COVID-19 Pathology Testing Privacy Notice

COVID-19 and your information

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust Supplementary privacy notice on COVID-19 for Patients/Service Users

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the COVID-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice which is available here:

The health and social care system is facing significant 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 health and care information across relevant 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. Further information is available on here and some FAQs on this law are available here.

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.

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 health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals 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 video-conferencing. 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.

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. Further information about how health and care data is being used and shared by other NHS and social care organisations in a variety of ways to support the COVID-19 response is here.

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 we require and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

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.

Should you have any queries on the uses of your information, wish to exercise one or more of your rights or complain about our use of your information please direct your enquiry to our Data Protection Officer via email ( or telephone (01622 228 698) or at this address:.

Trust Secretary

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Maidstone Hospital

Hermitage Lane


ME16 9QQ

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your enquiry you can contact the regulator: The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF - Telephone: 01625 545700.

Covid Test Results

Consent must be provided for release of your result, and the results of any of your household who are tested at the same time. If you are a patient it will be released to the clinicians involved in your care. If you are a key worker then the result will be shared with your employer

Please note, if you are found to be Covid positive, it will be necessary to share this information with a limited number of managers within your organisation in order to comply with track and trace procedures and to maintain patient safety

Lateral Flow Kits Used by MTW Staff 

Following a recent change to the central return process the Trust is now subject to more stringent data quality checks on all LFD test result information which is submitted to Public Health England each week. This means that the Covid Testing and Business Intelligence teams are required to improve the data quality of records submitted. In order to correct or populate fields with missing information the Trust reserves the right to update staff registration information on the Covid Testing Patient Portal using information held on other Corporate systems. If you have any concerns or questions about this process, please contact the Covid Testing Team on 01622 939534 or email them at