian
RUH Bath NHS Trust
Bath
BA1 3NG

The following websites may also helpful:


www.doh.gov.uk  (external)

www.dataprotection.gov.uk  (external)

Patient version of the information on this page

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