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Covid 19 and your information

COVID-19 and your information: Supplementary Privacy Notice

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the COVID-19 outbreak. It supplements our main privacy notice which is available at the following location https://www.barnsleyccg.nhs.uk/about-us/privacy-notice.htm

 The health and social care system has been facing significant pressures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak. Using this law, the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arm’s Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared 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 gov.uk and some FAQs on this law are also available on the NHSX website.

During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the COVID-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes National Data Opt-outs. However, in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply. It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access Requests, Freedom of Information requests and new opt-out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.

In order to look after your health and care needs, we may share your confidential patient information including health and care records with clinical and non-clinical staff in other health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111. We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email.

During this period of emergency, we may offer you a consultation via telephone or video conferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.

We will also be required to share personal/confidential patient information with health and 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. Further information is available about how health and care data is being used and shared by other NHS and social care organisations in a variety of ways to support the COVID-19 response.

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. This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves. 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 us 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.

Some parts of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic have their own Privacy Notices including:

Sharing Information for the Covid-19 Vaccination of Health & Care Staff

Part of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic is recording the details of who has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and when. Normally, vaccinations are undertaken in GP settings. However, with Covid-19, this will be undertaken in a variety of care settings and for the majority of health and care staff will be managed by “lead providers” on behalf of local health and care organisations.

It remains the choice of the individual whether to have the vaccine, but we need to be able to share staff details with the lead providers to ensure all staff are given the chance to receive their vaccination as part of the early cohort and we must record the details of the vaccination and share that to your GP, so your health records are kept up to date.

Under GDPR, the lawful basis for processing this data is found at Articles:   

  • 6(1)(c) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject,
  • 6(1)(e) Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller,

and

  • 9(2)(h) Processing is necessary for the purposes of the provision of health or social care or treatment.

In addition, with the Coivd-19 vaccination, we have an obligation to let your employer know that you have been vaccinated to support their obligation to safety in the workplace. The lawful basis for this processing is found at Articles:

  • 6(1)(c) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject,
  • 6(1)(e) Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller,

and

  • 9(2)(b) processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment
  • 9(2)(i) processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against serious cross-border threats to health

Across the region a variety of lead providers and existing local/national systems for booking/recording and sharing of the necessary information will be used to enable the ability to rapidly roll-out this vaccination programme to health and social care staff.