This Privacy Statement sets out the data processing practices carried out by Healthwatch Northumberland. We retain and use personal data (information that relates to and identifies living people) to help us carry out our role as the local independent champion for people who use health and social care services.
We will always make sure that your information is protected and treated securely. Any information that you give will be held in accordance with:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- As of 25 May 2018, the new data protection legislation introduced under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Bill.
Information we collect
We collect personal information from visitors to this website through the use of online forms and every time you email us your details.
We also collect feedback and views from people about the health and social care services that they access. In addition, we receive information about our own staff and people who apply to work for us.
We are strongly committed to data security and we take reasonable and appropriate steps to protect your personal information from unauthorised access, loss, misuse, alteration or corruption.
We have put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information you provide to us.
Only authorised employees and contractors under strict controls will have access to your personal information.
Information about people who use our website
Please note that this statement does not cover links within this website to other websites.
When you browse through the information on this website, it does not store or capture your personal information. We do log your IP address (as it is automatically recognised by the web server) but this is only so you can download this website onto your device rather than for any tracking purpose; it is not used for any other purpose.
We will only collect personal information provided by you, such as:
- feedback from surveys and online forms
- email addresses
- preferred means of communication
Cookies are small data files that we place on your computer. They improve your experience by:
- remembering settings and information (like the names of health or social care services you’ve searched for) so you don’t have to keep re-entering them.
- measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs.
Cookies do not identify you personally.
How we will use your personal information
Personal information about you can be used for the following purposes:
- in our day-to-day work
- to send you our newsletter where you have requested it
- to respond to any queries you may have
- to improve the quality and safety of care
This may include any personal information that you choose to share with us, but we will treat this as confidential and protect it accordingly.
We will never include your personal information in survey reports.
Signing up to our newsletter
We currently use MailChimp, a third-party supplier to provide our newsletter service. By subscribing to this service you will be agreeing to them handling your data.
The third-party supplier handles the data purely to provide this service on our behalf. This supplier follows the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 in how they obtain, handle and process your information and will not make your data available to anyone other than Healthwatch.
Information about people who share their experiences with us by other means
There are a number of ways that we collect feedback from people about their experiences of using health and social care services day to day. Our staff will visit different health and social care settings as part of their role to evaluate how services are being delivered. We also receive phone calls and requests for information directly from members of the public as part of our signposting service.
Where personally identifiable information is collected we will ensure that we have your consent to keep it and we will be clear on how we intend to use your information. We will aim to anonymise information where we can but there may be instances where this is not possible in order to make change happen on your behalf. There may be exceptional circumstances where we can and will keep the data without consent but we must have a lawful basis for doing so, such as for safeguarding purposes.
We ensure that where consent is required it will be freely given, used only for agreed specific and unambiguous purposes and that you are well informed about how the information will be kept. This includes where it will be stored, details on security and for how long it will be kept. We will comply with current data protection legislation at all times.
Personal information may be collected with your consent through:
- Our signposting and advice service
- When we receive feedback by phone, outreach work or through surveys
- Enter and View activity
Personal data received from other sources
On occasion we will receive information from the families, friends and carers of people who access health and social care services. We use this data to inform providers and commissioners to help them deliver services that work for you.
Where it is practically possible, we will make sure that we have your consent to use information that is about you. We will only process your personal data where there is a lawful basis to do so under current data protection legislation.
In most circumstances we anonymise our data to ensure that a person cannot be identified, unless this has been otherwise agreed and consent has been given.