Your information and how we use and keep it

You trust St Michael’s with a lot of personal information about you, your family and other services. We need this information to provide you with proper care and treatment. Your information is kept as a paper record, electronically or as digital images. It forms part of your health record and is kept in case we need to see you again. Members of the Hospice team looking after you may share your personal information with each other. This team may include nurses, doctors, therapists, administration support staff, volunteers, work placement students and other care professionals who are looking after you

How we use your records to help you

All Hospice health and social care professionals involved in your care need to have accurate and up-to-date information to assess your condition and to give you the best possible treatment and care. Your records allow us to review the care we provide to make sure it is of the highest possible standard and meets all your healthcare needs.

Sharing your information with others

The information we might share could be contact details for you and your family, notes and reports about your health and details about the care you need. Often it is necessary to share your information with professionals in other services who may be directly involved with your care. We will only do this if there is a genuine need to do so. Such professionals might include GPs, ambulance services and social care services. You may ask for your information to be transferred to another service, and we will always agree to transfer the information requested unless there is a good reason why we cannot. If we can’t we will fully explain the reason to you. We will not share information about you with your family or friends without your consent. Sometimes we have to pass on information by law.

For example:

  • if we diagnose an infectious disease that must be notified by law where a court order has been issued
  • if you are involved in an emergency situation in response to a formal written request by you or your legal guardian

How you can help us to make sure we always hold the correct information about you

You can help us by:

  • giving our staff the right details about yourself 
  • letting us know if any of your details are not right or have changed since your last visit
  • checking your information with us occasionally

How your records may be used to help the Hospice

Your records allow us to review the care we provide to make sure it is of the highest possible standard and meets all healthcare needs. Some information we hold may be shared with other professionals or organisations. For example:

  • to train and teach health and social care professionals
  • to provide statistical information to national organisations with legitimate interests in healthcare and its management

When we use your records in this way, we remove or disguise identifiable personal information about you wherever possible.

If removal of identifiable personal information is not possible, we will ask for your consent before we disclose it. Your decision can be given verbally or in writing. Your wishes regarding this information will be respected.

How we keep your records safe and confidential

Everyone working for the Hospice or receiving information from us has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.

They are monitored by the Caldicott Guardian, a senior clinician responsible for ensuring that patients’ rights to confidentiality are respected.

Our Data Protection Officer ensures our information security is compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998.

How long does the Hospice keep health records?

We keep most records for eight years, unless the law requires them to be kept for longer.

If we are told about a formal enquiry or legal action, we will keep the records until they are no longer required.

Your information rights

You have the right to:

know how we will use your personal information (this leaflet tells you that)

access your medical records–the ‘right of access to personal data’. If you want to do this, please talk to one of the Hospice nurses or doctors responsible for your care

object to us making use of your information

ask us to change or restrict the way in which we use your information: we are obliged to agree if it is possible to do so

a copy of parts of your medical record

Who do I contact if I would like to know more or have concerns?

If you would like to know more about how we use your information, or if you have concerns about it, please speak to one of the Hospice nurses or doctors.

Alternatively, you can contact the Caldicott Guardian or the Data Protection Officer by writing to them at the address below.

St Michael’s Hospice

Bartestree

Hereford  HR1 4HA

Download this information here