Fair Processing Notice

Fair Processing Notice for patients: data protection and confidentiality

Your information – how we use it

Why we collect information about you

The Modality Partnership keeps records about the healthcare and treatment our patients receive. This helps to ensure that patients receive the best possible care from us.

How we keep your records confidential

Everyone working for the NHS must comply with the Common Law Duty of Confidence. Information you provide to the partnership in confidence will only be used for the purposes explained to you and to which you consented, unless there are other circumstances covered by the law.

The Modality Partnership complies with the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct. All our staff are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared.

The Modality Partnership holds information about you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

What information do we hold about you?

  • Your age, contact details and next of kin
  • Details of your appointments, clinic visits etc.
  • Records about your health, illness, treatment and care
  • Results of investigations, like laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.
  • Information from other health professionals

How your personal information is used to improve the NHS

Your information will also help us manage the NHS and protect the health of the public by being used to:

  • review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard and quality, e.g. through audit or service improvement
  • ensure our services can meet patient needs in the future
  • investigate patient queries, complaints and legal claims
  • ensure the Modality partnership 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)
  • train and educate healthcare professionals

Sharing information with other NHS organisations

We share your personal information with other NHS organisations. For example, we may share your information for healthcare purposes with health authorities, other NHS trusts, general practitioners (GPs), ambulance services and primary care agencies.

Information sharing with non-NHS organisations

We may need to share information from your health records with other non-NHS organisations from which you are also receiving care, such as Social Services. However, we will not disclose any health information to third parties without your explicit consent unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires it.

We may also be asked by other statutory bodies to share basic information about you, such as your name and address, but not sensitive information from your health records. This would normally be to assist them to carry out their statutory duties. In these circumstances, where it is not practical to obtain your explicit consent, we are informing you through this notice, which is referred to as a Fair Processing Notice, under the Data Protection Act.

These non-NHS organisations may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Social Services
  • education services
  • local authorities
  • the police
  • voluntary sector providers
  • private sector providers

Invoice validation

Invoice validation is an important process. It involves using your NHS number to check that we are the CCG that is responsible for paying for your treatment. We can also use your NHS number to check whether your care has been funded through specialist commissioning, which NHS England will pay for. The process makes sure that the organisations providing your care are paid correctly.

The legal basis to use information for invoice validation is provided under Regulations made under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 and is based on the advice of the Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality and Advisory Group (reference CAG 7-07(a) and (b)/2013.) 

Fraud Prevention

The Modality Partnership is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

Risk stratification/Predictive Audit

Risk stratification tools are increasingly being used in the NHS to help determine a patient’s risk of suffering a particular condition; preventing an unplanned or (re)admission to hospital; and identifying a need for preventive intervention. Information about you is collected from a number of sources including NHS Trusts and from this GP Practice. A risk score is then arrived at through an analysis of your information using software managed by an agreed 3rd party as the data processor and is then only provided back to your GP or member of your care team as data controller. Data is processed under section s251 of the NHS act 2006. Data Risk stratification enables your GP (the Modality Partnership) to focus on preventing ill health and not just the treatment of sickness. If necessary the Modality Partnership may be able to offer you additional services. You have the right to opt out at any time.

Pseudonymised data may be provided to approved 3rd parties to provide your GP practice with reporting capabilities, the use of which includes clinical safety monitoring and service quality improvement projects, operational reporting that enables the Modality Partnership to improve the range, quality and effectiveness of services provided and service changes, such as potential new services

The legal basis to use information for predictive audit/risk stratification is provided under Regulations made under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 and is based on the advice of the Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality and Advisory Group (reference CAG 7-04(a)/2013.)


Pseudonymisation at Source

The Modality Partnership has been working closely with a third party called Optum to develop systems that provide the data that the Modality partnership needs to do our work, but in ways that do not involve Optum or the CCG using information that can identify individual patients.  

Pseudonymisation is a technical process that replaces identifiable information such as a NHS number, postcode, date of birth with a unique identifier, which obscures the ‘real world’ identity of the individual patient to those working with the data. It allows records for the same patient from different sources to be linked to create a complete longitudinal record of that patient’s condition, history and care.

Linkage of data from different health and social care data sources is undertaken enabling the processing of data and provision of appropriate analytical support for Modality Partnership GPs and CCGs whilst protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patient(s).

Technical and organisational measures are in place to ensure the security and protection of information.  Robust access controls are in place to ensure only Modality partnership staff are able to re-identify information about their individual patients with their consent when it is necessary for the provision of their care.

Optum Pseudonymisation at Source system has been confirmed by the Information Commissioners Office as sufficiently de-identifying patient identifiers before it leaves the originating source to make it impossible to re-identify the individual concerned.

Caldicott Guardian

The Caldicott Guardian for the Modality Partnership is Dr Ben Empson. 

Patient satisfaction

We may use your details to contact you with regards to patient satisfaction surveys relating to services you have used within our hospital. This is to improve the way we deliver healthcare to you and other patients.

Your right to withdraw consent for us to share your personal information

At any time you have the right to refuse/withdraw consent to information sharing. The possible consequences will be fully explained to you and could include delays in receiving care.

Further information

To learn more about how we use your information, please speak to the health professionals concerned with your care, or contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) department.

  • Phone: 0121 507 5836, 10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday. (Please leave a message if the line is engaged or if you are calling outside office hours.)

  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • PALS Birmingham Treatment Centre (ground floor) City Hospital Dudley Road Birmingham B18 7QH

If you require more detailed information, please contact the Modality Information Governance team.

Information Governance Team Modality Partnership

55 Terrace Road


B19 1BP Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.