Help & Care is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services if you work for us or provide services to us.
We must identify a legal basis to collect and process your personal information. The legal basis we use across all our services 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 Governance process that 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 us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0300 1113303.
Why we use your personal information
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
- physical or mental health
- trade union membership
- political opinion
- genetic/biometric data
- criminal history
Why do we need your personal information?
We may need to use some information about you to:
- deliver services and support to you;
- manage those services we provide to you;
- train and manage the employment of our workers who deliver those services;
- help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your services;
- check the quality of services; and
- to help with research and planning of new services.
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@example.com
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 to anyone else.
What you can do with your information
The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us.
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 us 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’ll often complete a privacy impact assessment (PIA) before we share personal information to make sure we protect your privacy and comply with the law.
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)
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 us firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.