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Privacy and patient information
1. Your information - what you need to know about your health records at Thames Hospice
What we do
Thames Hospice is a local charity supporting people living in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire. We provide expert nursing and medical care, with emotional and practical support for adults who have illnesses from which they are not expected to recover. Our care and support extends to family, friends and carers.
Why we collect information about you
In carrying out some of these roles we may collect information about you which helps us respond to your queries or provide specialist services. We may keep your information in written form and/or on a computer. The records may include basic details about you, such as your name and address. They may also contain more sensitive information about your health and also information such as financial information if you are a donor to Thames Hospice.
How we keep your records confidential
Everyone working for Thames Hospice is subject to the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised and consented to by the patient, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law.
All our staff are also required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared.
Other organisations with whom we may share your Personal Information
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strictest confidence.
We may share your information for health purposes with other organisations such as NHS Trusts, General Practitioners (GPs) and other contracted service providers such as Macmillan Nurses Community Health Service providers.
We are also required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after formal permission has been given by a qualified health professional. 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
Information may also be required to be shared for your benefit with other organisations, from which you are also receiving care, such as social services. Where information sharing is required with third parties, we will not disclose any health information without your explicit consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires it.
The Governance Team may look at your records to monitor and audit the quality of records and care, or if dealing with a complaint.
The Care Quality Commission, our regulatory body, may also look at records as part of their inspection process; they will ask your consent.
There is occasionally very limited access to identified members of our administration team in support of patient and family related events.
Your Right to Withdraw Consent for us to Share Your Personal Information
At any time you have the right to refuse/ withdraw consent to information sharing. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you and could include delays in receiving care.
How can you get access to your own health records?
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to see or have a copy of your health records. You do not need to give a reason but you may be charged a fee.
If you want to access your health records you should make a written request to the Head of Governance and Quality at Thames Hospice. 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.
2. Your information- Other Records at Thames Hospice
All our services are free, thanks to the generous support of fundraisers and donors who help to raise 80% of the money that we need to run our Hospice each year. This means that we also collect information about people who contribute to our fundraising or make a donation. Again, we treat all information confidentially. See our Privacy Statement and our Fundraising Promise.
If you would like to know more about how Thames Hospice uses your information please contact our Head of Governance and Quality.
Further information can also be obtained from Data Protection Act 1998, the Care Record Guarantee and the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct, accessible via The Information Commissioner helpline number 0303 1231113 or at www.ico.org.uk