How we manage and protect information about you

South Doc Services collects information about you to help us give you the best possible care.

Our aim is to maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide for you and keep this information confidential and secure.

This section is about data protection, confidentiality and information security. It also tells you how you can access information relating to your healthcare.

What information do we collect?

We collect information about you and your health. This will enable us to provide the appropriate care and treatment that you need. We also collect information to help our equality and diversity monitoring.

This information may be recorded in writing (i.e. in your medical notes), or electronically on a computer, or a mixture of both.

When you arrive for an appointment, staff may check your details with you to ensure that our records are accurate. To assist with this, it is important that you notify us of any changes to your personal details (e.g. address, contact number, next of kin).

How do we use the information we collect to help you?

We may use the information we collect to help you in the following ways:

  • Doctors, nurses or healthcare professionals involved in your care need accurate information about you to assess you health and deliver the care you need
  • To ensure information is available if you need to be referred to another health professional or another part of the NHS
  • To assess the type and quality of care you have received
  • To ensure your concerns can be properly investigated if you are unhappy with the care you have received


How else could your information be used?

Your information may also be used to help us:

  • Look after the health of the general public
  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
  • Audit NHS accounts and services
  • Arrange payment for the person who treats you
  • Prepare statistics on NHS performance
  • Investigate incidents, complaints or legal claims
  • Conduct health research and development
  • Make sure our services can meet patient needs in the future
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals


Do we share information about you with anyone?

There are times when it is appropriate for us to share information about you and your healthcare with others. We may share your information with the following main partners:

  • GPs
  • Health Authorities
  • NHS Trusts
  • Department of Health


If you are receiving care from other people (such as Social Services) as well as the NHS, we may also need to share relevant information to help us work together for your benefit.

We will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances such as the health and safety of another person is at risk or where the law requires information to be passed on.

Occasions when we must pass on information include:

  • Registering births or deaths
  • Reporting some infectious diseases
  • To help prevent, detect or prosecute serious crime
  • If a court orders us to do so
  • When you have expressly agreed – e.g. for an insurance medical


In all cases where we must pass on information, we will only share the minimum amount of information required and where possible data will be anonymised (i.e. does not identify you personally). Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep it confidential.

We will always try and obtain your consent wherever possible and inform you if your information is to be shared.

We will only give information to your relatives, friends and carers if you want us to and have given your permission.

How we keep your information confidential

We protect your information in the following ways:

Training – Staff are trained to understand their duty of confidentiality and their responsibilities regarding the security of patient information both on our premises and when out in the community.

Access controls – Any member of staff being given access to national systems holding patient information will need a special access card called a smartcard, along with a username and password. Many of our local systems also require smartcard access.

Audit trails – We keep a record in the newer electronic record systems of anyone who has accessed a health record or added notes to it. Some of the older computer systems only record who has amended a record.

Investigation – If you believe your information is being viewed inappropriately we will investigate and report our findings to you. If we find that someone has deliberately accessed records about you without permission or good reason, we will tell you and take action. This can include disciplinary action, or bringing criminal charges.

Records Management – All healthcare records are stored confidentially in secure locations.

Legislation – There are laws in place to protect your information, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Caldicott Guardian – Within each NHS organisation there is a designated person named the ‘Caldicott Guardian’ whose responsibility it is to ensure that these laws are upheld. The Caldicott Guardian for Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust is our medical director, Dr Andrew Wakeman.

You have the right to contact the Caldicott Guardian or the Information Commissioner’s Office if you feel that there has been a breach of your confidentiality. Please contact our Customer Services Team who can provide you with further assistance on:

Freephone:  0121 415 2090


Address: Customer Services,
194-196 West Heath Road
B31 3HB


Can you see the information we collect about you?

If you are concerned about how your health information is used you can speak to the healthcare professional involved in your care.

The Data Protection Act 1998 also gives you the right to know what information we hold about you, what we use it for and if the information is to be shared, who it will be shared with.

You have the right to apply for access to the information we hold about you, whether it is stored electronically or on paper. We have a duty to provide this information in a format that is accessible to you (e.g. large print or Braille) and in a way that you can understand, explaining any abbreviations where necessary.

Where you agree, this access right may be met by enabling you to view the record without obtaining a copy.

If you would also like a copy of your records there is a mandatory charge. Paper copies will not exceed £50 (this charge covers the cost of photocopying and administration) and copies of electronic records will cost £10.

In certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records may be limited in your own interest or for other reasons.

After having viewed your records, if you believe any information is inaccurate or incorrect, please inform us of this in writing.

If you would like to see the information we hold about you please contact our Customer Services Team (details above), who can provide you with further assistance.