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Privacy

What information we collect about you

  1. When you receive healthcare, and or social care and or treatment from Seqol

We keep records about the treatment and care you receive from SEQOL. The records may be written down (manual records) or kept on a computer (electronic records). 

Personal information SEQOL may collect during your care can include:

  • Detailed personal information about you, for example, address, telephone details, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, disabilities, employment status, nationality, next of kin language preferences, requirements for different communication formats etc
  • Contacts we have had with you, for example, appointments, day care attendance records or home visits
  • Notes and reports about your health and care, for example, referrals received, hospital discharge information, residential care records, assessments, change in medication or social welfare or housing circumstances
  • Details relating to an incident or accident involving you
  • Details and records about your treatment and care relating to advice given or referrals made,
  • Results of investigations
  • Relevant information from people who care for you and know you well, for example, your doctor, social and healthcare professionals and relatives.
  • Your particular needs or preferences so that we can understand them better
  • Details about your home relating to your equipment needs or fixtures to help you live independently.
  • Feedback from partner organisations or contractors, about their appointments with you relating to equipment or housing modifications
  • Voice and image recordings for safety, crime prevention and quality management
  • If you ask us for additional care and support we will hold detailed information about those additional needs
  • Details about your home relating to your need for equipment and or fixtures necessary to help you live independently.
  • If we offer you training or other learning opportunities we will ask about your employment and learning history and keep records about it.
  • If SEQOL provides you with social care (see note below*) we may also obtain information about you from our partner organizations (e.g. Swindon Borough Council), and or from your family, and or from your carer, and or from friends or neighbours, and or from voluntary services that have been involved in your care.

*Note: Swindon Borough Council (SBC) contracts SEQOL to provide adult social care services.  For the purposes of the Data Protection Act, Swindon Borough Council is the data controller of personal information collected by SEQOL in connection with the provision of adult social care. Swindon Borough Council, as data controller of this personal information, delegates responsibility for the data processing of this personal information to SEQOL. This personal information may be written down in manual records or kept on a computer system in an electronic record.

You can read more about adult social care services provided by SEQOL that are commissioned by the Swindon Borough Council and your right to see your personal information: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/downloads/file/507/adult_social_careservices_privacy_noticepdf

SEQOL has produced a leaflet which explains how we handle your information, who we might share it with, and the reasons why.   The leaflet is available as a download: (1b How We Handle Your Information)

  1. When you search for and or purchase products or services from SEQOL

When you provide information in connection with the purchase of a product or service from SEQOL Enterprise Works, the information you provide, such as your name and contact details, is retained and used for a number of purposes, which include: the handling of orders, communicating with you about your order, the delivery of products and services, and the processing of payments.

When you purchase a product or service from SEQOL Enterprise Works the information you provide is retained and used by Seqol.

  1. To monitor and improve service user experience

When you use our services you may be asked to agree to participate in a customer satisfaction survey. Participation is voluntary. If you agree to participate we may ask you to provide personal information by filling in a form, either in paper or in electronic format.

  1. When you make a complaint, make a suggestion or raise a query

When you call or send a letter or email to SEQOL in reference to a complaint or query, we may collect personal information to help with the investigation and to make decisions about the action we may take.  We retain the personal information supplied in line with our retention schedule.  This means that logs and complaints reports will be retained for 8 years from the date of completion - and longer if the complaint leads to legal action.

  1. When you send us an email

SEQOL uses an email system that is hosted by a third party. When you send us an email, your email (and any attachments) may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring of compliance with operational policies.  Email monitoring and email blocking software may also be used.  Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us falls within the bounds of the law. 

  1. With your written consent, use of your photograph, name or story for training and or publicity purposes.

We might ask you to give your written consent to use your name, photograph, video or story for training purposes, brochures, advertising or press releases. You do not have to agree to this. If you decide not to agree, your decision will have absolutely no impact on the quality of care you receive.

  1. Information on job applicants, and current and former SEQOL employees

When you apply to work at SEQOL, we only use the information you supply to us to process your application and, in an anonymized form, to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we need to disclose information to a third party, for example to take up a reference, or to obtain a ‘disclosure’ from the Disclosure and Barring Service, we do not do so without informing you beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates is held for 6 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it is then be destroyed or deleted. We retain anonymized statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

When you take up employment with SEQOL, our Human Resources (HR) team compiles a personal file relating to your employment.

Seqol uses a third party, Swindon Borough Council, to manage payroll, pension and HR administration services. This means that your personal file will be held at Swindon Borough Council. The information held by Swindon Borough Council relating to your employment with SEQOL is kept secure and is only used for purposes directly relevant to your employment. Once your employment with SEQOL has ended, we will retain the file in accordance with the requirements of our retention schedule and then delete it.

  1. Information on people who volunteer to work with SEQOL

When you apply to become a volunteer we will only use the information you supply to us to process your application.  Where we need to disclose information to a third party, for example to take up a reference or to obtain a ‘disclosure’ from the Disclosure and Barring Service, we will not do so without informing you beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law. Further information about Volunteering can be found by clicking on https://www.seqol.org/about-seqol/volunteering-for-seqol

  1. Information on CCTV systems collected for security purposes.

At some sites where SEQOL provides care, we operate a CCTV system for security purposes. These CCTV systems collect images which are used in accordance with SEQOL’s policies and procedures.  Sites that have CCTV include the Urgent Care Centre located on the Great Western Hospital site, Marlborough Road, Swindon.

  1. Information collected on visitors to SEQOL websites

When you visit a SEQOL website (e.g. www.seqol.org) we may collect your IP address and use cookies on our website.  For full information about our use of cookies please see our Cookies Policy which can be found at (http://www.seqol.org/terms-conditions/Cookies-Policy.aspx)

When you fill in a form online we may ask you to provide personal information such as your name, e-mail address, postal address, and or telephone or mobile number.  We may keep a record of that information.

  1. Information on those who have a tenancy agreement with SEQOL

When someone applies to be a tenant, we may collect personal information which may include:

  • Your name and contact details for use across the organisation and by our suppliers and partners
  • Detailed personal information, such as age, sex, date of birth, ethnicity, income, National Insurance number, private expenditure data, employment status, name, contact details (telephone numbers and email addresses), gender, relationship status, any disabilities, religion, nationality, access to financial services such as banks and credit unions, bank details, benefits, council tax, details of those who you want us to communicate with on your behalf, how you prefer us to contact you, whether you have any literacy problems, your ability to speak English and language preferences, requirements for different communication formats, your preferences for getting involved and the service areas that are of most interest to you
  • Your particular needs or preferences so that we can understand them better
  • Medical information so that we can prioritize and assess a housing application.
  1. Recording of telephone calls to and from SPA (Single Point of Access) – including the Urgent Care Centre

All telephone calls to and from SPA, including those to and from the Urgent Care Centre are recorded. This is to help us ensure that we provide the best possible service to patients. This helps us to deliver care and identify ways that we can provide you with a better service.

The reasons for recording calls include:

  • Ensuring we have an accurate record of your call, which may be needed to support any advice and guidance that takes place over the phone
  • Ensuring we have not missed any important information you have provided
  • For staff monitoring and training purposes, to help us improve the quality of our urgent care service and to ensure the information provided to patients is consistent and accurate.

We understand your personal information is important and we are committed to protecting your privacy. We use a third party IT provider to collect and store the telephone recordings. These recordings are held securely in accordance with NHS Records Management Code of Practice Part II. This code requires that we destroy the recordings after a certain period. If a recording is associated with a dispute or complaint or other investigation, we reserve the right to keep that call recording until the matter is resolved.

How we handle your information

Information that is accurate, complete, up-to-date and available to all staff caring for you is critical to providing you with best quality care. 

 

The information SEQOL (Care & Support Partnership CIC) keeps about you may be written down on manual records or kept on a computer system as an electronic record.  Increasingly information is now held electronically.

 

What information do we record about you? 

The information held in your record may include:

  • basic details about you, such as name, date of birth, address, NHS number, next of kin.
  • contacts we have had with you, such as appointments with a healthcare or social care professional;
  • details about your health, treatment and care you receive including results of investigations;
  • information from people who care for you and know you well, for example, social care or healthcare professionals, carers, relatives and others who know you well;
  • where necessary, information about your home and family circumstances;
  • professional opinions of the staff caring for you.

How we ensure your information is accurate

We have a duty to make sure that information we hold on you is accurate and current. Checks are undertaken to help us improve the quality of information we record about you. You may request that any incorrect information held on your records is corrected. You have a right to see the information we hold on you.

How we keep your information confidential and secure

SEQOL and its staff have a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality. Generally your information will only be seen by those providing or administering your care.

Our computer systems are designed (with password protection, encryption and other measures) to protect your information so that only those caring for you have access to your information. Also staff are given regular training about the importance of ensuring patient confidentiality.

To maintain the security and confidentiality of your information SEQOL is required to do the following:

  • Assess our information security arrangements and report to the Department of Health twice a year.
  • Ensure all staff are trained how to handle information and that they receive regular updates.
  • Run regular checks on the use of computerised records to ensure they are being used appropriately
  • Have processes in place to report concerns and incidents about the use of information, and to ensure any concerns are swiftly addressed.
  • Ensure that tight controls around the proper use of information are put in place when developing new or improved services.
  • Check to ensure the quality (accuracy) of information recorded on paper and computer systems.

We will only share your information if you have given your consent for us to do so, or if SEQOL has a legal duty to do so. (SEE NEXT ‘SHARING YOUR INFORMATION’)

SHARING YOUR INFORMATION

  1. Sharing your information when you have given your consent.

Where it is necessary and beneficial for you, we may need to share some information about you with other agencies or partner organizations (for example, your GP or a Voluntary Organization providing care to you). Our staff will discuss with you what information we need to share with the other agency or organization, and why. We will then ask your consent to share the information.

You may decline to consent to the sharing of your information; And if you do consent and later change your mind, you may then withdraw your consent.

One of the SEQOL computer systems (the SystmOne system) is set up in such a way that many service users are asked, on their first contact with SEQOL, to give consent to the sharing of their information with SEQOL’s partner organizations. You do not have to give this consent if you do not wish to. And if you do, you can later withdraw this consent.

That same computer system (SystmOne) has an additional facility: If there is particular information on your record you do not wish to share, please tell one of the professionals involved in your care. That part of your record on SystmOne can then be marked ‘Private’ and will not be shared.

  1. Sharing your information when you cannot give consent – in an emergency or urgent situation or if you become confused

There may be occasions when we need to share information about you with others involved in your care and it is not possible to obtain your consent. For example you may be unconscious or you may have become confused. Depending on the circumstances, including the urgency of the need to share information, we may decide to share your information in your ‘best interests,’ but without your consent.

  1. Sharing your information where there is a legal requirement to do so

There are situations where there is a legal requirement on SEQOL to share information without the need for consent:

  • When a Court Order has been issued.
  • In connection with an adult or child safeguarding incident.
  • Where a serious crime has been committed, or a serious crime could be prevented – serious risk to the public.
  • Certain infectious diseases are ‘notifiable’ under the law. These include Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tuberculosis and a number of other infectious diseases. Note: HIV/AIDS is not a notifiable disease.

OTHER USES FOR WHICH YOUR INFORMATION IS USED

Your personal information may be used for other important activities such as quality monitoring (audit), the development of new or improved services, for research, for training and teaching, for the investigation of incidents and complaints, and for statistical reporting purposes.

  1. To monitor and improve service quality - Audit

Your information, and that of other service users, is monitored and audited by SEQOL staff as one of our processes for ensuring the quality of the services we deliver. The purpose of such audits is to identify and address any problems. Most audits of records are done by colleagues within SEQOL. Occasionally however these audits are conducted by external professionals who are bound by the same duty of confidentiality as that of SEQOL staff.

  1. To plan and develop new and improved services.

In order to develop new services, and to improve existing services, information from your record, and from the records of other service users, needs to be extracted for analysis.  This is usually done from electronic records that have been anonymized (name is removed) so that the records of individual patients cannot be identified.

In order to analyze and improve pathways of care that cross boundaries between two or more care providers, it is necessary to link information, about the same patient, from the records of the different care providers. This is done so that an accurate picture of the care pathway travelled by each patient can be obtained. Normally, the records of the same patient in different care providers are linked using that patient’s NHS number and not by using the patient’s name. The use of the NHS number helps to prevent the identity of the individual patient from being exposed.

Before information (albeit it anonymized by use of NHS number) is shared across two or more providers SEQOL puts a formal information sharing agreement in place. These agreements minimize the amount of personal identifiable data used, and maximize the security of patient information.

  1. For research

Health service providers such as SEQOL undertake and participate in a number of research projects. 

All research in the UK is subject to a number of stringent checks. These include checks on the potential use of records.  When a researcher wishes to use information from service user records the information is first extracted by a SEQOL employee, such as a nurse or a doctor, who already has authorized access to the records. The extracted information is then provided to the researcher in an anonymous (name removed) format. 

UK research projects are carefully checked to ensure the use of patient information is ethical, appropriate, and conducted in a manner that ensures the security of information that is recorded and shared.

  1. For training and teaching staff

Your information may be used in the training of staff and the teaching of students. Before being used for this purpose identifying details (name and address) are removed from the records. Where this cannot be easily achieved the consent of the patient is sought and respected.

  1. For investigating complaints, incidents (mishaps) and legal claims

Should you report a problem or concern about your treatment and care your records will be used as a key part of the investigation and resolution of the matter.

  1. For preparing statistics on SEQOL’s performance

Data on SEQOL’s performance (numbers of patients seen in given time period, type of condition, treatment given, speed of service delivery, etc) is drawn down from SEQOL’s electronic records systems. This performance data is anonymized (name is removed) so that individual patients cannot be identified from this data.