How your information is used to help you

As part of your treatment, health professionals are required to record details of your
condition and the care you receive.
This is to ensure that:

  • Staff have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health needs and decide what care you need in the future
  • Full information is available should you need another form of care, for example if you are referred to a specialist service
  • You receive quality care
  • Your concerns can be properly looked into if you are unhappy with your treatment.

Your information also helps us to plan services for the future and allows us to monitor how public money is spent.

If you do not want certain information or images recorded or shared, please talk to the person in charge of your care. If you feel that you are unable to do this, or you are not happy with the outcome, you should contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (see contact details).

Keeping your information confidential

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of
confidentiality. The Trust has a confidentiality policy to ensure relevant information is only shared with people involved in your care, who may come from more than one organisation for example:

  • Your general practitioner (GP) practice
  • Health visitors
  • Local NHS trusts
  • Social services
  • NHS walk-in centres.

With your consent, information can also be shared with relatives, partners or friends who act as a carer for you. Consent can only be over-ridden if justified through risk or if the law requires it.
When information has to be shared with different organisations, it is passed securely and kept confidential by the people who receive it. We only pass on information about you which is necessary for your care and treatment in agreement with you, describing how it will be used. Your information may be shared with:

  • Education services
  • Local authorities
  • Voluntary sector providers
  • Private sector providers.

Access to your health records

The Data Protection Act 2018 gives you the right to see, or have a copy of, any personal information held in your health records. This is known as the right of ‘Data Subject Access’.
If you would like to view or receive copies of your health records, please contact the Data Access and Disclosure Office (see contact details).

Sharing your information without consent

The guiding principle is that your information is held in strict confidence. However, while we would normally seek your consent to share the information held about you, there are some circumstances where this does not apply. For example:

  • to prevent risk to yourself and others
  • Investigation or prevention of serious crime
  • Control of infectious diseases
  • Notification of new births
  • Formal court order.


Information for managing and planning

Where necessary, patient data is shared with other NHS organisations, such as the Department of Health. This enables the NHS to monitor and plan services according to local population.
We may also contact you from time to time to invite you to help in promoting public relations in connection with the services of the hospital.
The NHS Register for England and Wales contains basic personal demographic details, such as name, address and date of birth, of all patients registered with a general practitioner (GP).
Data held centrally is not used to make any decisions about the treatment or care you receive from your healthcare provider.

Education and research

Whilst always safeguarding confidentiality, your information can also help us in:

  • Training and educating staff. You will be asked if you wish to be personally involved
  • Where appropriate your consent will be recorded in writing
  • Research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee. You will be asked if you wish to be personally identified or involved
  • Clinical audit and other work to monitor the quality of care provided.

Individual’s rights

The General Data Protection Regulation provides the following rights for individuals:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right to access records
  • The right to request rectification – the correction of incorrect information
  • The right to request erasure or deletion of their records (right to be forgotten)
  • The right to restriction – restricting the processing of personal data
  • The right to portability
  • The right to object to processing
  • The right to object to automated decision making and profiling
  • The right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Further information

Contact details

Dr Paul Foster, Caldicott Guardian 01935 384227
Louise Coppin, Head of Information Governance / Data Protection Officer 01823 344199

Information Governance Manager 01823 344206, Information Governance Team, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Somerset TA1 5DA

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) 01823 343536

Data Access and Disclosure Office 01823 344193

Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or call 01625 545 745.