Patient Confidentiality

 

Protecting Your Information

Physiological Measurements Ltd works in partnership with NHS organisations, providing services in community settings. In doing so, it is necessary for us to collect and hold information about you.

Why we collect information about you

Health professionals such as doctors, community nurses, dentists and your pharmacist, need to record information about your health and the care you are receiving from the NHS or from providers working with the NHS in the delivery of care. This ensures that the people who provide and support your care:

  • Are able to work with you to make sure that care remains safe and effective.
  • Have accurate and up to date information about your health.
  • Help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your healthcare.

Type of information held by the us:

  • Personal details about you, for example name, address and postcode.
  • Information about your health, treatments, and care.

How we respect your confidentiality

By law everyone working for, or on behalf on the NHS, must respect your confidentiality and keep all information about you secure. We understand just how sensitive this information may be, so all staff are provided with training for information security and confidentiality.

It may be necessary to share information about you with other professionals such as the local authority, the police or social Services to ensure your healthcare and safety is maintained. In these circumstances we will ask you before we share this information.

Sometimes we have a legal duty to share information about people without asking you, for example:

  • Reporting some infectious diseases
  • Reporting gunshot wounds to the police
  • Because a court orders us to do so

In very rare situations information may be shared without asking you when the public good is thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality, for example

  • When a serious crime has been committed.
  • When there are serious risks to the public or staff.
  • To protect children

Your rights of access to your information

You, or someone lawfully acting on your behalf, are legally entitled to inspect or request a copy of information an organisation holds about you. There may be an administration charge for this, but this will be confirmed with you before hand.

If you wish to see your information then please ask the doctor, nurse or healthcare professional looking after you. An appointment may be made for a member of medical staff to explain any part of the record with you.

If you wish to obtain a copy of your information then please see our accessing information page.

How you can help

To help us ensure that the information we hold is kept up to date:

  • Always give your full first name and last name, full address and postcode and confirm any particular spelling.
  • Always advise your GP of any changes to your contact details, for example your name, address or telephone number.

Your Healthcare Information

Managing your healthcare

It is essential to respect the rights and privacy of patient information, but it is also important that information is accessible to healthcare professionals who may contribute to your healthcare.

This page describes how we securely and confidentially collect, use, store and possibly share personal information. Guidance is also provided on how you can use your rights to request to see any information we hold.

Improving your healthcare

Health professionals who deal with your healthcare like doctors, community nurses, therapists, dentists and your pharmacist need to record information on paper or computer systems about any diagnosis, test results, treatments, drug therapy/ prescription and any other information you provide which may be relevant to improving your healthcare.

Processing patient information 

Over the course of your healthcare, information will be added to your patient record by healthcare professionals and clerical staff. Additions to your record, may be a result of booking appointments, referals, communication with you, and other parts of the NHS.  
 
Protecting your information

We understand just how sensitive your information is, so all staff are given training on Information Security. We have three guiding principles for Information Security, specifically:

  • Confidentiality: Ensure information is accessible only to those authorised to have access.
  • Integrity: Safeguard the accuracy and completeness of information and processing methods.
  • Availability: Ensure only authorised users have access to information when required.

Detection & prevention of crime From time to time we need to check information, such as prescriptions, to detect or prevent fraud. In these cases it is unlikely that we will seek your consent to access your records, as this may interfere with the investigation. However we may inform you when your records have been inspected. 
 

Service improvements

The quality of care provided to you is sometimes reviewed through the process of clinical audit. This may involve members of the healthcare team or the clinical audit department reviewing patient records.

Records collected from these reviews are anonymised (remove information which can identify an individual) so that patients cannot be identified.

Training health professionals

Some medical files are needed to teach students doctors and nurses. Without such information, new doctors and nurses would not be trained properly.

Research 
 

Before research can be undertaken, it has to be presented to an ethics committee and approved. This ensures that the research is appropriate, worthwile and confidentiality issues are addressed. 
  
Some research may require your direct involvement (especially if taking part in clinical trials). This will be fully explained before you give your consent. If you do not give consent you will not be included in the trial.

Sometimes, researchers need access to individual medical files. In these cases we will contact you first for your consent, if you do not provide your consent then your records will not be used in the research.

The health service

To manage the NHS and the services provided, some restricted information such as treatments, drugs prescribed and number of patients seen, are collected from hospitals, general practices, dental practices, pharmacies and organisations we may refer patients to.

In these cases and wherever possible, personal information that could identify you is removed.

Sharing information

In order to maintain the highest level of healthcare being provided to you, it may be reasonably appropriate to share information with our partner organisations like the local authority, the police or the probation service, in order to ensure your healthcare is maintained.

In these circumstances we will seek your consent to share this information. There may be circumstances where your consent is not sought. In these cases any sharing of information will be done so in line with statutory guidance.

For example a doctor, by law is required to provide information to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as meningitis, to protect you and others. It could be in the best interest to share some information about you, another individual or a group of people with the local authority, the police or any other relevant body. This is in order to protect the health and well being of you or another person, and to prevent or detect criminal activity.

Accurate information

If at any time you find that any information held about you is inaccurate or incorrect, please let the manager of the organisation holding the information know of the error.

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility refers to all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child.

If you have parental responsibility for a child then the information on this page equally applies to your child’s information.

Accessing your information

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you, or someone acting on your behalf with your consent, have a right to request access to view or obtain a copy of any personal information we hold about you. You can also restrict some parts of the information, where you have provided your consent, subject to possible exemptions.

To request a copy or to view your records then your requests must be made in writing to the following address:

Physiological Measurements Ltd
F.A.O Senior Information Security Officer
The Old Malt House, Willow Street, Shropshire, SY11 1AJ

Email: pml@nhs.net

There may be a charge to have a copy of your record provided, however you will be informed of this prior to your record being disclosed.

Information governance

Information Governance provides a framework for handling personal information in a confidential and secure manner while delivering services to patients within the constraints of any prevailing legal, statutory and ethical frameworks.

For further information on Information Governance please contact:

Physiological Measurements Ltd
F.A.O Senior Information Security Officer
The Old Malt House, Willow Street, Shropshire, SY11 1AJ

Email: pml@nhs.net
Telephone: 01691 676496

Please note, calls may be recorded for quality and monitoring purposes.

Accessing Your Information

Physiological Measurements Ltd respects the rights members of the public have in obtaining information that is held by our organisation.

Generally this information will be free of charge, but some charges may apply.

What kind of information can I request?

If you have not been able to find the information you require on our website, then in principle you can request any kind of information the organisations holds. To help understand the different types of information available the following describes these information types in more detail, including links to either request information online or download a form to complete.

Personal Information

To make a request for personal information you must be the person who the information is about or have written authority from that person if you are acting on their behalf, examples of information available, could be your personal details, name, address etc, copies or access to your health record.

To make a request for personal information please download this form and follow the instructions.

Environmental Information (EIR)

This type of information concerns the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, landscape and natural sites and the interaction between these elements including human health and safety that may be affected by the state of the environment.

To make request for Environmental Information, please write to the organisation at the address below.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

To make a request for all other types of recorded information the organisation holds, please complete this online form or write to the organisation at the address below.

Making you request in writing

If you wish to make your request in writing then please write to:

Physiological Measurements Ltd
F.A.O Senior Information Security Officer
The Old Malt House, Willow Street, Shropshire, SY11 1AJ

Email: pml@nhs.net

Please make sure your written request includes the following information:

  • First Name(s).
  • Family Name.
  • Address.
  • Description of the Information you would like a copy of.

 


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