Corporate Information

Patient information and how we safeguard it

Countess of Chester Fair Processing Notice

What Happens to my Information?

Data Controller:

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Road

01244 365 000

ICO Registration: Z6903413

Data Protection Officer:

Claire Raggett, -

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CoCH) is committed to handling your information securely and in line with Data Protection, Code of Confidentiality and the Caldicott Principles specifically developed to protect patients of the NHS across the UK.

The Trust uses personal and confidential information for a number of purposes as detailed below.   To ensure that we process your personal data fairly and lawfully we are required to inform you:

  • Why we need your data;
  • How it will be used: and,
  • Who it will be shared with.

We will also explain what rights, as a service user and a colleague, you have and how you can control how we use your information.

The Trust recognises the importance of protecting personal and confidential information in all that we do, and takes care to meet its legal duties.

What kind of information does the NHS collect about me?

The Countess of Chester Hospital requires the below information to be able to provide our patients with an informed service to help deliver healthcare services:

  • Details held in the patient’s record;
  • Patient images for example photograph, x-rays, scans;
  • Personal details such as names, address and telephone numbers;
  • Family details for example next of kin details;
  • Education and training information;
  • Employment details;
  • Financial details, where we provide or receive payment for services;
  • Visual images, personal appearance and behaviour, e.g. CCTV images are used as part of the building security;
  • Responses to surveys, where individuals have responded to surveys about healthcare issues.

We also process information relating to our staff members to aid staff support, development and standard HR processes:

  • Education and training information;
  • Employment details;
  • Financial details, where we provide or receive payment for services.

As part of the Data Protection Legislation there are certain categories of data, classed as sensitive, which we may process for both healthcare and staff management, that could include:

  • Racial and ethical origin;
  • Offences (including alleged offences), criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences;
  • Trade union membership;
  • Religious or similar beliefs;
  • Employment tribunal applications, complaints, accidents and incident details;
  • Physical or mental health details;
  • Sexual orientation.

We have no right to ask you about information which is not relevant to your care.

Why do they collect information about me?

To help you

Your Doctor or other health professionals caring for you, keep records about your health and any treatment or care you receive during your visit to the Countess of Chester Hospital. This information is either written down or held on a computer.  These records are then used to guide and manage the care you receive.  This is to make sure that:

  • any health professional involved in your care has accurate and up-to-date information to assess your health and decide what care you need;
  • there is a good basis for assessing the type and quality of care you have received.  This will lead to better care both for you and for other patients in the future;
  • if you need to complain about the care you receive, your concerns or complaints can be properly investigated.

You may receive care from organisations that are not part of the Countess of Chester Hospital Trust, such as Social Services or private and voluntary healthcare providers.  If so, there may be a need to share some information about you so that everyone involved in your care can work together for your benefit.

Information about you will only be used or passed onto others involved with your care, if they need it and you will be fully informed prior to the sharing, generally with a request for consent too.

To help the NHS

Information is also used to help support the future development of the NHS, ensuring the services provided to our patients and staff is always improving.  Some areas where we may process partly/fully anonymised data include:

  • analysis of statistical data to review NHS performance and key performance indicators;
  • to aid the completion of audits across our NHS services;
  • to review and monitor how we spend public money;
  • to help plan and develop strategic direction for the future delivery of our NHS service;
  • to teach and train healthcare professionals;
  • to conduct health research and development.

Who sees my information?

The information you provide will be recorded in paper file and on a computer. Access to these records is strictly controlled and fully auditable. 

We are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. This is only provided after permission has been given by a qualified health professional. Occasions when we must pass on information include:

  • A notification of new birth;
  • Where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others, such as meningitis or measles;
  • Where a formal court order has been issued;
  • Solicitors or Insurers might ask for records or a medical report, your signed consent is needed in this case.

You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS:

  • Social Services
  • Education Services
  • Local Authorities

We may need to share some information about you so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only ever use or pass on information about you if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it.

Areas where we may share your data

As a health care provider, the Countess of Chester are required to use and share your information for your best interests and may share with external providers if deemed necessary without prior consent, this is for direct care purposes only.  We may also share information with external parties for other matters for example, crime and taxation purposes. 

Cheshire Care Record – providing clinicians with a overview of your health and social care information in one digital record.  Further information can be found here:

External Systems and third party providers – there are areas of work where we use externally provided systems (such as our clinical system) to manage your information for service delivery, monitoring and improvement.  We ensure that appropriate controls are in place to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with our requirements. 

How are my medical records kept secure?

Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure under Data Protection Legislation, Caldicott Principles and Confidentiality Code of Conduct.  We use the minimum necessary information about you to be able to provide you with the care and services required.  Anyone who receives information from us, as part of a sharing initiative or continuity of care, is also bound by the same legal duties as our staff and have the same confidentiality clauses within their contracts.  Breaking those rules can result in investigations, disciplinary and even dismissal from employment.

How do I access my information?

As an individual, you have the right to access any information held by organisations about you, whether this is health or employment information.  You can download this form and sent to:

Legal Services
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Road


Tel: 01244 365 000 asking for Legal Services

Can I have access to records about other people?

You can only have access to records relating to other people if:

  • They have provided written authorisation;
  • You have parental responsibility for children under 16;
    • You have been appointed by a court and this is authorised in writing;
    • You are a representative of a deceased patient.

Will I see all of the information in my records?

A healthcare professional is required to examine your records before they are released to you and if they believe that certain information in the health record might cause serious harm to your physical or mental health or to that of another person they may withhold that piece of information.

What if the information in my records is incorrect?

If after you have seen your medical records you think something is incorrect, you should discuss it with the person in charge of your care.  If the incorrect information is non-clinical, such as a wrongly recorded name or address, this will be corrected.

If the information you think is incorrect is a health professional’s opinion, the information will not be amended but a comment may be added alongside the information to say that you disagree.

Usually, clinical information can’t be removed from your records unless a court orders it. This is because clinical staff need your full record to fully understand earlier decisions that were made about your care and treatment.

What if I’m not happy?

In the first instance, you should contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. You can phone the PALS manager, on 01244 366066 or email

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides any person with the right to obtain information held by the Trust, subject to a number of exemptions. If you would like to request some information from us, please send your request to Personal and confidential information is often exempt.

The Information Governance Team

TheInformation Governance (IG) Team identify and manage how we look after your information.  They ensure necessary safeguards for, and appropriate use of, patient and other personal information to ensure that we handle it carefully and confidentially.  If you want to discuss the processing of your information with the team, you can contact them:


Information Governance

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Countess of Chester Health Park
Liverpool Road


Phone: 01244 362 113