Your rights


NHS Inform has produced a number of publications that give details of your rights in relation to NHS healthcare.  The link below will give you direct access to the relevant page of the NHS Inform website.

At NHS Inform you will find information about:

  • What you can expect from the NHS and what we expect from you.
  • How to access your information.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Consent.
  • Rights for those under 16.
  • Making a complaint.
  • Health care for overseas visitors.
  • Health care for holidaymakers from overseas.

Information rights

How we manage your personal information.

Looking after your personal information

We all need effective health care systems to help us keep well - and to treat us when we are ill.

The NHS uses the information you provide to help us plan and manage modern health care services and improve health care.

Members of the NHS team looking after you will routinely share information with others involved in your direct care and treatment. This team may include doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, laboratory staff, other healthcare professionals, certain administration staff and trainee students in medicine or nursing. Staff may also need to share some of your information with people who work outside the NHS - for example, in social work, education or other partner agencies - to provide for your care and other needs. These people will only get access to your personal information on a need-to-know basis. 

Click here for more information on information sharing within the Health and Social Care Partnerships.


Making decisions about your health care and treatment.

Consent is the principle that a person must give their permission before they receive any type of medical treatment.  Consent is required from a patient regardless of the type of treatment being undertaken and this must be informed and voluntarily given.

There are, however, some occasions when your information may need to be passed to others without your consent - for example, where there is a legal requirement or in the public interest or vital interest situation (that is, child protection). Whenever possible you will be informed if such an occasion arises.

For further information, click on the following links:

Consent form


Information for you.

The NHS has a legal and moral duty to protect and to keep your personal health information confidential. All NHS staff members have a legal obligation and a contractual duty to keep information about you confidential and will only share your information with others as part of your care and treatment on a strict need to know basis.

All NHS Boards have appointed a 'Caldicott Guardian' whose job it is to oversee how staff use personal information and ensure that patients' rights to confidentiality are respected. Within NHS Ayrshire & Arran, this is Dr Alison Graham, Executive Medical Director.  Further information can be found using the following links:

  Data protection

Data protection information

The Data Protection Act 1998  is a part of UK law which gives legal rights to individuals (data subjects) in respect of personal data processed about them by others. Under this Act every organisation (data controller) that processes personal information must notify the Information Commissioner's Office unless they are exempt. NHS Ayrshire & Arran is not exempt and is therefore registered with the Information Commissioner's Office. You can view NHS Ayrshire & Arran's notification here. by searching for Z8437002. It is therefore our duty to comply with the Act by following the principles of good information handling contained within the Act. 

The right to complain

This is an information leaflet for patients and carers giving information about NHS Ayrshire & Arran's complaints procedure.

In addition to the contact details available within the booklet, NHS Ayrshire & Arran also provides a freephone telephone number, which is 0800 169 1441

Our revised complaints procedure is designed to make things simpler and more effective for you, if you want to raise concerns with us.