IG Charter

Personal information – our promise to our patients

St. James’s Hospital is committed to protecting the confidentiality of information held about our patients.

We need to handle personal information – such as address, date of birth and contact details – to help us provide a good service, to keep patients safe while in our care, and to avoid confusion if patients are transferred elsewhere for continuing care or treatment.

Every patient has the right to know what information we hold about them. We aim to make sure that the reasons for retaining personal information are explained as clearly as possible and that people feel reassured that we are protecting their confidentiality.

We respect the dignity and privacy of our patients and only share personal identifiable information when necessary for their own care, treatment and safety.

Requesting personal information

When we ask for personal information we will endeavour to:

  • only ask for what we need – we will not collect irrelevant information
  • explain why we need the information and how we will use it - what happens to information held about you
  • protect information and make sure it is only seen by those who need to know.

Sharing information

Personal information relating to patients will be shared with external organisations in circumstances such as:

  • With the patient’s knowledge, or that of their next of kin, the patient is referred to another medical facility for treatment;
  • As part of normal healthcare management the Hospital may send patient related details to external organisations for processing. In these cases specific arrangements and agreements will be put in place to ensure the safe transmission, storage, use and disposal of the data.
  • In some cases clinical information relating to patients may be shared with other organisations in order to provide treatment for patients or to protect the public. Where this is the case, patients will be advised when this needs to take place.

There are rare occasions when patients will not be told if their information is shared with another organisation. This can occur for compilation of anonymised statistics. More exceptionally we are obliged to provide information to An Garda Siochana in the event of a criminal investigation. The Hospital does not and will not sell or share personal information for commercial use e.g. for marketing purposes.

Our promise

When we are in possession of personal information we will protect it and aim to:

  • keep patient information safe
  • abide by the law in respect of handling personal identifiable information
  • respect the wishes of patients who do not want us to share their information
  • never keep information longer than necessary
  • consider the privacy risks when we are planning to use or hold personal information in new ways, such as introducing new IT systems
  • provide training to staff on the correct ways of obtaining, using and storing personal information
  • challenge staff when personal information is not protected properly
  • check and report regularly on how we are doing

What we ask of our patients

To help us we ask our patients to provide accurate information and tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes to personal information, such as a new address or telephone number and to let us know if they think we’ve not abided by the principles in this charter.

Contact details

If you would like more information please contact the hospital at:

Patient Experience Office, Quality Safety Improvement Directorate, CEO Building, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8

or e-mail to patientfeedback@stjames.ie