Medical records

How we use your information

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Why we collect information about you

Your doctor and other health professionals caring for you (e.g. nurse or physiotherapist) keep records about your health and treatment so they are able to provide you with the best possible care. 

These records are called your ‘Health Care Record’.

Your Health Care Record may be stored in paper form or on computer databases, and may include information such as:

  • Your name, address and date of birth
  • Details of your next of kin or named emergency contact
  • Details of your hospital appointments
  • Notes about your health and any treatments and/or procedures you have undergone
  • Test results – e.g. laboratory and X-ray results

How your Health Care Record is used to help you

Your Health Care Record is used to ensure that:

  • Health care professionals looking after you have accurate and up-to-date information about you, to help them assess and decide on any future care you may require.
  • We are able to assess how well you have been looked after
  • Your concerns can be properly investigated should you make a complaint

How your Health Care Record is used to help the NHS

Health Care Records are used to assist with:

  • Looking after the health of the general public – e.g. notifying central NHS groups of outbreaks of infectious diseases
  • Reporting events to the appropriate authorities when we are required to do so by law  – e.g. notification of births
  • Paying your GP or hospital for the care you have received
  • The audit of NHS accounts and clinical audit of the quality of services provided
  • Reporting and investigation of complaints, claims and untoward incidents
  • Service planning to ensure we meet the needs of our population in the future
  • Preparing statistics on our performance for the Department of Health
  • Reviewing our care to ensure that it is of the  highest standard
  • Teaching and training health care professionals
  • Conducting health research and development
  • Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a research-active Trust involved in developing future treatments and care. You might be asked to take part in a research study. If you are, the researcher will explain the study in detail to you, including why it is necessary and what it will involve. If you decide that you would like to be involved, you will be asked to sign a consent form.  If you do not want to take part, this will not affect your treatment in any way.

How we keep your information safe

Everyone working for the NHS has a duty to keep your information confidential and secure.

However from time to time there may be a need to share some, or all, of your information with other health care professionals, NHS organisations or other qualified health care providers so that we can work together to obtain the best possible care.

We will only ever share your information if it is in the best interests for your care.

We will not disclose any information that identifies you to anyone outside your care team without your express permission, unless we are required to do so by law or in the best interests of your continuing care.

Summary Care Record (SCR)

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is a web based application and facilitates the access to patient information held on the NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS).

For a patient to receive the best care from the NHS it is necessary for their information to be available wherever and whenever it is needed. Electronically held patient information will be accessible whenever they present for treatment anywhere in England.

The Summary Care Record is available nationally to authorised healthcare professionals and is accessed using the smartcard.

Subject Access Requests – How you can arrange to see your own health records

Data Protection Legislation entitles you to view the information contained in your Health Care Record.

If you would like to see or obtain a copy of your record you will need to make a written subject access request, providing proof of your identity, to the Subject Access Request Team at Worthing Hospital or at St Richard’s Hospital (addresses below).

You should be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health care record may be limited in your own best interests.

You have a right to request that any inaccuracies be corrected or annotated. Your family and friends are not allowed to ask to see your records without your written consent.

Subject Access Requests:

Access Request teams:


St Richard’s Hospital

Patient confidentiality

  • By law, everyone working for or on behalf of the NHS or other qualified health care providers must respect your confidentiality and keep your information secure.
  • We reassure you that the computer systems we use are subject to strict access controls and only staff who are involved in your care will have access to your records.
  • We will always obtain your consent  before sharing your information with other health professionals unless exempted by law.
  • When we do share your information we will always endeavour to use the most secure method available where possible

Further information

Visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website at

If you have any concerns over the use of your medical information, please discuss these with your health professional during your next hospital visit.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a data controller under Data Protection Legislation. We collect and keep information about you in order to give you the best possible care.

We keep your information on paper and on computer. We keep your information secure and by law you are entitled to ask to see a copy

For more information, please contact the Information Governance Team at Worthing Hospital on 01903 205111 ext 85402


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