NHSBT Information Charter

Your information is very important to us!
If you enrol as a donor, or are a patient of NHSBT or of one of our healthcare partners, we will need to hold some information about you.

What information do we hold?
It is important that we can identify you correctly, and communicate with you when necessary, so we
will collect personal details about you which may include your

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • occupation
  • donor ID number
  • NHS number
  • ethnic group

We must also hold details of donations made and healthcare treatments provided.

How will we use your information?
In addition to looking after our donors and patients, their information helps us to:

  • Comply with the law. We are required to keep records of all donors, and of transplant operations and recipients
  • Improve our service. We regularly review all aspects of our blood and transplant services, including the way in which our forms are filled in, or the manner in which our healthcare professionals carry out their interviews. Reports are always presented with all personal details removed;
  • Carry out research, to improve our knowledge about the donor population. By looking at the sorts of people who become blood and organ donors or receive transplants we can understand better how to meet their expectations of us, and identify opportunities for recruiting and retaining more donors. This is essential to help us collect adequate supplies of donated blood, tissues and organs

Our Guarantees to You

  • we will only ever ask for information we need in order to provide our service
  • we will only keep your information for as long as necessary
  • we will keep your information securely
  • we will not make your personal information available for commercial use
  • we will only share your information with other organisations if this is allowed or required by law, and will normally seek your consent first

Your questions answered

How will my information be protected?
NHSBT is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Act controls the way in which we use your personal information, including how it is obtained, recorded, held, used, shared and disposed of. We are committed to maintaining our compliance with the Act.

How can I access my records?
For more information please contact Customer Services at the address given at the end of this document.

Can I find out information about somebody else?
No, the Data Protection Act 1998 only gives you the right to see your own personal information. Just as we have an obligation to protect your information, the same applies to anybody else’s. The Access to Health Records 1990 allows deceased persons’ legal representatives the right to see health records. This right does not automatically apply to any family member. Please contact us if you need more advice about this.

How about information about NHS Blood and Transplant?
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you can ask us for any corporate or business information that we hold, and we will provide it as long as it is not covered by any of the exemptions in the Act. You also have the right under the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004, to request access to information we hold about the environment.

Although most requests for information are free of charge, in some instances an administrative fee may need to be paid. If this is the case, we will tell you and if possible help you to reduce the scope of any request to avoid paying a fee.

How long does it take to receive information?
We will provide your information as quickly as we can once we have all the necessary information and fees, if any. Under the Data Protection Act we must supply personal data within 40 calendar days, and the deadline for corporate information issued under the Freedom of Information Act is 20 working days.

Can information be withheld?
The Data Protection Act allows us to withhold personal data whose release would cause significant damage or distress to anyone. This decision can only be made by a senior clinician The Freedom of Information Act has a number of exemptions and conditions under which information can be withheld, in order to provide a balance between your right to know and the need to protect personal privacy and other issues of confidentiality such as national security. If we withhold information we will explain our reasons for doing so, as required by law.

How can I make a request for information?
Please make your request in writing. If you are applying for your own personal data we will need your signature to help us confirm your identity, but Freedom of Information requests are welcome by email. The addresses are at the end of this document.

What information do you need from me?
We need to keep our information up to date and as accurate as possible. Please let us know if there are any mistakes or gaps in the information we hold about you, and also if there are any changes, such as a change of surname, address or telephone number. Please also tell us if you do not wish us to contact you, whether by letter, telephone or email. We can prevent routine contacts, but will still try to get in touch if we have important information about your health or wellbeing.

How can I contact you?
You can contact us:
By email to customer.services@nhsbt.nhs.uk
By telephone to 0300 123 23 23
By post to Customer Services
NHS Blood and Transplant
Colindale Avenue
LONDON
NW9 5BG

If you would like to know more ...
For independent advice about Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Environmental Information, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Phone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 Fax: 01625 524510 Website: www.ico.gov.uk

Join the Organ Donor Register 0300 123 23 23