Direct and Indirect Care

Processing for direct care purposes

Unless you object, we will normally share information about you with other health and social care professionals who are involved in your direct care. This is so that you may receive the best quality of care. For example, every time you attend the hospital as a patient, we will send your GP a summary of any diagnoses, test results or treatment given.

You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS e.g. social care services. We may need to share some information about you with them so we can all work together for your benefit. We will only do this when they have a genuine need for it or we have your permission.

Examples of who we may share your direct care information with are:

  • social care services
  • education services
  • local authorities
  • voluntary and private sector providers working with the NHS

We will not disclose your information to any other third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances. Such as when either you or somebody else’s health and safety is at risk; or the law requires us to pass on information.


Through sharing information ethically and lawfully the NHS is able to improve its understanding of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided.

Legal Basis

The processing is necessary for health and social care purposes:

  • Preventative and occupational medicine
  • The assessment of the working capacity of an employee
  • Medical diagnoses
  • The provision of healthcare and treatment
  • The provision of social care, or
  • The management of healthcare or social care systems and services

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care System (ICS)

The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) region operates as an Integrated Care System (ICS), where 11 NHS organisations work in partnership with four local councils and others.

Together, we take collective responsibility for delivering an enhanced quality of care, improving health and well-being, ensuring value for money and making BLMK a great place to work. 

This means sometimes we will securely share information to aide treatment or for referral purposes.

For more information about the BLMK ICS, our partners, plans and priorities, please visit

One London

OneLondon is a programme which enables secure information sharing between MKUH and some London’s NHS health and care providers.

Sharing information enables NHS clinicians to have real-time access to relevant care records, helping them to better understand the needs of their patients that have been referred from Milton Keynes and surrounding areas and make the best decisions about their care.

Information sharing between MKUH and these NHS providers based in London is enabled by a secure network of health information exchanges (HIE).   This linkup supports a wider NHS ambition to create a network of shared care records across England to benefit faster, safer, more effective patient care.

More information is available from the One London website

To read about how data is shared and processed in this partnership click here – Sharing Information – North East London Health & Care Partnership

Processing for indirect care purposes

We also use information we hold about you to:

  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality
  • Ensure our services can meet patient needs in the future
  • Investigate patient queries, complaints and legal claims
  • Ensure the hospital receives payment for the care you receive
  • Prepare statistics on NHS performance
  • Audit NHS accounts and services
  • Undertake health research and development (with your consent – you may choose whether or not to be involved)
  • Help train and educate healthcare professionals

Nationally there are strict controls on how your information is used for these purposes. These decide whether your information has to be de-identified first and with whom we may share identifiable information with.

You can find out more about these purposes, which are also known as secondary uses, on NHS England the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

If you would like to “opt out”

The NHS Constitution states “You have the right to request that your confidential information is not used beyond your own care and treatment and to have your objections considered”. There may be occasions when it is not possible to exercise your right to “opt out”. Such as when we have an obligation by law or for the purposes of safeguarding adults and children.

It is also important to note that by opting out there could be consequences. These will be discussed with you if you are considering to opt out. If you wish to opt out please contact the Information Governance Team.

For further information on NHS “opt out” please see below:-

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.

The Trust is currently compliant with the national data opt out.