Please let us know how you feel Barnsley Hospital look after your confidentiality and inform you about how your information is used.
Security of Information
Confidentiality affects everyone: Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust collects, stores and uses large amounts of personal data every day, such as medical or personal records which may be paper-based or held on a computer.
We take our duty to protect your personal information and confidentiality very seriously and are committed to taking appropriate measures to ensure it is held securely and only accessed by those with a need to know.
At executive level, we have appointed a Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) who is accountable for the management of all our information systems and the data they hold. The SIRO also makes sure that any associated risks or incidents are documented and investigated appropriately. We also have a Caldicott Guardian who has particular responsibility for providing advice on protecting patient confidentiality and sharing patients’ information securely when appropriate.
The NHS Care Record Guarantee
Everyone working within the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Similarly, anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
The Care Record Guarantee is our commitment that we will use records about you in ways that respect your rights and promote your health and wellbeing. Copies of the full document can be obtained from: The Care Records Guarantee
Why do we collect information about you?
The doctors, nurses and team of healthcare professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. These records help to ensure that you receive the best possible care and may be written on paper or held on a computer. They may include:
- Basic details about you such as name, address, date of birth, next of kin, GP practice etc.
- Contact we have had with you such as appointments or clinic visits.
- Notes and reports about your health, treatment and care.
- Results of x-rays, scans and laboratory tests.
- Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well such as health or social care professionals, relatives or carers.
It is essential that we have accurate and up to date information about you so that we can give you the best possible care. Please check that your personal details are correct whenever you visit us and inform us of any changes, for example, to your contact details or GP practice as soon as possible. This minimises the risk of you not receiving important correspondence.
How we use your personal information
In general terms, your records are used to direct, manage and deliver your care so that:
- The doctors, nurses and other health or social care professionals involved in your care have accurate and up to date information to assess your health and decide on the most appropriate care for you.
- Health and social care professionals have the information they need to assess and improve the quality and type of care you receive.
- Appropriate information is available if you see another doctor, or are referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS or social care.
- Your concerns can be properly investigated if a complaint is raised.
When do we share information about you?
We share information about you with others directly involved in your care; and also share more limited information for indirect care purposes, both of which are described below:
Direct care purposes:
Unless you object, we will normally share information about you with other health and social care professionals directly involved in your care so that you may receive the best quality care. For example every time you attend the hospital as a patient, we will send your GP a summary of any diagnoses, test results or treatment given.
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS, for example Social Care Services. We may need to share some information about you with them so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only do this when they have a genuine need for it or we have your permission. Examples of who we may share your information, subject to strict agreement about how it will be used, are:
- Social Care Services
- Education Services
- Local Authorities
- Voluntary and private sector providers working with the NHS
We will not disclose your information to any other third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when either your or somebody else’s health and safety is at risk; or the law requires us to pass on information.
Indirect Care Purposes:
We also use information we hold about you to:
- Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality
- Ensure our services can meet patient needs in the future
- Investigate patient queries, complaints and legal claims
- Ensure the hospital receives payment for the care you receive
- Prepare statistics on NHS performance
- Audit NHS accounts and services
- Undertake heath research and development (with your consent – you may choose whether or not to be involved)
- Help train and educate healthcare professionals
Nationally there are strict controls on how your information is used for these purposes. These control whether your information has to be de-identified first and with whom we may share identifiable information. You can find out more about these purposes, which are also known as secondary uses, on the NHS England and Health and Social Care Information Centre’s websites:
When other people need information about you
Everyone working in Health and Social has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential. From time to time we may need to share information with other professionals and services concerned in your care. This may be for instance, when your healthcare professional needs to discuss your case with other professionals (who do not work for Barnsley Hospital) in order to plan your care. We do this in order to provide the most appropriate treatment and support for you and your carers, or when the welfare of other people is involved. We will only share information in this way if we have your permission and it is considered necessary.
There may be other circumstances when we must share information with other agencies. In these rare circumstances we are not required to seek your consent.
Examples of this are:
- If there is a concern that you are putting yourself at risk of serious harm
- If there is a concern that you are putting another person at risk of serious harm
- If there is a 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, e.g. Certain infectious diseases
Other ways in which we use your information
Telephone calls to Barnsley Hospital Trust are routinely recorded for the following purposes:
- To make sure that staff act in compliance with Trust procedures.
- To ensure quality control.
- Training, monitoring and service improvement
- To prevent crime, misuse and protect staff
SMS text messaging and automated voice reminders
We use your telephone number(s) to remind you of your appointment details via SMS and Interactive Voice Messaging (IVM) processes 7 days prior to your appointment, which gives you the option of confirming your attendance or alternatively rebooking your appointment if it is no longer convenient or cancelling it if the appointment is no longer needed. We also send a final reminder (which cannot be replied to) 24 hours prior to your appointment.
Most of our patients appreciate these reminders and we know that it has had a large impact on reducing the number of missed appointments, but if you do not wish to receive these reminders you can ‘opt out’ by contacting the Hospitals Contact Centre on 01226 434343 where you can request your telephone number(s) to be removed from the service.
Surveillance Cameras (CCTV & Body Worn Video)
We employ surveillance cameras (CCTV and Body Worn Video) on and around the hospital site in order to:
- protect staff, patients, visitors and Trust property
- apprehend and prosecute offenders, and provide evidence to take criminal or civil action in the courts
- provide a deterrent effect and reduce unlawful activity
- help provide a safer environment for our staff
- assist in traffic management and car parking schemes
- monitor operational and safety related incidents
- help to provide improved services, for example by enabling staff to see patients and visitors requiring assistance
- assist with the verification of claims
You have a right to make a Subject Access Request of surveillance information recorded of yourself and ask for a copy of it. Requests should be directed to the address below and you will need to provide further details as contained in the section ‘How you can access your records’. The details you provide must contain sufficient information to identify you and assist us in finding the images on our systems.
We reserve the right to withhold information where permissible by the Data Protection Act and we will only retain surveillance data for a reasonable period or as long as is required by law. In certain circumstances (high profile investigations, serious or criminal incidents) we may need to disclose CCTV or Body Worn Video data for legal reasons. When this is done there is a requirement for the organisation that has received the images to adhere to the Data Protection Act.
Your right to object
You have the right to restrict how and with whom we share information in your records that identifies you. If you object to us sharing your information we will record this explicitly within your records so that all healthcare professionals and staff involved with your care are aware of your decision. If you choose not to allow us to share your information with other health or social care professionals involved with your care, it may make the provision of treatment or care more difficult or unavailable. Please discuss any concerns with the clinician treating you so that you are aware of any potential impact. You can also change your mind at any time about a disclosure decision.
How you can access your records
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you a right to access the information we hold about you (unless an exemption applies). Requests must be made in writing to the Medical Records Access to Health Records Team at Barnsley Hospital and accompanied by evidence of your identity and the fee.
There is more information about this and an application form that you may wish to use on our website: http://www.barnsleyhospital.nhs.uk/documents/publication-scheme/making-a-request/data-protection-act-1998-and-patient-confidentiality/subject-access-requests/
We will then provide your information to you within 40 days of receipt of:
- Your written request
- Satisfactory evidence of your identity
- Authority to act on someone else’s behalf (if appropriate)
- The fee
- An indication of what information you are requesting to enable the Trust to locate it in an efficient manner.
If you think any information we hold about you is inaccurate please let us know by contacting Medical Records on 01226 432545
The Data Controller responsible for keeping your information confidential is:
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Telephone: 01226 730000
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to lodge a notification with the Information Commissioner to describe the purposes for which they process personal information. These details are publicly available from:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides any person with the right to obtain recorded information held by Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, subject to a number of exemptions. If you would like to request information from us, please visit the Freedom of Information section of our website.
Please be aware that you cannot use the FOIA to obtain access to your personal information – such requests are handled under the Data Protection Act, as described above.