Public Health privacy notice

Privacy notice specifically for West Sussex County Council's Public Health service.

This privacy notice explains:

  • how personal information is going to be used
  • what it is used for
  • who it might be shared with and why
  • how long it is kept.

The information you provide helps us deliver our services effectively.

It applies only to West Sussex County Council (WSCC). If you transfer to another site, please read the privacy notice relating to that site's information. We will not transfer personal information to other sites, unless you have been advised that we will do so.

Data controller

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) complies with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is registered as a ‘Data Controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Reg. No. Z6413427). 

You can find details for the WSCC Data Protection Officer (DPO) on our Privacy Policy.

We ensure that your personal data is processed fairly and lawfully, is accurate, is kept secure and is retained for no longer than is necessary.

What information we collect and how we use it

When contacting us, you may be asked for personal information such as name, address and postcode.

Information may be collected:

  • to fulfil your request for information or services
  • as input to improving our site
  • as part of the process of consultation.

It will only be used in those activities necessary to provide you with the service you have requested or require. Any information provided via the comments/compliments/complaints area of the website will be used for the purposes which we reasonably believe it was provided for.

You will be advised of any additional purposes or uses at the time the information is collected.

In addition to the purposes which we have stated when we collected the information, it will also be processed in line with those purposes which we have identified on our data protection notification which is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. We may also use information for those purposes required by law.

How we use your personal information

Information which you have provided to the County Council will be stored securely. It will be used for the purposes stated when the information was collected.

Information will not be sold, rented or provided to anyone else, or used for any other purpose than that for which it was originally collected unless required to by law.

We are required under Section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 to participate in the National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise. The data held will be used for cross-system and cross authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud. For further information see the National Fraud Initiative section of our Privacy Policy.

Since April 2013, The Health and Social Care Act 2012 has given local authorities the power to perform public health functions. This means that the we have "A duty to improve the health of the people and responsibility for commissioning appropriate public health services" and the statutory responsibilities for public health services are clearly set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

You have the right to opt out of WSCC receiving or holding your personal identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues.

The process for opting out will depend on the specific data and what programme it relates to. For further information, please email the Public Health team: ACDJSNA@westsussex.gov.uk.

Health and Social Care Act 2012

To deliver public health, local authorities need to use available health data sources to get relevant health and social care information. This data can contain Person Identifiable Data (PID) which may identify patients such as name, address, age, sex, ethnicity, disease, use of hospital services, and/or NHS Number.

Some data may not be obviously identifiable, however there may be the potential to deduce individuals’ identities through combinations of information, either by the people handling the data or by those who see published results.

We will have access to the following data:

  • Primary Care Mortality Database (PCMD) - The PCMD holds mortality data as provided at the time of registration of the death along with additional GP details, geographical indexing and coroner details where applicable.
  • Births and vital statistics datasets - Births files, includes date of birth, sex, birth weight, address, postcode, place of birth, stillbirth indicators and age of mother. Deaths data, includes deaths broken down by age, sex, area and cause of death sourced from the deaths register.
  • Hospital Episode Data (HES) - A data warehouse containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England. This data is collected during a patient's time at hospital and is submitted to allow hospitals to be paid for the care they deliver. HES data is designed to enable secondary use, that is use for non-clinical purposes, of this administrative data.

West Sussex County Council’s Public Health service will access health and related information to analyse the health needs and outcomes of the local population and for monitoring trends and patterns of diseases and the associated risk factors.

The County Council Public health team is however, committed to using information that is pseudonymous or anonymous as much as is practical. In many cases this will be the default position.

  • Pseudonymisation - is a procedure by which the most identifying fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms. There can be a single pseudonym for a collection of replaced fields or a pseudonym per replaced field. The purpose is to render the data record less identifying and therefore lower customer or patient objections to its use.
  • Anonymisation - is the process of removing identifying particulars or details from something (especially medical test results), for statistical or other purposes.

All information accessed, processed and stored by public health staff will be used to measure the health, mortality or care needs of the population, for planning, evaluating and monitoring health, protecting and improving public health. It is used to carry out and support:

  • health needs assessments
  • health equity analysis
  • commissioning and delivery of services to promote health and prevent ill health
  • public health surveillance
  • identifying inequalities in the way people access services
  • joint strategic needs assessment
  • health protection and other partnership activities.

Any information held by the County Council about individuals will be held securely and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Information will not be held for longer than required and will be disposed of securely.

The legal basis for the flow of data for the above purposes is set out in Section 42 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

Your rights

See our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act came fully into force on 1 January 2005. This act gives you the right to access information held by WSCC. There are exemptions to this right and, should any of these apply, we are required to explain this to you. Some information may incur a charge and details of these charges can be found on the website.

Further information on the County Council's Freedom of Information Team and its role within the organisation can be found on the Freedom of Information page.

Collecting information automatically

See our Cookies page for further information about the information we collect automatically when using our website.

Information security

Our website does not collect personal information of users with general public access.

Health related data is accessed over an N3 connection, the secure national broadband network for the NHS. Any data extracts and analysis are saved in the confidential data library storage areas for Public Health Analysts which has restricted access controls.

Changes

If this privacy notice changes in any way, we will place an updated version on our website. By regularly reviewing this page, you will ensure that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with others.

Disclaimer

The County Council seeks to provide high quality information and we have made every effort to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date. However, we are unable to give any guarantee as to the accuracy of the information on the website and can accept no liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience which may be caused by relying on any such information.

We take reasonable steps to ensure that any external website that we provide links to, or any information provided by third parties, is not offensive or defamatory. However, we are unable to take responsibility for the content of any such information or website maintained outside of the council.

 
Last updated:
17 September 2020
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.