Your information

While you receive our services, the health and social care professionals who work with you - doctors, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers - will keep records about your health and any care and treatment you receive.

Some or all of your records may be held on a computer system. These records may be written (they’re usually called ‘casenotes’) and are held by your care co-ordinator you see or by other professionals involved in your care: this may include your GP. These records may be shared within that team.

Everyone working in health and social services 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 care co-ordinator needs to discuss your case with other professionals (who are not in the same team) 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 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 e.g. certain infectious diseases.

Your Rights

Getting access to your records

You already have the right of informal access to your health record. Informal access usually occurs when a health or social care professional shares what they have put in your records with you. In addition to your right of informal access, two Acts give you formal rights to apply for access:

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives living people who use our services the right to apply for access to their own health records held both electronically and in manual form. The only exceptions could be if:

  • The health or social care professionals responsible for your clinical care believe it is likely to cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental health. They are not required to tell you if such information is being withheld.
  • The information is provided, or is about, a third party as this may not be released without their consent.
  • The Information relates to criminal offences, or is being used to detect or prevent crime.

Applications for access to the records of a living person who uses our services are made under Section 7 of the Act.

The Access to Health Records Act 1990 applies to deceased persons' records. Applications can be made by the deceased persons’ representative or by any person who may have a claim arising out of that person’s death.

Deceased records are still covered by a duty of confidence and are not routinely available for 'anyone' to access. There are circumstances when access is denied.

Your health records are confidential and cannot be shared outside the Trust without your consent.

If you use our services and would like to apply to see your records, please visit our Records Management Policies page and download our 'Records Management - Access to to Health Records Guidance and Application form' (0013).

More information

Please ask your care co-ordinator for more information about how we use the information we keep about you and how you can see your records.