Privacy Notice: Emergency Ambulance Service (999)
We log details electronically when we receive a call for help in an emergency.
If one of our ambulance crews attends you, or you are transferred between hospitals by ambulance, we will collect information about you to help us identify and treat you. This will be recorded on a patient clinical record along with details of your symptoms and condition, and any treatment we give you.
The information is processed by Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) staff (these can include call takers, dispatchers and responding crews) to determine the most appropriate response for the patient’s care. Information is also processed to promote or support the provision of healthcare services to patients. Personal information from 999 calls is processed on the lawful basis that:
- We have a legal duty to perform our tasks in the public interest or for our official functions;
- It is necessary to protect someone’s life;
- You have given us your explicit consent.
We are also required to record details of your ethnicity and other information to help us monitor the equality of the services we provide.
If you make a complaint or an enquiry about the service we have provided, or have contact with us on another matter, we will keep a record of all the relevant details in a file for reference purposes. In some cases, with your permission we may need to obtain information from the hospital we have taken you to in order to investigate a complaint.
We record all 999 calls for the following purposes:
- To make sure staff act in compliance with our procedures;
- To ensure quality control;
- For training, monitoring and service improvement.
We also use the Attend Anywhere GoodSAM digital platform to provide patient consultations via video. The patient’s name, phone number and date of birth are used to confirm their identity ahead of the consultation. These details are deleted within an hour of the end of the consultation. Consultations are not recorded.
Records of the treatment and service we provide are retained securely for reference and will allow us to monitor how well we are providing our service.
If an ambulance takes you to hospital, we will give the hospital staff a copy of the patient clinical record so that they have details of your condition and the treatment we have provided. We retain the master copy and store this electronically on a computer system.
It may be appropriate to share your information with other services and third parties. These can include:
- NHS Commissioners who are responsible for procuring healthcare services to meet patients’ needs;
- Out-of-hours GP services to provide alternative medical services where deemed appropriate;
- Social Services where there is a concern for the welfare of the patient or others involved;
- Mental health services where the patient has a mental health illness and specific treatment is required;
- Dental service providers may be contacted where the emergency relates to dental complaints;
- Next of kin where the patient has requested us to make the person aware of any ongoing incident.
Personal information is shared with NHS Digital under their powers to require or request provision of information needed for the functions it exercises. We will also share information with other third parties if there is a statutory basis for disclosure or a requirement to comply with a court order.
We retain your clinical records and details of 999 calls for 10 years (25 years in relation to children's records).