How We Use Your Health Records

Why we collect information about you

In the National Health Service we aim to provide you with the highest quality of health care.  To do this we must keep records about you, your health and the care we have provided or plan to provide to you.

These records include:

  • Basic details about you, such as address, date of birth, next of kin
  • Contact we have had with you such as clinical visits
  • Notes and reports about your health
  • Details and records about your treatment and care
  • Results of x-rays, laboratory tests etc.
  • Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well, such as health professionals and relatives

It is good practice for people in the NHS who provide care to:

  • discuss and agree with you what they are going to record about you
  • give you a copy of letters they are writing about you; and
  • show you what they have recorded about you, if you ask.

How your records are used

The people who care for you use your records to:

  • Provide a good basis for all health decisions made by you and care professionals
  • Allow you to work with those providing care
  • Make sure your care is safe and effective, and
  • Work effectively with others providing you with care

Others may also need to use records about you to:

  • check the quality of care (such as clinical audit)
  • protect the health of the general public
  • keep track of NHS spending
  • manage the health service
  • help investigate any concerns or complaints you or your family have about your health care
  • teach health workers, and
  • help with research

Some information will be held centrally to be used for statistical purposes.  In these instances we take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified.

We use anonymous information, wherever possible, but on occasion we may use personally identifiable information for essentaial NHS purposes such as research and auditing.  However, this information will only be used with your consent, unless the law requires us to pass on the information.

You have the right

You have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence (the Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply) and UKGDPR. The United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UKGDPR) is the UK’s data privacy law that governs the processing of personal data from individuals inside the UK. The UKGDPR sits alongside the an amended version of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.

You also have the right to ask for a copy of all records about you (you may have to pay a fee).

  • Your request must be made in writing to the organisation holding your information
  • There may be a charge to have a printed copy of the information held about you
  • We are required to respond to you within 40 days
  • You will need to give adequate information (for example full name, address, date of birth, NHS number etc.)
  • You will be required to provide ID before any information is released to you.

You have the right to correct any inaccuracies in the information we hold about you.

If you think anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform the organisation holding your information.

You also have the right to withdraw any consent you have given to the use of your information, or complain to the relevant supervisory authority in any jurisdiction about our use of your information.

In some circumstances, you can:

  • Ask us to erase information we hold about you
  • Request a copy of your personal data in an electronic format and require us to provide this information to a third party
  • Ask us to restrict the use of information we hold about you, and
  • Object to the use of information we hold about you.


The Data Protection Act 1998 requires organisations to notify the Information Commissioner of the purposes for which they process personal information.

The details are publicly available from the Information Commissioner:

Wycliffe house
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113

How we keep your records confidential

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.

We have a duty to:

  • Maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide to you;
  • Keep records about you confidential, secure and accurate;
  • Provide information in a format that is accessible to you (i.e. in large type if you are partially sighted).

We will not share information that identifies you for any reason, unless:

  • you ask us to do so;
  • we ask and you give us specific permission;
  • we have to do this by law;
  • we have special permission for health or research purposes or,
  • we have special permission because the interests of the public are thought to be of greater importance than your confidentiality.

Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence.

Who are our Partner Organisations?

We may share information with the following main partner organisations:

  • Strategic Health Authorities
  • NHS Trusts (Hospitals, ICBs)
  • Special Health Authorities
  • Ambulance Service
  • NHS 111

We may also share your information, with your consent and subject to strict sharing protocols about how it will be used, with:

  • Social Services
  • Education Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Voluntary Sector Providers
  • Private Sector

Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to:


If you require this information in a different format or you need further information or assistance, please contact:

Lancaster Medical Practice
Caldicott Guardian
8 Dalton Square
Tel: 01524 551551

Using your health record leaflet

Page last reviewed: March 15th, 2024
Next review due: March 5th, 2025