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How we use your personal information to provide adult social care services

Adult Social Care privacy notice

This privacy notice tells you about what information we collect about you, how we use that information and who we share it with.

Who we are and what we do 

Adult Social Care provides social care services for people with additional needs and some vulnerable people in our community. For further information about services available please ask your social worker or see our website. 

This Privacy Notice explains how we use and share the personal information of adults and carers for whom we provide care and support. For the purposes of Data Protection, Cornwall Council is the Data Controller for your information under Registration Number Z1745294. 

What type of personal information do we collect and how do we collect it? 

In order to provide you with high quality services which are relevant to your needs, Adult Social Care will collect and hold information about you. This may include:

  • basic details such as your name, address, date of birth, NHS number
  • personal demographics (including gender)
  • relationship information such as next of kin 
  • relevant case information such as how you manage both in and outside the home on a day-to-day basis
  • support required and assistance received from family and friends
  • information about carers, relatives, next of kin
  • information about how you make decisions 
  • information relating to risks 
  • information from other professionals involved in your care for example, your General Practitioner
  • financial information such as income and details of property ownership. 

We collect the following special category data:

  • health information such as details of medical conditions and mental health and wellbeing
  • sensory and communication needs
  • ethnic origin 
  • religion
  • sexual orientation

We collect information about you in the following ways:

  • face to face 
  • using assessment tools
  • by secure email from those involved in your care
  • by post
  • by telephone
  • from other professionals
  • from other agencies / charities
  • from other departments within the Council
  • relatives/carers
  • from members of the public making referrals
  • direct link to the NHS Spine to get your NHS number

What is our lawful basis to obtain and use your personal information? 

To enable us to provide services to you, we need to collect your data and it may be necessary for us to share your personal information with others. 

To do so we will use the following legal basis for obtaining and sharing your information:

  • 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 Art6 (1)(e) UK GDPR.
  • Where we have a statutory obligation to process your personal data, our lawful basis is defined by Art 6(1)(c) UK GDPR. The legislation includes, but is not limited to:
    • Care Act 2014
    • Health and Social Care Act 2012
    • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
    • Mental Health Act 1983

For special category data, which is more sensitive information, we rely on the following:

  • Health and Social Care - we use it for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services Art9(2)(h) UK GDPR.

What is your personal information used for? 

Cornwall Council holds information about Adult Social Care service users and carers in order to:

  • understand any needs you may have for personal care and support
  • provide you with relevant advice and information
  • provide services or arrange for others to provide services to meet your eligible assessed needs 
  • provide services to members of your family or people with whom you have an important relationship
  • understand if you or others are at risk of abuse and take appropriate action.
  • carry out financial assessments for care services received
  • review the quality of care you are receiving
  • help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your care 
  • help us monitor and improve services

Use of your NHS Number in Adult Social Care

If you are receiving support from Adult Social Care then the NHS may share your NHS number with Adult Social Care. This is so that the NHS and Adult Social Care are using the same number to identify you whilst providing your care. By using the same number the NHS and Adult Social Care can work together more closely to provide your care and support services. We will use this number when sharing information with health colleagues including GP's, hospitals, community matrons, district nurses and social care practitioners. If you wish to object to the use of your NHS Number for social care purposes, please talk with your General Practitioner, or email

Will your personal information be shared? 

Yes, we may share your information with the NHS, with General Practitioners, with authorised partner organisations, and care providers in order to make sure you receive the appropriate care and support services for your needs and to make sure those involved in your direct care have accurate up to data information to help them provide the best possible services to you. We may also share your information with other third-party organisations, as allowed by law, and partner agencies that provide services on our behalf.

In some cases, such as for the prevention and detection of crime or for safeguarding purposes, we are legally obliged to share information with other agencies e.g. such as the police or the Department of Health and Social Care.

How do we keep your information secure? 

The security of your personal information is important to us. The records we keep about you are secure and are confidential within the Council. The Council have a range of procedures, polices and systems to ensure that access to your records are controlled appropriately. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to only use the information for the purposes agreed and keep the information secure and confidential.

Further information is available in the Council’s corporate privacy notice.

How long will we keep your personal information? 

After we deliver a service to you, we must keep your information as a business record of what was delivered. The type of service you receive will determine how long we must keep your information. Our corporate retention guidelines show how long we keep information for different services. Your records will be retained in accordance with Cornwall Council's records retention schedule for Adult Services as follows:

  • Adult social care case records - 20 years from date of case closure for mental health cases or 8 years after death/ non mental health related.
  • General enquiries to Social Care Direct resulting in information/advice - 8 years from date of enquiry
  • Safeguarding concern regarding an individual who is otherwise unknown to social care - 8 years after last incident or case closure (whichever is later)
  • In-house provider service user case file - 8 years from date of case closure

National data opt-out

Most of the time anonymised data is used for research and planning purposes so that you cannot be identified. We may use a third party to anonymise your personal information for the purpose of healthcare planning.

However, when your personal information might be used for research and planning purposes, you have a choice about whether we use you information this way under the National Data Opt Out.

If you are happy with this use of your personal data you do not need to do anything,

If you do choose to opt out of your personal information being used to research and planning purposes, your information will still be used to support your individual direct care.

To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit  You can change your mind about your choice at any time.

Cornwall Council is compliant with the National Data Opt Out policy and we will apply your choice to any confidential personal information we use or share for purposes beyond your individual care and support.

Marketing and e-newsletters

Please see the Council’s Stay in Touch privacy notice.

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Protecting your information

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice

Your information choice and rights

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Further information 

Our Data Protection Officer (DPO) provides help and guidance to make sure we apply the best standards to protecting your personal information. If something goes wrong with your personal information, or you have questions about how we process your data, please contact our Data Protection Officer at

If we have not been able to deal with your query, you can also contact the Information Commissioner's Office: 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

0303 123 1113

View our Easy Read version of the Privacy Notice

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