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Patient Advice and Liaison Service 

Your Health Records

What are health records?

Your health records are documents containing all the details gathered from consultations with doctors or other health professionals at this Trust.

What kind of information is kept about me?

The Trust keeps your personal details together with information regarding all aspects of your care.

Do I have a right to see my health records?

Yes. The Data Protection Act 1984 gives patients the right to their own health records held on computer.

The Access to Health Records Act 1990 gives patients similar rights to information recorded from November 1991 on non-computerised (e.g. hand written or typed) health records.

Can information be withheld from me?

Yes. The Trust can withhold information that we believe is likely to cause serious harm to your physical or mental health.

How do I see my health records?

You should write to:  

The Health Records Manager

West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust

Hardwick Lane

Bury St Edmunds

Suffolk IP33 2QZ

The Trust will write to you asking for proof of identity within 14 days of receiving your written request.

If you have not been seen recently by the doctor or health professional, you will be given access to your records within 21 days of receiving your request. If you have been seen recently, you will be given access to your records within 21 days of receiving your request.

There may be a charge to cover the cost of photocopying and postage.

What if I cannot understand my health records?

The Trust has a duty to make any techniques or medical terms understandable and provide you with a simple language interpretation.

Can my employer see my health records?

No. Your records are confidential. Only you have the right to access them.

Do you use the information in my records for any other purpose?

Yes. We may use some of your health data for statistical reasons, e.g.

         Looking after the general health of the public;

         Managing and planning local health care needs;

         Preparing statistics on performance and activity;

         Helping staff review and improve the care they provide;

         Investigating complaints or legal claims;

         Training and educating staff;

         Research approved by our Ethics Committee.

If we use your records in any of these ways, your records will be used anonymously (your name and address will not appear).

Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information, for example, in the cases of notification of a birth or incidence of an infectious disease.

How do I know any information given remains confidential?

All staff working for the NHS have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1984 and any subsequent Acts.

What should I do if I think that confidentiality has been broken?

Any patient who feels that information has been passed on unlawfully should write, stating their case to:

Consumer Relations Manager

West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust

Hardwick Lane

Bury St Edmunds

Suffolk IP33 2QZ

 

Acknowledgement:

The above text is taken from a leaflet provided by the Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust

 

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Contact us by or telephone: 01284 712555

West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust

Last Modified: June 2002