The Hospital respects the privacy of the individual. Any information disclosed to medical, nursing or administrative staff is treated in confidence at all times. We do respect that it is your right to request a second opinion at anytime and you should speak to our chief nurse if you feel this is necessary. No information will be given to a third party without your permission. This complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Confidentiality frequently asked questions

What information we collect about you

Your doctor and other healthcare professionals keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive at the hospital. These help ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. They may be written down (hard copy) or held on a computer.

The records may include:

  • Basic details about you, such as address and next of kin.
  • Contacts we have had with you, such as clinic visits.
  • Details and reports about the treatment and care you need or have received.
  • Results of investigations, such as X-rays and laboratory tests.
  • Relevant information from other healthcare professionals, relatives or those who care for you and know you well.

How your records are used to help you

Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive to ensure:

  • Your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professionals have accurate and up to date information to assess your health and decide what care you need when you visit in the future.
  • Full information is available should you see another doctor or specialist at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth.
  • There is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received.
  • Any concerns you might have, can be properly investigated.

How your records are used to help us

Your information may also be used to help us:

  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard.
  • Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future.
  • Prepare statistics on performance.
  • Audit accounts and services.
  • Investigate adverse incidents or complaints.
  • Ensure you receive the correct bill.

Some of this information will be held centrally but, where this is used for statistical purposes, stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential purposes and will comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

How we keep your records confidential

Everyone working at the hospital has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if:

  • Others involved in your care have a genuine need for it.
  • There are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on.
  • We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified healthcare professional. An example is notifying the government of certain infectious diseases, such as TB and meningitis (but not HIV/ AIDS).

When a court order has been issued

We are required to send a summary of the care that we have provided to your GP and/or the consultant who referred you to the hospital. If you have not been referred by your GP and do not want any information to be sent to your GP, then please inform the Hospital staff and consultant in charge of your care. You will be asked to sign our Data Protection Agreement form on admission.

We will not disclose information about your medical care to your family, carers or friends, unless we have your consent to do so. Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence.

Fair Processing Information for patients treated and discharged in 2012

On 10 May 2013, the Secretary of State for Health gave permission to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), of which this hospital is a member, to conduct a pilot exercise to evaluate the potential benefits of linking records of private treatment to records of any subsequent NHS treatment. The exercise is expected to demonstrate potentially important improvements to the measurement and management of clinical quality, to facilitate enhanced regulation of the private healthcare industry, and to provide better information to support patients’ choices. The exercise will look for any instances where patients in private hospitals subsequently needed unplanned care in an NHS hospital.

The pilot exercise will involve around 650,000 patient records from around 150 private hospitals, including some from this hospital.

All clinical data will be processed anonymously, with any information which could identify individual patients removed. However, in order to first identify any records held by the NHS matching those for patients treated privately, basic personal data (name, date of birth, postcode, treatment date and, where available, NHS Number) will be notified to the Health & Social Care Information Centre (the Government body responsible for holding and processing information for the NHS) for one-time use. This data will not be retained by HSCIC after processing.

If you were admitted for treatment at this hospital in 2012 and would prefer that your information should not be used for this study, please send an email to the address below, or ask a member of the hospital’s administrative staff to do so on your behalf. If your data is included, we will make every effort to withhold it.

A nurse speaking to a female patient

Accessing your records

At St John & St Elizabeth Hospital any sensitive information disclosed to nursing or administrative staff is treated in the strictest confidence. You have a right to access your records, and can submit a subject access request to do so. Confidential patient information will not be shared with relatives or third parties without a patient’s permission, which is in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.