Together we Speak Louder

Privacy Policy

Your Privacy

Healthwatch West Sussex is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services, if you work for us or provide services to us.

The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

We must identify a legal basis to collect and process your personal information.  The legal basis we use in Healthwatch is consent.  Under the General Data Protection Regulations, this consent must be explicit, e.g. we must clearly ask you if you agree to us collecting personal information before we do so.

We have a Data Protection Officer who makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer, at [email protected] or by calling 0300 1113303 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

Do you know what personal information is?

Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person. For example, this could be your name and contact details.

Did you know that some of your personal information might be ‘special’?

Some information is ‘special’ and needs more protection due to its sensitivity. It’s often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is likely to include anything that can reveal your:

  • sexuality and sexual health
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • ethnicity
  • physical or mental health

Why do we need your personal information?

We retain and use your personal data to help us carry out our role as the local independent champion for people who use health and social care services.  We collect personal information from visitors to this website through the use of online forms and every time you email or phone us and provide 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.  Personal information about you can be used for the following reasons:

  • 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.

As well as through this website, personal information may be collected with your consent through:

  • Our information, signposting and advice service
  • When we receive feedback by phone, outreach work or through surveys
  • Enter and View activity

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 ensure that where consent is required you give it to us freely, it is 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.

How the law allows us to use your personal information

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information.

  • We collect and use personal information only where you, or your legal representative, have given consent.
  • If you are an employee, we will collect information related to your employment with us.
  • If you provide services for us, we will collect information related to the contract we hold with you.

If we have consent to use your personal information, you have the right to remove it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact [email protected].

We only use what we need!

Where we can, we’ll only collect and use personal information if we need it to deliver a service or meet a requirement.

If we don’t need personal information we’ll either keep you anonymous if we already have it for something else or we won’t ask you for it. For example in a survey we may not need your contact details we’ll only collect your survey responses.

If we use your personal information for research and analysis, we’ll always keep you anonymous or use a different name unless you’ve agreed that your personal information can be used for that research.

We don’t sell or share your personal information with anyone else.

You can ask for access to the information we hold on you

We would normally expect to share what we record about you with you whenever we provide you with services.

However, you also have the right to ask for all the information we have about you and the services you receive from us. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must give you access to everything we’ve recorded about you.

However, we can’t let you see any parts of your record which contain:

  • Confidential information about other people; or
  • Data a professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing.

This applies to personal information that is in both paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we’ll also let others see your record (except if one of the points above applies).

If you can’t ask for your records in writing, we’ll make sure there are other ways that you can. If you have any queries about access to your information please contact our Data Protection Officer on 0300 1113303.

You can ask to change information you think is inaccurate

You should let us know if you disagree with something we have recorded about you.

You can ask to delete information (right to be forgotten)

You can ask for your personal information to be deleted, for example:

  • Where your personal information is no longer needed for the reason why it was collected in the first place
  • Where you have removed your consent for us to use your information (where there is no other legal reason us to use it)
  • Where there is no legal reason for the use of your information
  • Where deleting the information is a legal requirement

Who do we share your information with?

We will only share your personal information where you have given your consent for us to do so, e.g. if you would like to be referred to another organisation for a specific service.

We may also share your personal information when we feel there’s a good reason that’s more important than protecting your privacy. This doesn’t happen often, but we may share your information:

  • to protect a child; or
  • to protect adults who are thought to be at risk, for example if they are frail, confused or cannot understand what is happening to them

The risk must be serious before we can override your right to privacy.

If we’re worried about your physical safety or feel we need to take action to protect you from being harmed in other ways, we’ll discuss this with you and, if possible, get your permission to tell others about your situation before doing so.

We may still share your information if we believe the risk to others is serious enough to do so.

There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share information straight away.

If this is the case, we’ll make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We’ll let you know what we’ve done and why if we think it is safe to do so.

How do we protect your information?

We’ll do what we can to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we’ll only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Examples of our security include:

  • Encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or what’s called a ‘cypher’. The hidden information is said to then be ‘encrypted’
  • Pseudonymisation, meaning that we’ll use a different name so we can hide parts of your personal information from view. For example, we might do this to share your story as a ‘case study’ or story.
  • Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it
  • Training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong
  • Regular testing of our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches)

You can find more details of our Information Security expectations on our Information Governance and ICT Policy.

Where in the world is your information?

The majority of personal information is stored on our Cloud based CRM system which is within the European Union.  Very little personal information is stored on paper files and where this does happen, storage is within locked cabinets.

How long do we keep your personal information?

We will delete personal information a maximum of 3 years after the last contact we have with you.  We will delete employee data after 7 years and delete recruitment information after 6 months.  Finance information is held for 6 years.

Where can I get advice?

If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact our Data Protection Officer at [email protected] or by calling 0300 1113303.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email [email protected].

Cookies (not the edible ones) and how you use this website

To make this website easier to use, we sometimes place small text files on your device (for example your iPad or laptop) called cookies. Most big websites do this too.

They improve things by:

  • remembering the things you’ve chosen while on our website, so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page
  • remembering data you’ve given (for example, your address) so you don’t need to keep entering it
  • measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs

By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

We don’t use cookies on this website that collect information about what other websites you visit (often referred to as privacy intrusive cookies).

Our cookies aren’t used to identify you personally. They’re just here to make the site work better for you. You can manage and/or delete these files as you wish.

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit AboutCookies.org or watch a video about cookies.

How you use this website (something called Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it’s meeting peoples’ needs and to understand how we can make the website work better.

Google Analytics stores information about what pages on this site you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on while you are here.

We do not collect or store any other personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this data cannot be used to identify who you are.

We also collect data on the number of times a word is searched for and the number of failed searches. We use this information to improve access to the site and identify gaps in the content and see if it is something we should add to the site.

Unless the law allows us to, we do not:

  • share any of the data we collect about you with others, or
  • use this data to identify individuals

Other people’s cookies

We use videos from YouTube and feeds from other websites such as Facebook and Twitter. These websites place cookies on your device when watching or viewing these pages.

Below are links to their cookie policies:

Turning off cookies

You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

There is more information about how to delete or stop using cookies on AboutCookies.org. You can also opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics.

Further guidance on the use of personal information can be found at ico.org.uk.