Frequently asked questions
What is a/my health record?
Your health record contains information provided to us by you or other people involved in your care and treatment.
When you are first seen by the Trust, a record will be started and this will be added to by staff as your care or treatment continues. This information will be stored electronically. It is kept to ensure that you receive the best possible care, both now and in the future.
How does the Trust keep my information secure and confidential?
We take security and confidentiality very seriously. Staff are required to abide by strict codes of conduct and participate in regular training. Everyone in the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. This means that we only share information with those who have a genuine need to know but may include people who provide care to you from organisations other than the NHS. They too have a legal duty to keep information confidential.
Can anybody else see my record?
People in the team providing care and treatment to you may see it but for family and friends they can only see your record with your written permission. If you are unable to give permission an “attorney” or a person appointed by a Court to manage your affairs can give it on your behalf.
Are there charges to see my record?
There is no charge to look at your paper record if these have been added to within 40 days prior to the receipt of your written request. If your request were outside that period, a charge up to a maximum of £50 may be made.
If you wish to be given copies of your records, a charge up to a maximum of £50 may be made.
Please note that you will need to pay any charges before you can see your records.
People in the team providing care and treatment to you need to see records, and their support staff may see it to send you appointments or other letters. Your GP (General Practitioner) will also be kept up to date with your care and treatment.
If you agree, your relatives, friends and carers will be kept up to date with the progress of your treatment.
The Trust is required to use your information in accordance with the law and use it for healthcare or healthcare related purposes only. This may include research and audit. We will only share your information beyond these purposes with your consent, or if we are required to by other law (for example: Child Protection or Safeguarding issues).
In some situations we have a legal duty to report information to the appropriate authorities, for example:
- Reporting of certain infectious diseases that might seriously affect the health of other people, for example menigitis or measles. We are not required to report a person’s HIV status or if someone has the AIDS virus.
- Where a formal court order has been issued.
How can I see the information the Trust holds about me?
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives patients the right of access to their own records, held either on computer or on paper.
- If you are receiving treatment you may arrange to discuss your records informally with your Doctor or other Healthcare Professionals. Otherwise, you can write to the Health Records Manager (contact details above)
- When we receive your written request, you will be sent a form which asks for further details and proof of identity
- We are then required to give you access to your records, which we will aim to do within 21 days of receiving your completed form
- We have a duty to ensure you understand any medical or technical terms in your record. You may wish to make an appointment to discuss anything you do not understand.
- If you think there is a mistake in your records, you should write and tell us so it can be noted.
In exceptional cases, information from your medical record may be withheld:
- If your doctor believes it is likely to cause serious harm to your mental or physical health. If you think information is being withheld you may write to us.
- If you are asking to see the records of a service user who has died, under the Access to Health records Act 1990, you will need to prove that you are the person’s legal representative or that you have a claim resulting from the death.
Can I see my child’s record?
Yes, if you have legal parental responsibility. Your child must understand and consent to your request. However, if your child is too young to give consent, you can obtain access to his/her record if we were satisfied that access would be in the child’s best interest.
Children can apply to see their own health record. A request from a child will be considered if we were satisfied that the child could fully understand the information held.
For further information, or for access requests, please email: Subject.Access@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk
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Page last reviewed: 14 August, 2017