How your data is collected and used
Your health records
There are certain ways we collect and use your data when you receive care from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
Choose the relevant option to find out more about how we store and process your data.
Guy's and St Thomas' will make sure that any international transfers of confidential patient information will only be undertaken in accordance with the GDPR and with countries that can ensure an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of our patients. Where applicable, your consent will be sought.
The London Care Record enables health and care staff to have one secure view of a person’s relevant health and care information. Even if a person’s details are held in other London care organisations, information can still be accessed safely and securely.
For example, if someone from Peckham (South East London) attends A&E at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (North West London), staff involved can access the information they need to treat that person quickly and safely. This could include information on allergies, current medicines, or existing long-term conditions.
Information is transferred securely, via a health information exchange system. This enables more effective care at the first point of contact.
It helps in the following ways.
- You don't have to tell your story to lots of different professionals.
- You'll have fewer unnecessary appointments and tests.
- Transfer of care between services will be smoother.
- Care records are available immediately online.
- Delays in care and treatment will be reduced.
You can also watch a short animation about the London Care Record on YouTube.
Guy's and St Thomas', in common with all organisations within the NHS, makes use of new technologies and mobile apps that offer the ability to improve the provision of care or allow improved communications between patients and our staff. We will apply the same standards and safeguards to the collection and processing of data using as it does when using any type of information systems.
Each mobile app we adopt for official use goes through a security and privacy assessment before being adopted to make sure any risk to patient data is minimised. Wherever possible, patients will be given further information before they are enrolled onto the use of mobile apps.
In some cases, you may need to provide further personal data to register to use these apps.
The NHS South East Genomic Laboratory Hub (SE GLH) is one of 7 genomic lab hubs delivering the NHS Genomic Medicine Service, providing testing, interpretation and reporting services. The NHS trusts that make up the SE GLH, together with NHS England, are responsible as joint controllers under data protection legislation for the processing of personal data to provide the NHS Genomic Medicine Service.
Research is vital to improving the care that we all receive when we're unwell. Guy's and St Thomas' has a world leading reputation for research.
A member of your healthcare team may review your patient record and discuss current clinical trials and research studies with you. If this happens, the study will be explained to you in detail and you will be given a patient information sheet.
You will have the chance to ask questions and speak with family and friends about taking part, and will be given time to make your decision. This approach will set aside any wishes recorded with the National Data Opt Out.
If you decide not to take part in a study, this will not impact the care you receive.
If you agree to take part in a study, you will be asked to sign a consent form and will be given a copy to keep.
Data driven approach
Personal data (data that can identify you) may be shared with external research organisations, such as other NHS organisations, universities, charities, and commercial companies exclusively for scientific research purposes. This approach will check first to see if you have registered with the National Data Opt Out register and respect any wishes recorded.
More details can be found on the research and data page.
Guy's and St Thomas' uses surveillance equipment in the form of closed circuit television (CCTV), body worn video (BWV) and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) across the Trust. The images (and audio from BWV) are used to help:
- increase personal safety and reduce the fear of crime
- support the police and deter, detect and prevent crime
- assist in identifying, apprehending and prosecuting offenders
- protect the Trust buildings and other assets
- protect members of the public, patients, staff and private property
- assist in traffic management
- assist in the management of health and safety
- assist in the investigation of civil claims
- assist in disciplinary investigations
- monitor patient safety during clinical procedures
Please note BWV is worn and used only by our security staff who have been trained in its use and application. The equipment will only be activated if the security officer believes that an incident is occurring or is about to occur. In addition to the above, BWV also aims to:
- support a reduction in the number of incidents of violence and aggression
- support an increase in the number of prosecutions for violence and/or disorder
- mitigate any malicious complaints against security staff
ANPR is used in some of our car parks to allow staff access but will, by its nature, capture all number plates as vehicles enter and leave premises.
Images and audio are retained for a minimum of 31 days, but may be retained for longer than the designated period if needed for an active investigation or legal proceeding.
We are committed to listening to and learning from its patients. The NHS Constitution also encourages NHS trusts to ask patients for feedback on their experience of treatment and care to help improve services provision to different communities. To help us do this, we may invite you to complete:
- a survey at the end of your visit or hospital stay or we may send you a text message or call you to ask you about your overall experience of care (the Friends and Family Test question)
- a questionnaire as part of the National Patient Survey Programme. The government requires trusts to carry out these surveys as part of its commitment to inform developments and improvements to NHS services
As part of these commitments and in the public interest we may share your contact details and demographic details with an NHS approved contractor to administer these surveys on our behalf. The results of these surveys will be returned to us in an anonymous format. Any decision to take part or not will not affect the care you receive now or in the future.
If you would like to opt out of these surveys, please contact the patient experience team by emailing [email protected].
When you attend for an appointment or procedure, you may be asked to confirm that we are holding a correct contact number (home and mobile) for you.
If you provide your number, we may use it to send you reminders of upcoming appointments via text messages or automated calls.
We might also give you the option to confirm or cancel your attendance including via your MyChart account. By providing these details to us, we can help ensure best use of the time available for appointments and procedures at the Trust as well as support video appointments.
When you contact the Trust by telephone, calls may be recorded for training purposes, but such recordings are anonymised when used.
A flu vaccine is offered to patients who are particularly susceptible to the flu because of their health condition, age or because they are pregnant. In addition to those already eligible for vaccination, during the pandemic the programme has been extended to include people aged 50 to 64 years that are not already in an at-risk group; children in school year 7 and household contacts of people who are shielding.
A central system has been put in place to remind key eligible people to book an appointment for a vaccine at the most appropriate organisation (for instance, GPs, community pharmacies or school-aged vaccination services). The data and technology processes have been improved so that NHS England and NHS Improvement can:
- send you a communication to remind you to get your flu vaccine, and advise you of how to do so, if you are eligible because of a health condition or your age
- record whether or not you have been vaccinated and use this information to send reminder communications if you have been invited for a vaccine, but not yet taken this up
- send information to your GP practice so that your practice can update their records with your vaccines
Information collected by NHS England, includes:
- your name and address
- your registered GP practice
- information about any health condition that makes you potentially susceptible to flu, for example, asthma
Visit the NHS England and NHS Improvement website for more information about National COVID-19 and flu vaccination programmes.
We may ask to attend one of our virtual clinics through NHS video calling, also called a video appointment. This allows you to speak to a clinician from home, so you can avoid travelling to our hospitals.
If you have requested a video appointment using Guy’s and St Thomas’ video consultation solutions this will be treated the same as any other consultation you have. However, you will need to be aware of the following.
- We always take your privacy and the security of your personal information very seriously and will do everything we can to ensure it is kept secure and protected. However, you should be aware that no communication over the internet is 100% secure. If you have any concerns about this, you may request a face-to-face or telephone appointment with your service.
- To ensure the safety of your personal information, all communication between the Trust and patient devices is encrypted to NHS standards; we only use corporate devices that have adequate security and protection. All necessary updates are downloaded and strong passwords are always used. The video consultation application itself cannot protect users from spyware so you should always ensure that you have adequate anti-virus/malware protection on any device you use for the video consultation.
- If you choose to use one of the Trust video consultation solutions on your mobile device you should make adequate provision to ensure the security of the device you choose to use.
- We will always conduct a video consultation in a quiet, private space, free of interruptions where others cannot overhear. You are responsible for ensuring that you are in an appropriate environment and recommend that you find a quiet, private place to speak to us.
- You will be provided with instructions for joining your consultation. You should never video call us directly.
- The solution will inform you if your device is not capable of running the video consulting solution (it does not check or validate your security).
- You will need to provide your agreement to the terms and conditions of the service and the invitation in order for you to proceed with the scheduled consultation.
- If you share an account with other people, such as your family members, they may have access to some information about the consultation. We advise that you should create your own account.
- If you are using a public or shared device, then you should be aware that some of your personal information may be stored locally on the computer you are using.