Supplementary Privacy Notice Guidance for COVID-19 for Patients and Service Users

This Supplementary Privacy Notice below describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the COVID-19 outbreak. It supplements our main General Privacy Notice. All other routine sharing in the Trust will carry on as normal and will not affect this Supplementary Notice.  

The NHS is facing an unprecedented time with significant pressures on health services to provide information to support the COVID-19 outbreak. Health care information is seen as an essential requirement to deliver care to individuals, support health and social care services and to protect public health from further outbreaks and diseases.

The Trust holds vital information that can be used to support organisations who are engaged in the research, monitoring, tracking and care of people during the outbreak. Essentially during this emergency, data may be shared across a spectrum of organisations who are engaged to support disease surveillance and management during this time.

Information sharing

The Trust has been given a legal notice to support NHS digital in the collection of data for their COVID-19 programme which will involve the analysis, management and sharing of  information in the best way possible with other relevant organisations. This notice will be reviewed again on 30 September 2020 by the Secretary of State.

This means that your information may be shared with NHS England, NHS England Improvement, Arm’s Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); other hospitals/trusts; local authorities, health organisations, neighbouring GPs, NHS 111 and crises line initiatives  to support COVID-19 initiatives. All information shared will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis that can be used for the data. 

Data that we may share to look after your health during COVID-19 will include:

  • Confidential patient information about your health and care records with clinical staff and other health care providers;
  • Contact details to send out public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email. 
  • Specific COVID-19 health data e.g. patients who have or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

This will be to ensure we can protect public health from a worsening of the situation and provide healthcare for those who need it, e.g. vulnerable or shielded people in the community.

Opt-outs

During this period of state emergency, please note Opt-Outs will not apply to any data used to support the COVID-19 outbreak, due to public interest and the need to share the information. e.g. control or prevent the spread of the disease, deliver and monitor vaccination programmes and manage the risks of infection from food and water supplies in the environment etc. This includes National Data Opt-outs. However in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected.

Further information on this requirement is available on GOV.UK.

Some FAQs on this law

Further information about the variety of ways being used to support COVID-19

Security

All information that we share will comply with the Trust’s information governance and information security policies to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of our data.

NHS England, NHS Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure system store for all data gathered from across the health and care system for this exercise. This will include data collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data to be stored will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves. All data held in the platform will be subject to strict access controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation. 

Virtual video and telephone consultations

During the COVID-19 period, more and more of our services will be offered via a virtual telephone or video-conferencing consultation. 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. For further information on how we deliver virtual consultations, please read the guidance on Attend Anywhere.

Erasure requests

Where data is used and shared under these State laws your right to have personal data erased will not apply. 

Subject Access Requests

Due to service priorities and absent staff during this period please note it is likely it will 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.

Where this applies, we will inform you of the situation.

Variation

The Trust may amend this Supplementary Privacy Notice for COVID-19 at any time so please review it frequently. The date at the bottom of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.

Last updated on 5 June 2020