NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Data Protection

About NHS Dumfries and Galloway
NHS Dumfries and Galloway is a public organisation created in Scotland under section 1 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (the 1978 Act). It is one of the organisations which form part of NHS Scotland (NHSS).

About the personal information we use
We use personal information on different groups of individuals including:

  • Patients
  • Staff
  • Contractors
  • Suppliers
  • Complainants, enquirers
  • Survey respondents
  • Professional experts and consultants
  • Individuals captured by CCTV

The personal information we use includes information that identifies you like your name, address, date of birth and postcode.

We also use more sensitive types of personal information, including information about racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; trade union membership; genetic and bio-metric data, health; sex life or sexual orientation.

The information we use can relate to personal and family details; education, training and employment details; financial details; lifestyle and social circumstances; goods and services; visual images; details held in the patient record; responses to surveys.

Our purposes for using personal information

Under the 1978 Act NHS Dumfries and Galloway has the statutory responsibility to provide or arrange for the provision of a range of healthcare, health improvement and health protection services. We are given these tasks so that we can help to promote the improvement of the physical and mental health of the people of NHS Dumfries and Galloway and assist in operating a comprehensive and integrated national health service in Scotland.

We use personal information to enable us to provide healthcare services for patients, data matching under the national fraud initiative; research; supporting and managing our employees; maintaining our accounts and records and the use of CCTV systems for crime prevention.

Our legal basis for using personal information
NHS Dumfries and Galloway, as data controller, is required to have a legal basis when using personal information. NHS Dumfries and Galloway consider that performance of our tasks and functions are in the public interest.  So when using personal information our legal basis is usually that its use is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, or in the exercise of official authority vested in us.  In some situations we may rely on a different legal basis; for example, when we are using personal information to pay a supplier, our legal basis is that its use is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests as a buyer of goods and services. Another example would be for compliance with a legal obligation to which NHS Dumfries and Galloway is subject to, for example under the Public Health (Scotland) Act 2008 we are required to notify Health Protection Scotland when someone contracts a specific disease.

When we are using more sensitive types of personal information, including health information, our legal basis is usually that the use is necessary:

  • for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services; or
  • for reasons of public interest in the area of public health; or
  • for reasons of substantial public interest for aims that are proportionate and respect people’s rights, for example research; or
  • in order to protect the vital interests of an individual; or
  • for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or in the case of a court order.

On rare occasions we may rely on your explicit consent as our legal basis for using your personal information.  When we do this we will explain what it means, and the rights that are available, to you.  You should be aware that we will continue to ask for your consent for other things like taking part in a drug trial, or when you are having an operation. 

Who provides the personal information
When you do not provide information directly to us, we receive it from other individuals and organisations involved in the delivery of health and care services in Scotland.  These include other NHS Boards and primary care contractors such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists and opticians; other public bodies e.g. Local Authorities and suppliers of goods and services. 

Sharing personal information with others
Depending on the situation, where necessary we will share appropriate, relevant and proportionate personal information in compliance with the law, with the following: 

  • Patients and their chosen representatives or carers
  • Staff
  • Current, past and potential employers
  • Healthcare social and welfare organisations
  • Suppliers, service providers, legal representatives
  • Auditors and audit bodies
  • Educators and examining bodies
  • Research organisations
  • People making an enquiry or complaint
  • Financial organisations
  • Professional bodies
  • Trade Unions
  • Business associates
  • Police forces.
  • Security organisations.
  • Central and local government.
  • Voluntary and charitable organisations.

Transferring personal information abroad
It is sometimes necessary to transfer personal health information overseas for example if you require urgent medical treatment abroad. When this is needed information may be transferred to countries or territories around the world. Any transfers made will be in full compliance with NHSScotland Information Security Policy.

Retention periods of the information we hold
Within NHS Dumfries and Galloway we keep personal information as set out in the Scottish Government Records Management: NHS Code of Practice (Scotland) Version 2.1 January 2012.  The NHS Code of Practice sets out minimum retention periods for information, including personal information, held in different types of records including personal health records and administrative records.  As directed by the Scottish Government in the Records Management Code of Practice, we maintain a retention schedule detailing the minimum retention period for the information and procedures for the safe disposal of personal information.

How we protect personal information
We take care to ensure your personal information is only accessible to authorised people.  Our staff have a legal and contractual duty to keep personal health information secure, and confidential. The following security measures are in place to protect personal information:

  • All staff undertake mandatory training in Data Protection and IT Security
  • Compliance with NHS Scotland Information Security Policy
  • Organisational policy and procedures on the safe handling of personal information
  • Access controls and audits of electronic systems

Translation Service/ Accessibility

This information is available in other languages.  Please contact our Data Protection Officer for further details

Contact:

Data Protection
IM&T – FLOOR 2 (CORE AREA)
Mountainhall Treatment Centre
Bankend Road
Dumfries
DG1 4AP

Tel: 01387 246246 
email: dumf-uhb.DPA-Office@nhs.net