Privacy Notice - COVID-19
Privacy Notice on Covid-19 for Clients /Service Users - January 2021
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is a registered data controller and we collect and use information personal to you in accordance with data protection legislation. This notice supplements the Councils main Privacy Notice which is available on the Council's website, and describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council, alongside its key partners, are facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Your personal information, including health and social care information, is essential to the delivery of services; in both health and social care services/settings, and to protect the wider Public Health agenda during this period.
Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak.
As the situation to manage the pandemic has evolved and further responsibilities have been placed upon Local Authorities, for example involvement in Test and Trace, support in identification and prioritization of Social Care workers for inclusion in the NHS vaccination program, the provision of grant payments associated with the pandemic on behalf of the Government, data sets other than health and social care data, may be required to be processed.
Existing laws which allows some personal information and confidential patient information to be processed and shared in a public health emergency, is being used during this pandemic. Under regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002, the Secretary of State has required Local Authorities, NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local health organisations and GPs to share information to enable organisations to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information processed 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 the GOV.UK website.
During this period of emergency, opt-outs detailed in Articles 16 - 24 of the General Data Protection Regulations will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the substantial public interest in sharing information. This includes NHS National Data Opt-outs. Where data is processed under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply.
In order to protect your vital interests or those of other individuals, and meet statutory requirements the Council may share your personal information with other health and care providers, Vaccination Hubs and Vaccination Centre's, trusted partner organisations, for example Catalyst, Residential Care Homes, NHS Trusts, GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111. We may also use the details we have to contact you either by phone, text, email or in writing to offer or provide support to you during this Public Health emergency.
The Council may also be required to share personal/confidential client information with health and social care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak. For this purpose the 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. All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation.
In such circumstances where you tell the Council you're experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.
Information may be used for NHS Test and Trace to help fight the virus, this is to ensure that anyone who develops symptoms can be quickly be tested and also to help trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and if necessary notify them that they must self isolate to help stop the virus.
We may amend this privacy notice at any time. The date at the top of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.
If something goes wrong with your personal information or if you have any questions about how we use it contact the Information Governance team in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you remain unhappy about the way in which we have handled your personal information and wish to complain, you can contact the Information Commissions Office website