Your Information

This section explains why information is collected about you by Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the ways in which this information may be used.


You may also want to read the following leaflets:

 

The information we hold

When you receive treatment or any other service from the Trust, we collect information about you. This normally includes your name, date of birth, NHS number, contact details such as your address, your religion and ethnic origin, and information about your health and the care that you have received.

We may also receive information about you from other health & social care providers, in order to support the care you receive from us.

 

Keeping your information safe and accurate

We always keep your information securely, and have strict rules about how it can be used. We do our best to keep it accurate and up-to-date, so we will often check it with you when you attend one of our hospitals.

This leaflet describes the circumstances in which we may share your information with other organisations. We expect all our partner organisations to apply the same strict security to your records as we do, and we make sure appropriate safeguards are in place before sharing any information.

We will only share your information in strict accordance with the law, and we never use or sell it for commercial purposes.

 

Supporting your direct care

The Trust uses your personal information to provide healthcare to you, and for purposes directly related to that healthcare (such as booking and managing appointments).

Your information may be used for clinical audit, where the team involved in your care and those working to support them will check the quality and outcomes of the treatment provided.

If you receive care from other health & social care professionals, we may share with them the information we hold about you, to improve your care. In some cases, such as where we deliver a service jointly with other healthcare provider organisations, we will share information about all patients receiving that service. The department where you are being treated will be able to tell you if this applies for the particular type of care you are receiving.

We will also share information with appropriate agencies for child protection purposes.

 

Supporting other medical purposes

The Trust may use information about you, and the care you have received, to improve the healthcare we provide to all patients. This includes medical research, monitoring and improving our services, and for other medical purposes where we believe there is a public benefit. If your information would be shared outside the team which provided care to you, or those working to support them, we would first anonymise it so that you cannot be identified.

We also participate in national schemes, such as patient surveys and audits of care, which collect data from NHS organisations all over the country. We can normally only do this if there is a lawful basis provided by the Secretary of State for Health or the Health Research Authority, or else with your explicit permission. The department where you are being treated will be able to tell you about any national schemes for the particular type of care you are receiving.

We also use your information to ensure we are paid correctly for the services that we have delivered.

 

Your right to object

You have a right to object to the use of your information for any purpose other than your own direct care.

If you register an objection with us, we will exclude your information from such other uses wherever possible, or else anonymise it so that you cannot be identified. For example:

  • The Trust regularly participates in national surveys (such as the A&E Survey), where some of our patients are invited to complete questionnaires. We would exclude your information completely from this type of survey.
     
  • The Trust is required to submit data on hospital attendances to a national database known as the Secondary Uses Service. We cannot exclude your data, but we would anonymise it so that you cannot be identified.
     

You cannot selectively opt out of certain uses. If you object to your information being used for any purpose other than your direct care, we will register you as having opted out of all such uses.

In special circumstances – where we are legally required, or if we believe there is an overwhelming public interest, such as in a public health emergency – the Trust may use or share your information despite your objection. We have a legal duty to treat your information confidentially, and would only do this if we are certain that it is necessary.

 

Telling us about your objection

If you want to object to your information being used for any purpose other than your own direct care, in the first instance you should speak to the health professional treating you. They will record your objection after checking that you understand this guidance.

Alternatively, you can write to our Patient Advice and Liaison Service, at the following address:

PALS
St Peter’s Hospital
Guildford Road
Chertsey
Surrey KT16 0PZ

You should enclose proof of identity (such as a photocopy of a passport or other government-issued identity document). Please do not send original documents, as they cannot be returned.

If you care for somebody who lacks the capability to make their own decisions, or if you have parental responsibility for a child, you may be able to object on their behalf. Please read the information for carers and parents at the end of this leaflet.

 

Changing your mind

You can change your mind at any time. Speak to the health professional treating you, or write to PALS as described above.

 

What your objection covers

Your objection will only apply to the information which is held by Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for purposes which are not related to your own direct care.

The Trust is required by law to report certain information to other public authorities, including notifications of births, deaths, and infectious diseases.

If you want to opt out of other NHS organisations using your information for wider healthcare improvement purposes, you should speak to your GP practice. They will be able to advise you further about national initiatives such as care.data and the Summary Care Record, and other organisations which may hold information about you.

 

Other rights

You have a right to see the information which the Trust holds about you.

You can always ask your health professional to show you the information which is available to them while they treat you. If you do not understand parts of it, they will be able to explain it.

Otherwise, you can make a formal ‘subject access request’ to the Trust for a copy of your health records, for which we will normally charge a fee of £50. There are particular legal requirements to the process, so we provide separate detailed guidance to help you make an application. Please contact the Subject Access team at Ashford Hospital (01784 884773, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The right of subject access applies to the individual patient, and can normally be exercised by somebody else only if the patient is incapable of making their own decisions. If you care for somebody who lacks the capability to make their own decisions, or if you have parental responsibility for a child, please read the additional guidance on the next page.

 

If you are a carer …

If you have lasting power of attorney for health & welfare, you can make decisions on behalf of the patient. We will ask to see evidence of that power.

Otherwise, please speak to the health professional treating the patient. They will be able to make a decision based on the patient’s best interests, taking your views into account.

 

If you are a parent ...

If you have parental responsibility for a child, you can only make decisions on their behalf until they are mature enough to understand and make an informed decision for themselves. We will normally try to seek independent consent from any child aged 12 or over, but the health professional treating them will always make a decision based on the individual child and their maturity.