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Last Updated on 9 October 2023

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust collects and shares information relating to you and your child.

How we use your information during COVID-19

We may use your information differently to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice for parents and Privacy Notice for patients.

The National Health System is facing serious pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share information across organisations.

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak.

Using this law the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; ​​Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data.

Using your data to improve your care during Covid-19
In order to look after your health and care needs we may share your confidential patient information including health and care records with clinical and non clinical staff in other providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals, our clinical commissioning groups and NHS 111.

We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email.

During this period of emergency we may offer you a consultation via telephone or videoconferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.

Using your data to help others
We will also be required to share personal/confidential patient information with health and care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak. NHS England and Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to inform the Covid-19 response.

This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves. All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation.

In such circumstances where you tell us you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than needed and we will make sure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

Opt outs
During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes National Data Opt-outs. However in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply.

It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access requests, Freedom of Information requests and new opt-out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.

We may amend this privacy notice at any time so please review it frequently. The date at the top of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.


What happens to the information that you give us about you and your child?
Wherever possible we remove personal details to make it anonymous.

Information may then be shared with other people within the departments of health, social services and the education services.

Everyone working for the NHS and receiving information from the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about patients confidential.

How we know it is you - your child's NHS Number

Every person (you and your child) has a unique reference number – your NHS Number. The number looks like this: 0912458766.

Your NHS Number is unique to you. Using it to identify you correctly is an important step towards improving the safety of your healthcare.

If you know your NHS Number, or have it on a document or letter, you can help healthcare staff find your records more easily and share them safely with other people who are caring for you.

If you are unsure of your NHS number just ask a member of staff.

Why we collect and share information
We have a duty to share information in certain circumstances:

For you

  • it may be needed if we see your child again
  • to assist other services in providing the best ongoing care for you and your child
  • to review and audit the care we provide to make sure it is of the highest standard
  • to investigate any complaints or legal cases
  • to enable us to remind you of appointments (mobile phone texting)

For the community

  • to plan what health care services are needed in your area and nationally
  • to ensure we obtain the correct levels of funding
  • so we can monitor how well the NHS copes with health care needs
  • we have a statutory duty to let Public Health England know about certain infectious diseases

For future patients

  • to train and educate staff (patients can choose whether or not to be involved personally)
  • to conduct research – this has to be approved by a local research ethics committee (if anything to do with the research involves you or your child personally you will be contacted to see if you are willing to take part)
  • to see if we are meeting our targets on the standards of care provided
  • some information is held centrally by the Department of Health
Do you give my information to my relatives?
We do not give information to your friends or relatives without your permission.
What are my rights?
You have the right to object to the sharing or use of confidential information recorded about you or your child. Further information on how to do this is provided below.
Can I see the information held about me and my child?
Yes you may have a right of access to your child’s health record. Apply in writing to the hospital for access to your child’s health record.

Information Governance Team
Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Western Bank
S10 2TH

Call: 0114 305 58103/53388/53369

Use of cameras and video equipment for recording, including consultations, and/or images within the Trust
The Trust requests that patients’ privacy is respected and reminds patients and visitors that the use of devices to capture pictures and/or video of other individuals is not permitted without their consent whilst on Trust premises.

Video or recordings – including consultations e.g. discussions with your doctor – may only be conducted after discussion and agreement with the relevant individuals concerned/involved in the consultation.

General Data Protection Regulation requests

The General Data Protection Regulation (formerly the Data Protection Act 1998) came into force on 25 May 2018.

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has a process in place to enable the public to find information about how the Trust manages your information and how to exercise your rights under the regulation.

The Trust has a Data Protection Officer who will manage your request/enquiry.

  1. email your request/enquiry to
  2. write to the Data Protection Officer (Mark Talbot), IM&T Department, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TH

All requests will be responded to within 30 working days.

Further information

If at any time you would like to know more about how we use information or make an objection please speak to the person in charge of your child’s care or write to the hospital.

Further information on your legal rights can be obtained from

Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS)


The Office of the Information Commissioner (Data Protection)
Helpline: 0303 123 1113

Specific national advice can be obtained from the Department of Health
Telephone: 020 7210 4850
Minicom: 020 7210 5025
Make an enquiry

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