Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

COVID19 - How we use your information

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.

The health and social care system is 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.

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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; Arms 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 available on the NHS 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. 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 social care records with clinical and non-clinical staff in other primary health and social care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals, community health services, voluntary sector and NHS 111. Examples of organisations assisting in the Council’s COVID19 response include but are not limited to:

  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust
  • NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust
  • Age UK
  • Cornwall Council social care providers including care homes and home care services
  • Newton Europe Ltd
  • Housing providers

We will ensure we remain compliant with Data Protection legislation and will only share what is proportionate and necessary in order to provide a response to the COVID19 pandemic including relevant Council services.

We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email.

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 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.

 We may amend this privacy notice at any time so please review it frequently. The date at the top of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice please contact the Council’s Data  Protection Officer at dpo@cornwall.gov.uk

Last updated: 24/04/2020