Privacy Policy

Privacy Officer   Freedom of Information Officer  
St Vincent's (Fitzroy) 03 9288 2773 St Vincent's (Fitzroy)  03 9288 2775
St George's (Kew) 03 9816 0526 St George's (Kew)  03 9816 0526
Caritas Christi Hospice 03 9853 2344 Caritas Christi Hospice  03 9853 2344

What information does St Vincent’s collect about me?

When you become a patient of St Vincent’s a record is made containing information such as your name, address, date of birth, emergency contacts, general practitioner (GP) contact details, the nature of the problem for which you sought treatment and the investigations, treatment and advice you were given. Every time you attend St Vincent’s for healthcare services or consultations, new information is added to your medical record. 

Why is information collected?

St Vincent’s collects the information we need to ensure that you receive the best possible care and to manage the health service effectively. Your previous medical history helps us identify which treatments are likely to be safe and effective for you and reduces the likelihood of repeating tests that you have had in the past. To help look after your own health we ask that you provide us with accurate and complete information.

Your information may also be used for research that will help provide better healthcare for the community. The St Vincent’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) only approves applications for research after undertaking thorough investigation and review. Researchers must follow strict guidelines and maintain the confidentiality of the information they access. No personal, identifiable information will leave the organisation for research without your prior consent.

How do you protect my information?

Information about you is stored in a medical record that is kept securely within our health service. Information about you is also located within the organisation’s password-protected computer system and is available to healthcare professionals who are involved in your care.

We maintain strict policies regarding who has the authority to access your personal information. All our staff are bound by a formal code of conduct about the confidentiality of your information. We educate and monitor staff to ensure information is handled confidentially and with respect and care.

If you attend another facility within St Vincent’s, some information about you may be made available to healthcare professionals at that facility. Again, this is necessary to ensure that you receive quality care and avoids duplication of tests and clinical assessments.

Who might receive information regarding my care and treatment?

Your local GP

We send a letter to your GP or referring hospital when you go home after a stay. The letter summarises your time at St Vincent's, your medication and any special instructions your doctor needs to know about. We also usually send a letter to your GP following a visit to a St Vincent's outpatient clinic, although this is not the case for every visit.

Sometimes your GP will contact St Vincent's for additional information about your treatment. In this situation, we will only release information to the doctor you have specified as your GP on the patient registration form.

Other hospitals or new doctors

Another hospital or a new GP may contact us to obtain information about you, so that they can treat you safely and effectively. We will release personal information about you to assist with your care.

Support services

You may need support services when you go home. We will release relevant information to enable these services to provide their support and continue your care.


General information about your condition may be provided to your next of kin or a near relative, unless you request otherwise.

Will anyone else receive information about me?

In some circumstances, laws oblige us to release personal information about you. Examples of this include:

  • presentation of your medical record as evidence in court when subpoenaed
  • compulsory reporting to state and federal authorities.

Will I be contacted after I go home?

The St Vincent’s Foundation helps support the organisation through fundraising activities and may send you a newsletter or information on the work they do. St Vincent’s respects the privacy of all current and prospective supporters so if you do not wish to receive mail from the Foundation please call tel: 03 9288 3365.

Sometimes one of your treating health professionals may write to you about a research study that you may be eligible to join. You can choose if you would like to be involved.

You may also receive a postal survey. Your response will be anonymous and confidential and is completely voluntary. If you do not want to receive any surveys, please call tel: 03 9288 3940.

How can I access my information?

If you want more information or if you do not understand an aspect of your care, the best person to speak to is someone in your healthcare team. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982, you have the right to make a written application for access to your medical record and personal information held by St Vincent’s. An administration and copying fee may be charged. If there is information in the record that you believe is incorrect, you have the right to request that it be corrected.

Contact the Freedom of Information Officer

St Vincent’s tel: 03 9288 2775

St George’s, Kew tel: 03 9816 0526

Caritas Christi tel: 03 9853 2344

What should I do if I have a complaint about privacy?

If you have any questions regarding what happens to the information about you, please speak to a staff member. If you would like a copy of our privacy policy or wish to make a privacy complaint contact St Vincent’s Patient Liaison Officer on tel: 03 9288 3108.

If you are not satisfied with the way in which in which we handle your information or your privacy concerns, you may wish to make a formal complaint to the Health Services Commissioner on tel: 03 8601 5225.

This information is also available in our 'Your privacy' brochure (PDF 481.8KB).