How we use your personal information Why we collect information about you The ambulance service and other health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment or care you receive from the National Health Service. These help ensure that you receive the best possible care from us. They may be written down (manual records), recorded or held on a computer. The records may include: basic details about you, such as name, address, date of birth, NHS number and next of kin contacts we have had with you, such as patient transport journeys and emergency ambulance service journeys notes about your health, any treatments received and care you require relevant information from other health professionals, relatives or those who care for you and know you well How your records are used to help you Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive to ensure: your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professionals involved in your care have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and decide what care you need when you access health services full information is available should you see another doctor, or be referred to a specialist or another part of the NHS assessment of the quality of care you have received your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain How your records are used to help the NHS Your information may also be used to help us: look after the health of the general public audit NHS accounts and services investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future prepare statistics on NHS performance review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard teach and train healthcare professionals conduct health research and development Some of this information will be held centrally, but where this is used for statistical purposes stringent measures are taken to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. Anonymous statistical information may also be passed to organisations with a legitimate interest, including universities, community safety units and research institutions. Where it is not possible to use anonymised information, personally identifiable information may be used for essential NHS purposes. These may include research and auditing services. This will only be done with your consent, unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health. How we keep your records confidential and secure Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure. You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS (like Social Services). We may need to share some information about you so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it. When we pass on any information we will ensure it is kept confidential and secure. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential and secure. We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. Occasions when we must pass on information include: where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS) where a formal court order has been issued for the purpose of investigating crime and disorder incidents Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence and with a high level of security. North West Ambulance ervice NHS Trust follows the 6 Caldicott principles of best practice in relation to confidentiality: Justify the purpose Do not use unless absolutely necessary Use minimum amount of information Access on a strictly "Need-to-know" basis Everyone should be aware of their RESPONSIBILITIES Understand and comply with the law Who are our partner organisations? The principal partner organisations, with which information may be shared: Strategic Health Authorities NHS Trusts Primary Care Trusts General Practitioners (GPs) Other Ambulance Services How we ensure your information is accurate We also have a duty to ensure your information is accurate and up to date to make certain we have the correct contact and treatment details about you. To do this we undertake Information Quality Reviews to ensure we deliver improvements in the quality of the information we record about you. How you can get access to your own health records The Data Protection Act 1998, which came into force on the 1st March 2000, allows you to find out what information about you is held on computer and in certain manual records. This is known as "right of subject access". It applies to your health records. If you want to see them you should make a request to the NHS organisations where you are being, or have been, treated. You are entitled to receive a copy but should note that a charge will usually be made. You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons. Further information If you would like to know more about how we use your information or if, for any reason, you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described in this leaflet please speak to the health professionals (for example paramedics, doctors or nurses) concerned with your care. You can also contact the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust IM&T Support Desk on 0845 141 2544, or alternatively email the IM&T Support Desk with your enquiry at email@example.com for further information.