Your medical record is confidential. We do, however, share information among health professionals, where it is felt to be in your interest as a patient, for this to happen.
With increasingly “shared care” between GP’s, Hospital Doctors, Nurses, and Allied Health Professionals it is necessary to share information, such as lab results, or the medication you are taking, so that where possible, relevant data can be available at any place where you receive care, to avoid duplication of investigations, and so that the Health Professional you are seeing is able to give you best care.
General Practices, Secondary Care, Managed Clinical Networks, and the Health Board need to keep Disease Registers (lists of patients with the same condition), so that call and recall systems can operate, and that shared care can be effectively and efficiently coordinated.
Sometimes data will be used for research or statistical purposes relating to healthcare planning, but in these circumstances individual patients will not be identifiable without their consent.
If data about you is used for education or training, then where possible, it will be anonymised, and if this is not possible, then your consent will be required before information is used for this purpose.
Finally, as part of Quality Assurance, it is sometimes necessary to check individual records to ensure that agreed standards of care are being met.
Under no circumstances is information about you shared with third parties who do not directly contribute to, or support the delivery and planning of, your health care unless your consent has been obtained.
In these circumstances, under the Data Protection Act 1998, we are not obliged to obtain your explicit consent for sharing relevant information, but if you do have specific requests for some aspects of your health record to remain confidential from some parts of the NHS, please let us know, and we shall take action to comply with your wishes.