Patient and visitor information

How we use your information


Confidentiality

The NHS must keep your personal health information confidential. This is your right. It includes your name, address, date of birth and information about any care and treatment you have received. The information is kept in your medical record and/or on computer. Health records are stored securely in different parts of the NHS.

Like all NHS bodies, we have a ‘Caldicott Guardian’ whose role is to oversee how we use information and make sure that we respect patients’ right to confidentiality. The Caldicott Guardian is based at the Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle

Sharing your information

Our staff need your personal health information to care for you properly. They will share relevant information with other NHS staff involved in your care. This makes caring for you safer, easier and faster.

We may share some of your personal information with staff outside the NHS working closely with us to provide for your care and other needs, such as in social work and education services. We will always ask your permission to share this information.

If you agree, your relatives, friends and carers can also be kept up to date with the progress of your treatment.

How we use information about your health

The NHS uses information from patients for a wide range of other reasons. For example, we may use it in:

The NHS uses information from patients for a wide range of other reasons. For example, we may use it in:
  • Teaching and training our staff. The Trust is the largest provider of training for medical staff, nurses and allied health professions in the North East. To support this training anonymised patient information such as case studies may be used.   
  • Health research and audit. You may be asked to participate in research projects. Any such projects will be fully explained to you and you will be asked to provide written consent of your agreement to participate. Research records may be kept separately from your main health record. All research reports will be appropriately anonymised and no material will be published where you can be identified. If you decline to participate in a research project this will not be recorded in your medical record and will in no way influence your treatment.
  • Information held in medical records is often used to monitor the quality and outcome of clinical treatments. This information is also anonymised in published reports and is used to help the NHS evaluate care and plan future services. If you do not wish information relating to your case to be used for the purpose of clinical audit then please make this known to a member of staff and we will ensure that your request is noted in your medical record.
  • Planning health services and managing the organisation. The Trust is also required to provide an anonymised summary of all attendances to the Department of Health. This information is used for national statistics.

What about photographs and videos?

As part of your treatment some kind of photographic record or video may be made. This will be kept as part of your medical record. The photographs or video will only be seen by those involved in providing your care or those who check the quality of care provided.  Your permission will be obtained if the record is used for any other purpose such as teaching or medical research.

As part of your treatment some kind of photographic record or video may be made. This will be kept as part of your medical record. The photographs or video will only be seen by those involved in providing your care or those who check the quality of care provided.  Your permission will be obtained if the record is used for any other purpose such as teaching or medical research.

Getting a copy of your health record

You have the right to have a copy of your health record, under the Data Protection Act 2018. To obtain a copy of your health record you should apply in writing to the Subject Access Request Team, Medical Records Department, Freeman Hospital, NE7 7DN, or call 0191 21 37783 to request an application form.

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