Who are we?

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s (MCHFT) Maternity Service provides care for women and their babies throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. As a service we are committed to handling your information securely and in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Why do we collect information about you?

In order to provide safe and effective care to you and your baby it is necessary to collect information about you, your partner and family. This information is used by the professionals involved in your care to plan appropriate appointments and provide relevant information.

What data do we collect?

The data we collect about you will be held in our records in paper format or electronically within our computer system. These records include:  

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Country of origin
  • NHS number
  • Telephone number


  • Medical history
  • Medication history
  • Previous pregnancy history
  • Social history
  • Family/ Partners medical and social history
  • Lifestyle history, such as smoking / alcohol / drug use 

Who has access to your personal data?

All paper files are kept in locked cabinets within the Maternity department and only employees of MCHFT who require access as part of their role will have access to these files. Electronic data is stored on a maternity information system and is password protected; only staff who require access as part of their role have access to this clinical data. Permission for access is only granted to staff with a genuine need to know basis to provide or plan care.

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 we obtain your personal data?

Information provided by you:

Data will be collected from you during face to face appointments or hospital admissions and be recorded electronically and / or on a paper record.

Information we get from other sources:

We may also obtain information about you from other sources, such as GP’s, Health Visitors and Children’s Social Care as part of the care we provide. This information is received either by secure email or during a telephone conversation once the identity of the caller has been confirmed.

How do we use your personal data?

We use your personal data to enable us to:

  • Provide safe and effective care
  • Refer for smoking cessation support
  • Follow up safeguarding concerns
  • Liaise with other professionals involved in your care
  • Partake in research projects (once you are identified as being suitable to be included in the project your consent will be sought before you are included in any research project)

Some of your information is used for statistical or audit purposes. In these instances, Maternity Services take strict measures to ensure that individual patients cannot be identified. 

Who do we may share your personal information with?

To ensure you receive the best possible care, we sometimes need to share your personal data in accordance with the ‘The Health and Social Care Act’ and the ‘NHS Act’. Only information that is relevant will be shared with (if necessary or required) and in accordance with The Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR):

  • You, your family, associates and/or representatives
  • Your GP
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
  • Smoking Cessation Services (Reed Wellbeing / Cheshire Change Hub)
  • Health Visiting Service
  • Family Nurse Partnership (under 19’s only)
  • Children’s Social Care

On occasions we may receive requests to share your personal data for non-direct care purposes; however, in these circumstances, Maternity Services will usually only share your personal data with your consent. Only in very exceptional circumstances will we disclose information to a third party without your consent, for instance, when the health and safety of others, or yourself, are at risk or if the law requires us to.  

Where we need to share your personal data, Maternity Services will only ever do so in a secure manner to protect the confidentiality of your information.

What legal basis is used for processing your information?

Maternity Services will only ever process your personal data where it is able to do so by law and using one of a number of legal basis defined within data protection law for the provision of this Service, this will most commonly be the following legal basis

  • Performance of a Task (GDPR Article 6, 1(e)) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller for example, the processing of personal data to register your details onto our systems and to send you information about your appointments.

Where we process your sensitive personal data or special categories of data (i.e. racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, trade union membership, health, sexual orientation, criminal convictions and disabilities), Maternity Services will the use the following legal basis:

  • Health or Social Care (GDPR Article 9, 2(h)) – processing is necessary for the medial diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services.

What are your individual rights?

Under the legislation you are entitled to a number of rights in accordance with the specific legal basis which has been used to process your data. These are to:

  • be informed why, where and how we use your information
  • ask for access to your information
  • ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  • ask us to restrict the use of your information.
  • ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way, without impacting the quality of the information
  • object to how your information is used
  • challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)

Guidance on this process can be found at http://www.mcht.nhs.uk/information-for-patients/confidentiality/

How long do we retain your information for?

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

Hand held maternity notes

You will be given a set of hand held maternity notes which will contain personal information about you and your pregnancy. It is your responsibility to ensure that you keep this information safe while in your possession. The Trust do not accept any liability for any loss or damage until they are returned to MCHFT staff.

Further information

In addition to this notice, an overarching Trust Privacy Notice is also available to view online via this link: http://www.mcht.nhs.uk/information-for-patients/confidentiality/

Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please speak to:

Jenny Butters, Head of Midwifery

Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 4QJ

Email: jenny.butters@mcht.nhs.uk   Telephone: 01270 273934 (Internal Extension 3934)

Should you wish to lodge a complaint about the use of your information, please contact the Trusts Data Protection Officer:

Stuart Basford, Head of Information Governance, IT Security and Data Protection Officer

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

MD 39 Residences, Leighton Hospital, Middlewich Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 4QJ

Email: DPO@mcht.nhs.uk  

If you are still unhappy with the outcome of your enquiry, you can write to: 
The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF or telephone: 01625 545700

Maternity Services Data Set

We also collect information about you (your personal data) for the Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS), to help achieve better outcomes of care for mothers, babies and children. The data set collects information about the mother’s demographics (e.g. postcode, date of birth, ethnic category), booking, diagnosis and admission details, as well as details about screenings and tests and labour / delivery. The data set also collects details about the baby’s demographics (e.g. date and time of birth, sex) and relevant tests prior to discharge from maternity services.

What we do with it

The data is securely sent to NHS Digital which is the central organisation that receives the same data from all NHS-funded maternity services across England. NHS Digital removes all identifying details and combines the data we send with the data sent by other care providers, forming the MSDS.

The data set is used to produce anonymised reports that only show summary numbers of, for instance, patients referred to different maternity services. It is impossible to identify any individual patient in the reports, but the reports do help us to improve the care we provide to you and other patients.

No information that could reveal your identity is used in national reports.

The benefits of the MSDS to you as a patient include:

  • making sure maternity services are available to all patients and measuring the respective care delivered
  • better care, through monitoring progress to allow future services to enable maternity care provided is mother and child-centric
  • informing patients about the care offered at different hospitals
  • more personalised and better organised care for patients through understanding what care is needed nationally, for example understanding how the antenatal care provided can affect outcomes for both mother and baby

The data held in the MSDS may also be linked to data held by NHS Digital from various other data sets and collections, including (but not limited to) the Community Services Data Set (CSDS) and Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS). The MSDS data may also be linked to external data sources such as Office for National Statistics (ONS) data and data from the National Neonatal Data Set. More information about the data sets and collections that NHS Digital hold and that may be used for linkage can be found on the NHS Digital website. Linkage is carried out in order to investigate the relationship between care in maternity services and subsequent activity, such as health visiting and school nursing activity, as well as referrals to neonatal units, mental health services and other services. 

For more information about how NHS Digital uses your personal data including their lawful basis for processing, how long they hold it for and your rights, please see their website: https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/our-work/keeping-patient-data-safe/gdpr/gdpr-register

To manage your choice about how your confidential patient information is used beyond your own individual care, please visit the following website https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters

Alternatively, you can call 0300 303 5678.

More information about the Maternity Services Dataset (MSDS) can be found at the following website: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-sets/maternity-services-data-set 

This information is available in audio, Braille, large print and other languages. To request a copy, please ask a member of staff.