How do we use your information?
We analyse information to see what is most effective about our website and associated services to help us identify ways to improve it and to make it more effective. We may also use information for other purposes, which we would describe to you at the point when we collect the information.
What information do we collect when you use this website?
When you use this site, we use technology to collect information indirectly – such as your internet address. This is commonplace across all internet services to enable the investigation of issues such as malicious use. This information is then kept in our internet access logs.
We collect information directly from you in a number of ways. One way is by using cookies. Cookies are small files of information that save and retrieve information about your visit to our site, such as how you entered our site, how you navigated through the site and what information was of interest to you. This information is collected for a number of reasons, for example, to help develop the website and associated services.
See our cookies policy for more information on the cookies we use.
We also collect information when you give it to us. For example, you may register to use the message-posting facility. When we collect this type of information, we will notify you as to why we are asking for information and how this information will be used. It is completely up to you whether you provide it, but not providing information may affect our ability to provide services to you.
Your data is kept under secure conditions
We take appropriate steps to maintain the security of your data on our service. The open nature of the internet means that data may flow over networks without security measures and may be accessed and used by people other than those for whom the data is intended. Our intention is that this should not happen and we take measures to ensure that it does not.
Covid-19 and your information – Updated on 8th April 2020
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 above.
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 gov.uk 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.
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.
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.