The WWL Way
Telephone: 01942 244 000

Your Information as a Patient

We process information in order to help provide our healthcare services to you.  The data we hold must comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations. It must only be used for specific purposes  which are allowed by law.

Why we collect information about you?

We keep records about you to ensure that you receive the best possible care from us.  These are either written down or held electronically on a computer.  We also create a record to identify you and maintain your personal details.  The records may include name, date of birth , NHS number, address, name of a personal representative and a GP you are registered with.  We may also have to collect other demographic information which will keep you informed about such as ethnic origin - see below.  We also keep details regarding the treatment / care you receive.

How your records are used to help you?

  • To ensure we have accurate and up to date information for us to assess your health and decide the care / treatment you need
  • To ensure that partner NHS health and care organisations can provide you with appropriate care
  • Information is available if you may have to see another doctor or specialist
  • There is information available to assess the type and quality of care you have received
  • Your concerns can be properly investigated if you need to complain

How are your records used to help the NHS?

  • Review and audit the care and treatment we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals
  • Pay your GP, dentist or hospital for the care they provide
  • Investigate complaints, legal claims or untoward incidents
  • Prepare statistics and monitor performance to ensure our services can meet patient needs in the future

Please note anonymised information will be used at all times where possible - this means you cannot be identified - if your information is used for any other reason which is not for care purposes you will be asked for consent unless the law requires information to be passed on to improve public health.

Your rights under current legislation. 

The Right to Be Informed

You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your data. Our team of health and care professionals keep records about your health and care both electronically and on paper to provide you with care and treatment, both now and in the future, ensuring that appropriate information is available to all those who treat you medically and care for you professionally. In an anonymous format it is used in a variety of ways, for example, managing and planning future NHS care. For further information, read our privacy notice. 

The Right to Rectification

You have the right to have any errors in your record corrected. You are entitled to request corrections to data that is inaccurate or incomplete.

For more information please see our right to rectification page by clicking here.

The Right to Be Forgotten

You have the right to request that your personal data is erased, however, health records have specific retention periods imposed by law and therefore this cannot always happen.  For example, records are required for the provision and management of health and social care systems and services. If you make such a request we will inform you if any legislation applies to you.

The Right to Object

You can object to the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances, for example you may turn down any request to be included in a clinical trial.

The Right Not to be Subject to Automated Decision Making

You will be informed if any part of your care involves an automated process (not involving a human) to make a decision.

Rights of access

You can request to see your records, the request must be in writing or verbal, proof of identity (for example, copy of passport) and proof of address (for example, utility bill).  There may be a charge.  We have one calendar month to respond for simple requests, the amount of time allowed for requests that are deemed to be complex is extented by a further two months.

Copying letters to patients

You can request a copy of any letter written about you from one healthcare professional to another.  If you would like this, inform the doctor during your appointment.


Complaints about the use of your information should be made to the Information Governance Department.

For further information please see our "How we use your information leaflet" by clicking the link here.


How the NHS and care services use your information


Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, 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.