Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how Digital Health Devon uses and protects any information that you give Healthwatch Torbay the project lead, including when you use this website.

We retain and use personal data (information that relates to and identifies living people) to help us carry out our role as the local independent champion for people who use health and social care services.

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
  • Data protection legislation introduced in 2018 under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Bill.

Healthwatch Torbay is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

Healthwatch Torbay may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What 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 addition, we receive information about our own staff and people who apply to work for us.

We may collect one or more of the following pieces of information:

  • name and job title
  • contact information including email address
  • demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
  • feedback from surveys and online forms
  • information about people who share their experiences with us by other means
  • other relevant information

We will never collect and store information about you without your permission.

What we do with the information we gather

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • Internal record keeping.
  • We may use the information to improve our products and services.
  • 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.

Security

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure and we take reasonable and appropriate steps to protect your personal information from unauthorised access, loss, misuse, alteration or corruption.

In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. 

Only authorised employees will have access to your personal information.

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. We will never collect and store information about you without your permission.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Signing up to our newsletter

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 supplier 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.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Information about people who share their experiences with us by other means

There are a number of ways that we may 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 may also receive phone calls and requests for information directly from members of the public.

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 in order to make change happen on your behalf. 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 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.

Our data systems

Healthwatch England provides a secure digital system for local Healthwatch to manage their data. Other organisations process the data contained within it on behalf of local Healthwatch and a Data Processing Agreement is in place to ensure that this is held securely and according to current data protection legislation.

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.

Information about our own staff and people applying to work with us

We need to process personal data about our own staff (and people applying to work for us) so that we can carry out our role and meet our legal and contractual responsibilities as an employer.

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 in our workforce and to make sure we are complying with equalities legislation.

Our employees decide whether or not to share this monitoring data with us, and can choose to withdraw their consent for this at any time. Employees 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 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 Torbay 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.

How we share information with other organisations

We only share personal information with other organisations where it is lawful to 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.

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.

Controlling your personal information

Your right to access information about you

If you think we may hold personal data relating to you and want to see it please write to  info@healthwatchtorbay.org.uk

Correcting or deleting your personal data

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 can be deleted or amended.

Please make your objection in writing to  info@healthwatchtorbay.org.uk

Or send it by post to:

Freepost-RTCG-TRXX-ZZKJ,
Healthwatch Torbay,
Paignton Library,
Great Western Rd,
Paignton,
TQ4 5AG.

Complaints about how we look after or use your information

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

Healthwatch Torbay is data controller for all of the personal data that you provide us with. Any issues relating to the processing of personal data by or on behalf of Healthwatch Torbay may be addressed to:

Freepost-RTCG-TRXX-ZZKJ,
Healthwatch Torbay,
Paignton Library,
Great Western Rd,
Paignton,
TQ4 5AG.

Telephone: 08000 520 029
Email: info@healthwatchtorbay.org.uk