Freedom of Information (FOI) and medical record requests
On this page you will find information about freedom of information requests and medical records.
Freedom of information requests (FOI)
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) provides a right of access to a wide range of information held by public authorities, including the NHS. The purpose is to promote greater openness and accountability.
Before submitting an FOI request, you can check to see if the FOI has been asked before as part of the Trust's Publication Scheme. FOI requests dating back to August 2013 are detailed in the document library at the bottom of this page. The responses to these requests reflect when they were asked and depending on the topic might now have changed.
Data Protection Impact Assessments
The Trust is required under the Data Protection Act 2018 to ensure that Privacy by Design is considered where there is a change in the purpose of use of identifiable data, or the introduction of a new system that affects personal data. The Trust maintains a register of Data Protection Impact Assessments and from January 2019 has committed to publish a summary of each Impact Assessment completed see below:
A Data Protection Impact Assessment was completed for a clinical trial monitoring the use of technology to monitor a specific cohort of consenting service users. The assessment concluded that the clinical trial could proceed.
A national tool to manage usage of medication by quantity and cost was assessed under the DPIA requirements. The assessment concluded that there were no risks to use of the tool.
A Data Protection Impact Assessment was undertaken to assess a tool to meet the national Falsified Medicines Directive.
New FOI requests
All enquiries regarding access to information that is not available through the Trust's Publication Scheme should be made either in writing to:
The Freedom of Information Team
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Kettering Venture Park
Or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are making a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, please feel free to contact us either by post or by email using the details given above. Remember to include a valid address (email or postal) and a contact number to help us process your request.
A Note on Copyright
Please note that information provided by us under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is copyrighted to Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and is for your personal use only.
If you wish to use this information for commercial purposes then, in accordance with the Regulations on the Re-use of Public Sector Information 2005, you must first ask our permission. Such re-use may or may not involve the granting of a licence and the application of a fee.
Accessing personal information
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also allows you to find out what information about you is held on computer and in certain manual records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’.
NHS Choices website has general information on:
- How you can access your own medical records
- Learn if you can access other people’s medical records
- Learn if others can access your medical records
For medical record requests:
The Information Governance Team
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Information Governance Team Office
Kettering Venture Park
Telephone 0300 0111133
Information regarding changes to how your medical record is held and shared electronically can be found if you make a written request to:
The Information Governance Team
Information Governance Team Office,
Kettering Venture Park,
Or email us at: email@example.com
You may be entitled to receive a copy of the information you request. You should also be aware that in certain circumstances your right to see some details in your health records might be limited in your own interest or for other reasons.
More information about accessing your personal information is available from the Information commissioner's office.
Patient led record sharing
NHFT use a secure computer system called SystmOne for your medical record.
SystmOne is also used in Northamptonshire, by most GPs as well as the out of hours GP service. For those services that use SystmOne, since October 2013 you have been able to decide which NHS services can view your record, with the aim of providing you with control and reassurance regarding how your secure medical records are used.
With your permission, clinicians using SystmOne are able to share your medical record easily and safely with the other healthcare services involved in your care. This will mean that when you attend any service using SystmOne they will be able to view your NHFT medical record so that the clinicians who see you have all the information they need to enable them to provide the best possible health care for you.
Why do we keep health records and how are they used?
Why is this necessary and how does it work?
Patient Led Record Sharing puts YOU in control of your NHFT medical record – you will be asked whether you wish to share your information with other health care services, like your GP and the benefits and any risks of your decision will be fully explained to you.
Sharing your medical record will improve communication about your care between healthcare professionals – it is important that you give your consent to this sharing, to ensure that your clinicians have all the information they require to offer you the best possible care.
Patient led record sharing enables high quality, joined up care across the different NHS services.
This sharing was designed to align SystmOne with the NHS care record guarantee. This guarantee states that patients should be able to control which services, (that are caring for them) are able to see information held on their record.
All staff members are trained in confidentiality and information governance. If you decide to share your record you can be sure that healthcare professionals will always treat your health record with the greatest care and discretion.
What do I need to do?
When you visit your GP or NHFT, you may be asked the following questions:
Are you happy to share your medical record with other NHS services involved in your care?By giving your consent, your medical data can be shared with other NHS services involved in your care, if they are using the same electronic system (SystmOne). For example, if you give your GP consent to share your record, a district nurse involved in your care will be able to view the medical information entered by your GP.
Are you happy to share with us (the GP or NHFT service you are attending) information held about you which has been recorded by other NHS services? By giving your consent, we are able to view the medical information entered by other NHS services who have been involved in your care. For example, with your consent, a community nurse at NHFT will be able to view the medical data entered by a General Practitioner who is involved in your care.
What if my medical record is already shared?
There are many good reasons why we might already share your health information between healthcare services to ensure you receive the best possible care. If your record is already shared between services this will continue until your next appointment. You will then be asked whether you would like this sharing to remain in place with the advantages of this. The risks of saying ‘No’ to sharing your record will be fully explained to you.
If I agree to share my records, would this apply to all health services using the same electronic system?
No, your consent to share and view your medical record is required by each NHS service using SystmOne involved in your care. However you only need to give your consent once for all services provided by NHFT to have access to the information recorded by another service e.g. your GP. You are able to choose which other services outside of NHFT you want to share your record with and those you do not wish to be able to see your records held elsewhere.
If I agree to share who will be able to view my record?
Only staff members at those services outside of NHFT that you have agreed to share your record with, and who have a legitimate clinical reason to access your record, will do so. All access to patient’s computerised records is automatically recorded with the date, time and name of the person who viewed the record. Staff members are restricted to certain functions and views depending on their professional role.
Can I change my mind about my record being shared?
You can change your sharing preferences at any time. If you would like to change your sharing preferences, please speak to a member of staff at your GP practice or a healthcare professional within the appropriate healthcare service.
Will all my medical record be shared?
If you do not wish another service to see particular items in your medical record, please discuss this with your GP or healthcare professional. You can request for individual entries in your patient record to be marked as ‘Private’. These will not be visible at any NHS care service other than the one that recorded the information.
What do I do if I do not want to share my record?
If you would prefer not to share your health information across the healthcare organisations involved in your care, you need to let your healthcare professional know. They will record this in your medical record so your information will not be shared and they will be able to explain any risks associated with your decision. There is also the option of marking an element of your record as private so that this will not be seen by any other healthcare organisation even if you have elected to share the rest of your record. Please consider this rather than opting not to share your record and if you have any further questions please discuss this with your GP or healthcare professional.
You would need to take extra care to ensure that if you are treated by other services you are able to provide them with any information about yourself that they might need.
Can I choose to share my information with Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals?
No, SystmOne is not used in the acute hospitals. However, systems are in place for acute hospitals to receive relevant medical information about you whenever you are referred to them for treatment.
Access to Deceased Patients Records
Access to the health records of deceased patients is covered by The Access to Health Records Act AHRA) 1990
The Act provides certain individuals with a right of access to the health records of a deceased individual. These individuals are defined under Section 3(1)(f) of that Act as, ‘the patient’s personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death’. A personal representative is the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate.
There is no statutory right of access to records of deceased patients which fall outside of the time period covered by the Act and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is unable to process requests for records of Deceased Patients where the date of death is prior to 1st November 1991.
The Trust will consider requests for access where a patient has died after 1st November 1991, but where there is no statutory right of access. These requests will be considered on a case by case basis.