Heading Who do I contact if I need more information? Health Records Department The Great Western Hospital Marlborough Road Swindon SN3 6BB Receiving copies of hospital letters written about you Direct Line: 01793 604717 A short guide for patients and their carers Author: Patient Records Committee Date produced: April 2005 Date reviewed: December 2013 Next review date: December 2014 Leaflet number: PALS PiL - 0211 If you would like this information in another format, i.e. large print or another language, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) department on 01793 604031. Why will I receive copies of letters written about me? The NHS Plan made a commitment to let you have copies of any letters written about you by one healthcare professional to another. The idea is that all letters that help to improve a patient’s understanding of their health and the care they are receiving should be copied to them as of right. What kind of letters will I receive? You will receive a copy of the letter which has been sent by the hospital to your GP. The purpose of the letter is to give your GP medical information about your illness, care and treatment. If you wish to have a further explanation of the content of the letter please talk to your GP or contact the hospital and ask to speak to the secretary of the doctor whose name is on the letter. Will I receive a copy of all the letters written about me? Yes, if you want to. If the letter contains new information the clinician may prefer to discuss it with you personally before giving you a copy of the letter so that they can explain what it means. Occasionally the doctor or healthcare professional may decide not to copy a letter to you. This may be where the letter contains information about other people, or if it is felt you could be caused harm. If you want to see a copy of any letters, you can apply to see them and all your medical records under the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Will I need to ask for a copy letter each time I come to hospital? No. You will receive a copy routinely, unless you have asked us not to send you a copy. The letter will be sent to you by post, at the same time that it is sent to your GP. What is the benefit of receiving a copy of the letter? Can I choose not to receive copies of letters? By sending you a copy of the letter, we hope it will help to: Increase trust between you and your healthcare professional. Keep you better informed of your condition, treatment and care, and how you can help yourself. Help you to make better, more informed decisions about your health by involving you in this process. Help you to understand the reasons for taking medication or having treatment and to follow the advice you’ve been given. Help to keep the information we hold about you accurate and up to date, as if you notice a mistake you can tell us about it. Help to reduce anxieties by keeping you involved. Encourage our staff to write letters in plain English so that they are clear and easy to understand. Yes, it is up to you. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive copies of letters. If you do not want a copy sent to your home you can also ask to see a copy at the hospital. I am a carer. Can I receive copies of letters about the person I am caring for? The letter will normally be copied to the patient only, but the patient can ask for you as the carer to have a copy. If the patient asks for you not to be sent a copy, we will not be able to provide you with a copy.