Recording of calls

Call recording

As a NHS Trust we have recently introduced a process to record all of our incoming calls for the Mental Health Crisis Teams.

Why we have implemented the Service

We have done this to ensure the Trust provides high quality information to patients and to ensure all referrals and advice provided adheres to best customer service standards.

At the start of your phone call, all service users will be advised about key information in relation to the call. This will include how the crises helpline works, indicative waiting times, accessing service options and information about the recording of the call. At this point, users may terminate the call should they not wish their call to be recorded for quality and training purposes.

All calls will be recorded as a voice message in the telephone system and will automatically be recorded in the service area. The recording will terminate once the call ends.

How we will use the information

It is important to highlight that the recorded information will be used to assist with our patient enquires and complaints as well as any independent internal/external investigations. As a Trust we have a duty to report on such matters appropriately and your independent record of discussion will help us to fulfill this.

Who will access the recordings

Only specific staff who have key roles and responsibilities for the service will be able to access your recordings as part of a complaint, request or quality assurance audit or where a serious issue has been flagged up about the process. All recordings will be played in secure environments.

As part of the service deployment, all new and current staff involved in the service will receive appropriate training before they go live on the calls. This will involve script training and scenario role plays between the trainer and trainee to ensure staff have been exposed to a range of various calls which they will expected to take during their work shifts and to understand the level of standard practice expected of them.

Information security

All recordings will be held via a secure encrypted system (at rest and transfer) which will require a dedicated username, password and code.


All recorded calls will be retained by the mental health service for 3 years from the date the call was recorded.

Requesting Access to the Recorded Information

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 all service users are entitled to access any recorded information held about them, subject to the exemptions of the Act/Regulation. This includes all recorded calls. This is known as a ‘subject access request’ (SAR).

Should you wish to access a copy of your telephone conversation then please submit a SAR to the Information Governance Manager (i.e. the Data Protection Officer) at the following address:

Information Governance Manager
Northumberland Ward
St Ann’s Hospital
St Ann’s Road
N15 3TH

Tel: 020 8702 413

We will assess your request and determine if the information can be released.

All SARs are free and will be processed within 1 month i.e. 30 calendar days.

Right to erasure

Service Users are advised that the ‘right to erasure’ under Article 17 of GDPR does not apply where the Trust’s retention period has not been reached or where the Trust has an overriding legal or compliance obligation to comply with. All erasure requests will be accessed on their own merits.

Sharing of recorded calls

If an external body requires access to the Trust’s recorded calls for the purposes of the detection and prevention of crime (e.g. police), we advise you refer your request to the Information Governance Manager for an immediate response at the above address. Such requests will need to be legally validated to be approved as all calls remain private and confidential.