Find out more about our purpose and what we do –
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
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Bill.
Read our Information Governance Policy.
We also make our Information Asset Register available for people to read to give further clarity about how data relating to them is managed and kept secure. This includes our retention schedule and clear details about the lawful basis for storing and keeping personally identifiable information.
Read our Information Asset Register on our website
Legal basis for processing personal data
Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent is a statutory organisation, we exist by law. Although a charity, for the purposes of complying with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are classified as a public authority. We process personal data to meet the duties described under Section 221(2) of The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent relies upon ‘public task’ as its legal basis for the collection and processing of data. The Information Commissioners Office describes ‘public task’ as being when “the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions and the task or the function has a clear basis in law.”
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.
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;
- 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 without your express permission.
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 different ways. In addition, we receive information about our own staff, volunteers and people who apply to work for us. To learn more about how we process see below.
- Information about people who use our website
- Information about people who share their experiences with us
- Information about our own staff, volunteers and people applying to work for us
Information about people who use our website
Please note, 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 purposes; it is not used for any other purpose.
Apart from this, we will only collect personal information provided by you, such as:
- feedback from surveys and online forms
- email addresses
- preferred means of communication
- contributions to our online Feedback Centre.
Information about people who share their experiences with us
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.
Sometimes we carry out surveys online. A third-party supplier handles the data purely to provide this service on our behalf. This supplier is GDPR compliant and 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.
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. 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
- Through our online Feedback Centre service.
- 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.
Signing up to our newsletter
Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent is a statutory organisation carrying out public tasks. We process personal data to meet our duties described under Section 221(2) of The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. A key part of these duties is to keep you informed of local developments in health and care so that you can scrutinise.
We use 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 service enables Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent to track performance of newsletters by tracking clicks and email opens.
This supplier is GDPR compliant and 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.
We use a third-party supplier to provide our event booking service. By using 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 is GDPR compliant and 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 our own staff, volunteers and people applying to work with us
We need to process personal data about our own staff (and people applying to work for us), volunteers and board members so that we can carry out our role and meet our legal and contractual responsibilities.
The personal data that we process includes information about racial or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender and sexuality. We use this information to check we are promoting and ensuring diversity and to make sure we are complying with equalities legislation.
Our employees and volunteers decide whether or not to share this monitoring data with us and can choose to withdraw their consent for this at any time. Employees and volunteers who wish to withdraw their consent for us to process this data can let us know.
Other personal data that we are required to process includes information on qualifications and experience, pay and performance, contact details and bank details.
We use a 3rd party contractor to provide payroll services and administer payments of expenses to volunteers. This supplier is GDPR compliant and 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.
We check that people who work for us are fit and suitable for their roles. This may include asking people to undertake Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
People joining Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent will be asked to complete a ‘declaration of interests’ form to identify any services with which they have close links (for example, because they have previously worked there or because the service is run by a close relative) or any other issues which could cause a perceived conflict of interest. Staff are regularly asked to update these forms.
We have a legal obligation to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and this may include the requirement to disclose some information about our employees – especially those in senior or public facing roles. We also publish some information about our staff, including the names and work contact details of people in some roles.
Sharing your data with Healthwatch England
We are required to share information with Healthwatch England to ensure that your views are considered at a national level. This enables them to analyse service provision across the country and supply the Department of Health and national commissioners with the information you provide. Healthwatch England provides a secure digital system for local Healthwatch to manage this data.
The information we provide to Healthwatch England contains no personally identifiable data. Any information that is used for national publications is anonymised and will only be used with the consent of a local Healthwatch.
Healthwatch England is a committee of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but acts independently. These organisations must comply with all legal requirements and do not reuse any data for any other reason or make it available to others.
Publishing information in reports and articles
To the best of our ability, we anonymise our data to ensure that a person cannot be identified, unless this has been otherwise agreed and consent has been given.
Our data systems
Our local IT system is provided by a 3rd party contractor. This supplier is GDPR compliant and 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.
Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent also uses an additional 3rd party service to host its Feedback Centre service. The third-party supplier handles and stores the data purely to provide this service on our behalf. This supplier is GDPR compliant and 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.
How we share information with other organisations
We only share personal information with other organisations where it is lawful to do so and in accordance with our Information Governance Policy. Information is shared in order to fulfil our remit which is to pass on your experiences of care to help improve them on your behalf.
We work with Healthwatch England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), local commissioners, NHS Improvement and our local authority to make this happen. We can also engage external suppliers to process personal information on our behalf.
We will only disclose your personal information where we have your consent to do so, or where there is another very good reason to make the disclosure – for example, we may disclose information to CQC or a local authority where we think it is necessary to do so in order to protect a vulnerable person from abuse or harm. Any such disclosure will be made in accordance with the requirements of the current data protection legislation.
Wherever possible, we will ensure that any information that we share or disclose is anonymised, so as to ensure that you cannot be identified from it.
We sometimes use other organisations to process personal data on our behalf. Where we do this, those companies are required to follow the same rules and information security requirements as us, outlined in a Data Processing Contract. They are not permitted to use reuse the data for other purposes.
Retention and disposal of personal data
A retention and disposal schedule is available on our website which explains how long we keep different types of records and documents for, including records and documents containing personal data. Personal data is deleted or securely destroyed at the end of its retention period.
If you think we may hold personal data relating to you and want to see it, please write to [email protected]
If you know that we are holding your personal data and believe that it may be wrong, or if you want it to be deleted or for us to stop using it, you have a right to request that it is deleted or amended.
Please make your objection in writing to Healthwatch Stoke (below).
If you feel that we have not met our responsibilities under data protection legislation, you have a right to request an independent assessment from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can find details on their website.
Our contact details and key roles
We have appointed an interim data protection officer responsible for the personal data that you provide us with. Any issues relating to the processing of personal data by or on behalf of Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent may be addressed to:
The Dudson Centre
Telephone: 01782 683080