Patient and Public Privacy Notice
We aim to provide you with the highest quality care. EEAST provides an emergency ambulance and non-emergency patient transport service throughout the East of England, to do this, we must keep records about you and the care we provide for you.
Health records are held on paper and electronically and we have a legal duty to keep these confidential, accurate and secure at all times in line with Data Protection Legislation.
Our staff are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your privacy. We aim to maintain high standards, adopt best practice for our record keeping and regularly check and report on how we are doing. Your information is never collected for direct marketing purposes and is not sold on to any other third parties.
Sometimes your care may be provided by members of a care team, which might include people from other organisations such as health; social care; education; or other care organisations.
Information collected about you to deliver your health care is also used to assist with:
- Making sure your care is of a high standard.
- Using statistical information to look after the health and wellbeing of the general public and planning services to meet the needs of the population.
- Assessing your condition against a set of risk criteria to ensure you are receiving the best possible care.
- Sending closest resources (Community First Responders etc.) to you and sharing data through software/technology,
- Preparing statistics on our performance for the Department of Health and other regulatory bodies.
- Helping train staff and support research.
- Supporting the funding of your care.
- The investigation of complaints, claims and incidents.
- Reporting events to the appropriate authorities when we are required to do so by law.
Information may be withheld if another person (i.e. third party) is identified in the record, and they do not want their information disclosed to you. However, if the other person was acting in their professional capacity in caring for you, in normal circumstances they could not prevent you from having access to that information.
If you think any information in your records is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know using the contact details below.
The NHS is an official authority with a public duty to care for its patients, as guided by the Department of Health and Data Protection law says it is appropriate to process information for the health and social care treatment of patients, and the management of health or social care systems and services.
If we need to use your personal information for any reason beyond those stated above, we will discuss this with you. You have the right to ask us not to use your information in this way. However, there are exceptions to this which are listed below.
The public interest is thought to be of greater importance for example:
- If a serious crime has or may have been committed
- If there are risks to the public or our staff
- To protect vulnerable children or adults.
We have a legal duty, for example:
- Registering births,
- Reporting some infectious diseases,
- Wounding by firearms and
- To comply with a court order
EEAST also undertakes research projects, usually anonymised data is used and all Data Protection processes are undertaken before projects start. The Trust has to ask permission from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (appointed by the NHS Health Research Authority) to undertake research projects especially when using patient information (i.e. not anonymised).
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way – please see the National Opt Out privacy notice for more information on this.
The Trust may send out surveys to ask you on your experience with the Ambulance Service. The Trust is able to contact you under Public Task (Article 6(1)(e)) as the Trust is required to collect this data for NHS England Statistics. At the end of the survey, there are questions asking for consent if you would like to be contacted for a patient interview or research purposes. If you do provide consent you are able to withdraw your consent at any time.
Data Protection laws gives individuals rights in respect of the personal information that we hold about you:
- To be informed why, where and how we use your information
- To ask for access to your information
- To ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
- To ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
- To ask us to restrict the use of your information
- To ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure manner, without impacting the quality of the information
- To object to how your information is used
- To challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)
It should be noted that in some cases there is a further legal basis where those processes listed above are restricted.
The Trust has a right to inform you if there is a breach of your details or if something has gone wrong with your care. This is called Duty of Candour (Health and Social Care Act 2008) or the right to inform (under DPA). Duty of Candour is a legal duty to be open and honest with patients and their families when something goes wrong. Wherever possible, Duty of Candour discussions must be held with the patient directly. For more information on this, please see the Trust's Duty of Candour policy https://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/policy-libraries/.
Please remember our staff have rights too and we do not expect their personal data to be used without their permission or abused in anyway by patients or members of the public. This includes taking photographs or filming them for malicious reasons. Please visit our website for further details.
If you remain unhappy with an outcome of your enquiry you can write to the Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, or telephone them on 01625 545700.