Privacy Policy & Data Protection

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) is committed to handling your information securely and in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Local health services such as hospitals and GP Practices record and keep your information to ensure you receive the best possible care.

These records include:

  • Your name, date of birth, NHS Number and contact details
  • Information about your appointments and clinical visits
  • Reports and notes about your health, treatment and care
  • Relevant information about people who care for you, such as next of kin and other health professionals
  • Visual Images, such as CCTV for security purposes

This information provides essential reference for health professionals who you see, in all parts of the NHS. It also enables us to investigate any issues, complaints or legal claims.

All NHS staff have a legal duty to keep your information confidential and secure and records are held securely and in the strictest confidence.

Processing your Information

We process personal information to help us to:

  • Provide healthcare services for patients 
  • Maintain accurate and up to date information on your health 
  • Protect our patients, their family, our staff and other members of the community
  • Help us decide what care you need
  • Get your feedback on services and assess the quality of care you have received
  • Data match under the national fraud initiative
  • Do research and allow our patients to take part in research projects and programs
  • Support and manage our employees
  • Maintain our accounts and records and review and monitor how we spend public money
  • Maintain CCTV systems for crime prevention
  • Analyse statistics to review NHS performance and key performance indicators
  • Monitor the quality of care and services across the NHS
  • Plan and develop strategic direction for the future delivery of our NHS service
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals
  • Safely manage the effects of Covid-19

Type/Classes of Information Processed

We process relevant information including (but not limited to):

  • Personal details
  • Family details
  • Education, training and employment history
  • Financial details
  • Goods and services
  • Lifestyle and social circumstances
  • Visual images, personal appearance and behaviour
  • Details held in the patients’ record
  • Survey Responses

We also process ‘special category’ classes of information that may include:

  • Racial and ethnic origin
  • Offences and alleged offences
  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences
  • Trade union membership
  • Physical and mental health details including imaging
  • Religion and beliefs
  • Sexual life
  • Genetic data
  • IP addresses

We process personal information about:

  • Our patients
  • Suppliers
  • Employees
  • Complainants, enquirers
  • People who respond to our surveys
  • Professional experts and consultants
  • Individuals filmed on CCTV

Sharing Information

We sometimes need to share the personal information we process with the individual themselves and also with other organisations. Where we need to do this we have to comply with The Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We will only share information that is relevant.

Where we need to or have to - we share information with:

  • You, your family, associates and representatives of the person whose personal data we are processing
  • Staff
  • Healthcare, social and welfare organisations
  • Suppliers, service providers, legal representatives
  • Auditors and audit bodies
  • Survey and research organisations
  • People making an enquiry or complaint
  • Financial organisations
  • Professional advisers and consultants
  • Business associates
  • Police forces
  • Security organisations
  • Central and local government
  • Voluntary and charitable organisations
  • Community Pharmacists – regarding discharge information (for patient follow up and for patients requiring compliance devices)
  • Regulatory bodies; e.g. Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • NHS England, Public Health England, The Department of Health and other government departments where it's legally required, or where it's necessary for the protection of public health or management of Covid-19.

Personal information will only be shared externally where data subjects have provided their consent to do so or there is a basis in law to do so. This may include sharing information with the police or courts. In these situations information will only be shared when it is necessary and proportionate to do so.  


In recent years the NHS has changed the way we share patient information among health professionals in different settings e.g. Hospitals, GP practices, Urgent Care Centres.

To prevent delay and ensure safe treatment, especially in urgent situations, doctors and other specialists may access essential parts of your record electronically, rather than writing to or phoning your GP or other healthcare professionals involved in your treatment and care.

The NHS nationally and locally currently uses three systems to share information electronically. These are all currently ‘opt out schemes’, meaning that your records are automatically included unless you opt out of each Individual scheme.

Artificial intelligence

MCHFT may use ‘Artificial Intelligence’ as part of some of our systems. However, decisions about your care will not be made based solely on artificial intelligence and will continue to have the input of a clinician.

As part of your care when you are a patient at the Trust either attending an appointment or as part of an inpatient stay you may have an image taken (x-ray) or procedure (CT scan, MRI, ultrasound etc.)  as part of your treatment and care. We may use a Artificial Intelligence to help us review your image(s) as quickly as possible and to make sure that images of those patients who are the sickest are reviewed first by a Doctor.  Your images will continue to be viewed by a doctor as they are now but the use of AI helps us make sure the order they are reviewed in helps identify those patients who are the sickest first.

Summary Care Record

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is a secure national electronic record, enabling doctors and health specialists to access information about you that could be vital in an emergency or out-of-hours situation.

Records for each individual will be created automatically. This will enable NHS staff caring for you anywhere in England to access the following information to support your care in an emergency.

  • Any medicines you are taking
  • Any allergies you have
  • Any bad reactions you have had to medicines

Healthcare staff will ask your permission before they look at your record except in certain circumstances (e.g. if you are unconscious).

How to Opt-Out of the Summary Care Record

You can download the ‘opt-out form’ at NHS Care Records and give this to your GP.

Cheshire Care Record

The Cheshire Care Record is a local electronic patient record that allows health and social care professionals directly involved in your care, to share a summary of your medical record.

Your Cheshire Care Record will help those caring for you to manage your care better, and allow information to be shared quickly and safely. Only authorised staff providing health and social care services, or services such as palliative care across Cheshire and Merseyside can access this record.

For more information about Cheshire Care Record, visit the Cheshire Care Record website at which includes information on:

  • What the Cheshire care record is
  • Why we share information
  • Who information is shared with
  • How to Opt Out/In of sharing

National Data Opt-Out Programme

Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.

The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:

  • improving the quality and standards of care provided
  • research into the development of new treatments
  • preventing illness and diseases
  • monitoring safety
  • planning services

This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.

Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.

You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.

To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit On this web page you will:

  • See what is meant by confidential patient information
  • Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care
  • Find out more about the benefits of sharing data
  • Understand more about who uses the data
  • Find out how your data is protected
  • Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting
  • Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone
  • See the situations where the opt-out will not apply

You can also find out more about how patient information is used at: (which covers health and care research); and (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made)

You can change your mind about your choice at any time.

Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.

Health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care. Our organisation is currently compliant with the national data opt-out policy.

National Fraud Initiative

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is required by law to protect the public funds it administers.  It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for: auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.  We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative – a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.  For more information, please click here. For further information on data matching, please contact your Anti-Fraud Specialist.

What are the lawful bases for processing?

The lawful bases for processing personal data are set out in Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation and article 9 for the processing of special categories data.

We collect and process your Personal Data for a variety of purposes as outlined in this Privacy Policy. 

In many cases, separate consent is not required and therefore we will rely on another ‘legal basis for processing’. These include:

Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract we have with you or because you have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract.

Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for us to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).

Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.

Public task: the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

Health Purposes: the processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of working capacity of an employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care treatment or the management of health or social care services.  

Occasionally we may ask you for your consent.

Managing Preferences and Withdrawing Consent

Consent means offering individuals genuine choice and control. Under the General Data Protection Regulation, consent requires a positive opt-in. 

We will not use pre-ticked boxes or any other method of consent by default.

As explicit consent requires a very clear and specific statement of consent, we will ensure that this is done.

  • We will keep consents separate from other terms and conditions
  • Be specific and granular, clear and concise
  • We will name any third party controllers who will rely on consent as required
  • Make it easy for people to withdraw consent.

We will:

  • Keep evidence of consent - who, when, how and what individuals were told
  • Keep consent under review and refresh if and when anything changes
  • Avoid making consent a precondition of a service.

The Trust takes the security of your information seriously and uses different controls and access mechanisms for both electronic and paper based data. Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and secure under Data Protection Legislation, Caldicott Principles and the 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 proceedings and even dismissal from employment.

The Trust will retain your information for as long as you receive health care services from us, and in line with Health and Social Care Records Management Code of Practice 2016.

You as an individuals have the right to:

  • Be informed about what information an organisation hold about you as the 'Data Subject'
  • The right of access to that information (commonly known as a ‘Subject Access Request’)
  • The right to rectify any inaccuracies of that information
  • The right in certain circumstances to have that information erased (known sometimes as ‘right to be forgotten’)
  • The right to object to that processing of information and restrict that processing of information
  • To know about whether certain decisions have been made about you through automated decision making or profiling.
Further information and how to access your health records can be found on our Legal Services page.

Data Controller Details: 

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Leighton Hospital




ICO Registration Number: Z4846564


Data Protection Officer:

Stuart Basford

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Leighton Hospital






The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane,




Telephone: 01625 545700

If our privacy policy changes in any way, we will place an updated version on this page. Regularly reviewing the page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with other parties.

Your individual rights

You as an individuals have the right to:

  • Be informed about what information an organisation hold about you as the 'Data Subject'
  • The right of access to that information (commonly known as a ‘Subject Access Request’)
  • The right to rectify any inaccuracies of that information
  • The right in certain circumstances to have that information erased (known sometimes as ‘right to be forgotten’)
  • The right to object to that processing of information and restrict that processing of information
  • To know about whether certain decisions have been made about you through automated decision making or profiling.

To submit a request under this process, please visit our Legal Services page for further information. If you have any questions regrading this, please contact / 01270 273916

The GDPR gives individuals (Data Subjects) the right to request and in most cases to be given, a copy of the information which Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust holds about them. This is called a Subject Access Request (SAR).

Please note that the Act only entitles an individual to see, or be given a copy of, their own information. You are not entitled to see someone else’s information unless they have given their permission for you to do so. Likewise, someone else cannot ask for your information unless you have given permission for them to do so. This applies to spouses, relatives, friends etc.

If you want to see, or be given, a copy of information that Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust holds about you, you need to make a Subject Access Request.

The Trust is not required to respond to a request made verbally, but depending on the circumstances, it may be reasonable to do so (as long as your identity has been satisfied). 

As a requestor you do not have to tell us the reason for making the request or what you intend to do with the information. However, it might be helpful to inform us so we can find the relevant information if you do explain the purpose of the request.

What Information am I entitled to?

‘Subject Access’ is most often used by individuals 'Data Subjects' who want to see the information the Trust holds about them, but now goes further than this and entitles an individual to be:

  • Told whether any personal data is being processed
  • Given a description of that information and be told whether it will be shared with any other organisation of people
  • Given details of the source of the data (where this is known and available)
  • Access to their personal information
  • Other supplementary information - this will correspond to the information supplied in our ‘Privacy Policy’.

‘Subject Access’ provides a right for you to see your own personal data, rather than a right to see copies of documents that contain personal data.

Is there a fee for submitting a Subject Access Request?

The Trust must provide a copy of the information free of charge. However, the Trust can charge a ‘reasonable fee’ when the request is deemed ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ and particularly if it is repetitive.

The Trust can also charge a ‘reasonable fee’ to comply with a request for further copies of the same information.

The fees will be based on administrative costs of providing the information; for example photocopying, postage and packaging.

How long for the Trust have to comply?

Information must be provided without delay and at least within one calendar month of receipt of the request. However, the Trust can extend the period of compliance by a further two months where requests are complex or numerous. If this is the case the Trust will inform you within one month of receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.

If requests are manifestly unfounded or excessive because they are repetitive, the Trust can:

  • Charge a ‘reasonable fee’ taking into account administrative costs or refuse to respond.
  • If the request is for a large amount of personal data, the Trust is permitted to ask you to specify the information the request relates to.

Verifying your identity

The Trust has a legal obligation to verify the identity of the Data Subject and any authorised person making the request and to verify if they are entitled to the information.

The Trust will verify the identity of the person making the request, using ‘reasonable means’.

Can information be exempted?

Some types of personal information are exempt from the right of subject access and so cannot be obtained by making a ‘Subject Access Request’.

Information may be exempt because of its nature or because of the effects its disclosure is likely to have.

There are also some restrictions on disclosing information in response to a subject access request that would involve disclosing information about another individual.

How to make a make a Subject Access Request?

To submit a Subject Access Request please complete the GDPR Subject Access Request Form - Living Patients and send to or Legal Services, Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 4QJ.

If you are requesting information under The Access to Health Records Act 1990 regarding a deceased patient please use the Access to Health Records Form - Deceased Patients. Please contact the Legal Services Team with any queries regarding your request at 01270 273917 or

Please note – in processing your request the Legal Services team may contact other Trust departments to retrieve the data you have requested. This may include individual specialities, IT or line managers (in the case of staff requests).

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MCHFT are pleased to offer patients the opportunity to sign up for Patients Know Best (PKB) - our patient information portal that gives you secure access to your medical information from any smartphone, tablet or computer.  

It is intended that you will be able to view all your hospital letters and appointments online, with other applications becoming available over time.  

This service is provided in partnership with Patients Know Best (PKB).  

You can find answers to some Common Questions, or learn more about the features of the PKB Patient System, at Common Questions - Patients Know Best 

The NHS app links to ‘Patient Knows Best’ (PKB) and provides patients with a single point of entry to NHS services. 

For more information on how NHS England and other organisations may use your data when you use the NHS app, please click here