Patients and visitors
Health records (also known as patient or medical records) are a log of your health and the treatment you have received from the NHS. We hold this information to ensure you receive the best possible care now and in the future.
How is my health record used?
Your health records are used to ensure that your clinical needs are met and that you receive the right treatment and care.
Your records are strictly confidential. Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to maintain patient confidentiality.
Some anonymous information from health records may be used for training and educating our clinical staff, carrying out medical and other health research and for planning of future NHS services. However, your personal details will be kept private.
Accessing my health records
All applications to see your Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust health records must be made in writing either by completing our application for health records form and emailing it to us, or by letter. Patients can now request to access their records electronically via the Care Information Exchange and further guidance on this is explained in the application form. Should you wish to access your x-rays or other images, please complete the application for x-rays form and email it to our team.
Completed application for health records forms should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Completed application for x-rays forms should be emailed to: email@example.com
Letters should be addressed to: Access to Health Records, Health Records Department, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS
Two proofs of identification are required to access your records. Please be aware that there may be a charge for this service, up to a maximum of £50. We have between 21 to 40 days to respond to your request.
Accessing other people's health records
You are not permitted to access other people's health records without their written consent and you may be required to provide additional supporting information.
Accessing the health records of people who have died
We are allowed to release the health records of a patient who has died in certain circumstances only.
Where the patient has died, the patient's personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient's death may apply for access to the health records by completing an application form for health records (deceased) or writing to the address above. We will require proof of identity. If you have enquiries around what types of supporting information or identification is required, please contact us on 020 3313 3112 for assistance.
Your NHS number
Everyone registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS number.
Your NHS number helps healthcare staff to identify you correctly, find your patient records and ensures the safety of your healthcare.
Your NHS number is printed on the medical card given to you when you register with a GP practice. Each NHS number is made up of ten digits, as shown in this example: 450 557 7104.
Providing care across north west London
Our staff are increasingly working with other health and social care professionals in north west London to provide care. Staff involved in your care need to be able to see relevant information about you, so we are sharing information with health and social care organisations in north west London as required. This information can include your NHS number, age, contact details, next of kin, medication and allergies, appointments, treatment and care, and test results such as blood tests, laboratory tests, and X-rays. This will ensure when you visit your GP practice, the hospital, or get support in your community or at home, your care professional will have the right information about you at the right time.
We will share your information with health and social care organisations who are involved in looking after you, unless you ask us not to. This is known as “implied consent”. If you would like to opt out of sharing your information with other health and social care organisations, or if you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your clinician or contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service.
How we protect your information
Your information is protected under the Data Protection Act 1998. We have a legal duty to keep your information confidential and to maintain the security of the information systems that hold your data.
As an NHS hospital, we rely on computer systems to support the delivery of patient care. Where these systems are provided by third parties, patient data may be hosted on computers owned by these organisations. There are strict rules over what the supplier as the data processor is legally allowed to do with the data on the instructions of the NHS Trust which is the data controller.
Every member of staff working for an NHS organisation has a legal obligation to keep information about you confidential. Anyone receiving confidential information about you from us is also under a legal duty of confidence.
You can find out more about how we collect, use and keep secure information about your care in our leaflet.
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