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How we use your information for research

Care teams within C&I are working with researchers to find ways to develop better treatments for care. The information in your health records can also be used to help NHS researchers understand more about the causes of illnesses and how best to treat them. They need to follow strict rules to make sure your personal data is used with a lawful basis such as consent.

Researchers will make efforts to take out any information that could identify you where possible, such as your name, address and postcode. If they cannot practically take out such information, it is their legal responsibility to ask for your explicit consent.

We work with healthcare partners, researchers and technical experts to develop computer systems, such as C&I Research Database. This includes encryption techniques, such as pseudonymisation (using special codes), to enhance your privacy and protect your confidentiality before using your information for research.  For more information on such local research systems and initiatives, please visit the C&I Research Database site.

In more exceptional cases, researchers may seek special support from the Secretary of State under the health service (control of patient information) regulations (also known as ‘section 251 support’). This can allow researchers to use your personal data without your permission, only when it is not practical to seek permission. They must also have reassured an independent committee who have reviewed the purpose and data security arrangements. You can find more information on trials where researchers have used this special support known as ‘section 251’ support

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