How the Trust manages your personal information?

Patient Information Privacy Notice

The Trust keeps information about you, your health, treatment and care.  Health records are held on paper and electronically.  We have a legal duty to keep accurate health records.  Personal Information must be kept confidential and secure in line with Data Protection Legislation and Regulation.    

What is personal information?

This is information that can identify you and includes:
• your name, date of birth, address, phone numbers and email address
• your hospital number and NHS number
• information about your health, care, treatment and results of investigations

We may also ask for other information, e.g. whether you have a disability, your religion or beliefs, sexuality and race. It is important we have as complete a picture of you as possible to ensure that we are aware of and can plan to meet any particular care needs.

Data Protection Legislation and Regulation
The Trust must manage your personal information in line with the:

  • UK Data Protection Act 18
  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We must be clear about the legal basis for processing your information and we record this. 

Our staff members are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your privacy.  We aim to maintain high standards and we regularly check and report on how we are doing. Where we fall below the acceptable standards we investigate and report serious incidents to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

How do we use your information for direct care?

Staff involved in your treatment need to have accurate and up to date information to assess your health and provide you with care.  As an NHS hospital we have been authorised by the government to provide healthcare and as such must keep accurate records for this care. Under GDPR our legal basis for holding this information is Article 6(1) (e) and 9(2) (h).                  

You may receive care from staff from other care organisations and it will be necessary for us to share relevant information with them.  This will include other health care, social care and educational organisations.  Your identifiable information will only be shared for direct care purposes.  

What we do not use your information for.

Your health information is never collected for direct marketing and is not sold on to third parties. We do not use your information to make automated decisions with no human intervention.

How long do we keep your health record for?

This personal information forms part of your health record and will need to be kept in case we need to see you again.  Information is held for specified periods of time as set out in the

Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 - NHS Digital

How do I know information about me will be kept in a confidential way?

Your personal information is valuable, so you should treat it just as you would any valuable item. 

We ensure the security of your information held on our computer systems and areas where paper records are held are robust to prevent unauthorised access.

What are your information rights?
You have a number of rights under the Data Protection Legislation:

  1. To be informed why, where and how we use your information
  2. To ask for access to your information Access to Medical Records
  3. To ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  4. To ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  5. To ask us to restrict the use of your information in certain circumstances
  6. In limited circumstances to ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another
  7. To object to how your information is used
  8. To challenge decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)

Other uses of your information

Sometimes we need to pass on your information by law, for example:

  • To notify a birth
  • When an infectious disease is encountered that may endanger the safety of others (such as meningitis or measles (but not HIV/AIDS)
  •  Where a formal court order has been issued
  •  For Prevention and Detection of Crime
  • Where Female Genital Mutilation is diagnosed.

How does your information help us to improve services?
We may use your information to help look after the health of the general public and to make sure that our services can meet future patient needs. 

Your information may also be used to help us to:

  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals
  • Audit NHS accounts and services
  • Investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents

Other Trust departments who use information for purposes other than direct care

Teams such as Research and the Charity team explain how they use information on their web page. Please see their webpages for more information;

Summary Care Record
The Trust utilises the Summary Care Record (SCR) system to support patient care. The SCR is a copy of key information from your GP record. It provides authorised healthcare staff with faster, secure access to essential information about you when you need unplanned care or when your GP practice is closed. You can find out more about SCR here Summary Care Record

Information used for Healthcare Planning and Professional assessors

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, as a provider of healthcare and commissioned by NHS England, has a legal requirement to submit certain data to the Secondary Uses Service (SUS) which is used for many purposes such as:

• Healthcare planning
• Commissioning services
• Payment by Results
• Improving public health
• Developing national policy

Data within SUS can be patient identifiable (your name, address and other information is sent), anonymised (you are unidentifiable) or pseudonymised (difficult to identify you from the information sent).  You can request that identifiable data items are removed from any information about your care which we send to SUS. In which case your NHS Number, local patient identifier, name, postcode of usual address and birth date will all be omitted.

We must continue to send non-identifiable information about your care to SUS in order to fulfil our legal obligations and to receive payment for the treatment we provide. Further information about the Secondary Uses Service can be found here.  You can request that your identifiable information is omitted from data sent to SUS by completing the following form below.

All NHS Trusts are assessed by approved Department of Health bodies.  As part of this process, the professional assessors will visit and look at a small number of health records and incident report forms.  The assessors are not concerned with individual patient details and they don’t take them away.  If you wish to object to your records being made available during an assessment, please notify us by using this form.  Download the Personal Information Opt Out Form  

National Data Opt-out Programme

NHS Digital is developing a new system to support the national data opt-out which will give patients more control over how identifiable health and care information is used. The system will offer patients and the public the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether they wish their personally identifiable data to be used just for their individual care and treatment or also used for research and planning purposes. To find out more:  NHS Digital national data opt out

Contact for Data Protection Questions or Concerns
If you have any questions or concerns about how we manage your Information then please contact the Data Protection Officer for the Trust.

Data Protection Officer
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
Information Governance Team
1st Floor Bircham House
William Prance Road

Tel:  01752 437284


The UK regulator for Data Protection Legislation can be contacted as follows:

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane


Tel: 03031231113


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