Using and protecting your data
Health and care organisations in Devon and Cornwall collect information on its patients and keeps records about the care and services they’ve provided.
The Devon and Cornwall Care Record pulls together the information from these different health and social care records and displays it in one combined record.
Keeping your personal data safe is a crucial aspect of the Devon and Cornwall Care Record and we take every required measure to keep information secure and confidential.
Shared care records are subject to UK data protection legislation, and individuals with the authority to view records work under strict codes of conduct.
This page provides more detail on the laws that allow us to use your data, who can access your data and how you can object to your data being shared.
The legal basis for using your data
The legal basis for processing your data is:
Article 6 Condition: ‘Personal data’
Provision of care:
The key basis for processing personal data is:
6(1)(e) Public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.
Article 9 Condition: Special categories of personal data
The key basis for processing the special category personal data is:
9(2)(h) ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of… the provision of health or social care treatment or services… on the basis of Union or Member state law’.
The Health & Social Care (Safety & Quality) Act 2015 places a duty on organisations providing health and adult social care services to share data where it facilitates the provision of care to an individual in their best interests, unless the individual objects or it relates to an anonymous access service.
Only organisations and individuals involved in your care, and who have a legitimate reason, are allowed to view your records. A system is in place to ensure this.
How long is your information held?
Your information will be held according to the NHSX Records Management Code of Practice 2021, which you can read on the NHSX website.
If you’d like to find out more, please contact your health or social care provider directly.
You have the right to ask for a copy of any information organisations hold about you. If you’d like to see information held about you on your health and care records, please contact the organisations providing your care.
The information displayed in the Devon and Cornwall Care Record is only a partial record of what is held about you by the partner organisations.
If you have any concerns about your health and care data – including possible errors or out-of-date information – please contact the organisations that have provided your care, so it can be corrected.
You can find out more about how information is used in the public interest on the Information Commissioner’s Office website . Your health or care provider’s website will also have more details on how your data is used.
Objecting to sharing your data
The Devon and Cornwall Care Record allows health and care staff to see a more complete picture of your medical history. It includes vital information such as allergies, medication, test results, and any interventions you may be receiving, or have had in the past.
When staff are more informed, it helps them to make the right decisions quickly, providing better and safer care. This is especially important during emergency situations or out of normal working hours. Only staff involved in your care, and who have a legitimate reason are allowed to view your records.
If you have concerns about your data being shared in this way, you can raise an objection. The best way to do this is by contacting the staff who are providing your care, but if you’re not sure which organisations provide your care, you can raise an objection directly with the Devon and Care Record using the form below.
However, if you do register an objection, you should understand that it could negatively impact the care you receive. If health and care staff are unable to access your medical record:
- It might mean that tests or investigations are repeated because results from other organisations can’t be accessed.
- You may need to repeat the same information to different staff.
- The staff treating you won’t be able to see what has happened to you in different parts of the NHS. They will only be able to see the record in their organisation such as that particular hospital or GP practice.
- They might not know what medication you’re taking.
- It may delay treatment.
- It will not stop health and care staff contacting one another to ask questions about your history.
- You may not be conscious or able to share details about your medical history if you arrive at hospital.
You should also be aware that if you choose to object, you are only objecting to electronic sharing of your medical record through the Devon and Cornwall Care Record. Other information sharing projects – such as the Summary Care Record – are operated and managed separately, so you need to object to each programme individually.
If you are aged 16 or above, we will process your request by carrying out our normal checks on the details you have given us.
If you are under 16, we will consider your right to object if the form has been completed by somebody acting on your behalf such as a parent or guardian. If it has not, we will ask a recognised health or care professional if they consider you to be competent to make such a decision.
We will respect your choice and restrict access to your, or the person you are acting on behalf of, health and social care information by professionals in our partner organisations where you’ve made use of the right to object unless this will impact the clinical safety of either yourself, or any other person.
To carry out your wishes we will need to keep some information such as your name, date of birth and NHS number. This will ensure all partner organisations know about your decision to object so you don’t have to notify all the different organisations across Devon and Cornwall who might be involved in your care.
If you have previously submitted an objection form but have since changed your mind please email email@example.com
Queries and complaints
If you have a query or complaint these should be directed to the organisation providing your health or social care.
Page last reviewed: 7 June, 2022