HomeLink Healthcare Ltd (“we” or “us”) is committed to data protection and data privacy. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force on 25 May 2018, we have undertaken a GDPR readiness programme to review our entire business, the way we handle data and the way in which we use it to provide our services and manage business operations.
We hold personal data to meet legal obligations, to perform vital internal functions and to ensure patient safety. This policy details the personal data we may retain, process and share with third parties relating to your care and vital business operations. We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure, accurate and relevant. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have implemented suitable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure any personal data we hold.
What's this all about?
We respect the privacy rights of individuals and are committed to handling personal data responsibly and in accordance with applicable law.
This policy sets out the personal data that we collect and process about you, the purposes of the processing and the rights that you have in connection with it.
What types of Personal Data does HomeLink Healthcare process?
When making an inquiry or receiving clinical care, we may record and process personal data about you and other individuals whose personal data has been provided to us.
The types of personal information we may process include:
- Identification data – such as your name, date of birth, NHS ID, Hospital ID, Insurer ID.
- Contact details – such as home and business address, telephone/email addresses.
- Next of Kin and/or Emergency Contact Name and Telephone Number.
- Financial information – such as payment details.
Special Category Data
Where we collect or process any special category data, we do so in compliance with applicable laws.
We may need to collect and process special category data for the following legitimate purposes, for example:
- data relating to your physical or mental health:
- to assess the suitability of care in the community;
- to provide safe and effective care; and
- to monitor your well-being and intervene if there is a risk to your health.
- data relating to your racial/ethnic origin, gender and disabilities for the purposes of:
- equal opportunities monitoring;
- to comply with anti-discrimination laws; and
- for government reporting obligations;
For what purpose does HomeLink Healthcare process Personal and Special Category Data?
Clinical Care Enquiries
If you are enquiring about receiving care from us, then we collect and use this personal data for assessment purposes – in particular, to determine your suitability for safe care in the community. This includes assessing your clinical needs, home or work environment, discussing your needs with your consultant or physician, to generally manage the referral process and to communicate with you and other clinicians about it.
Following assessment, if you are considered suitable for treatment in the community and choose to take up our services, the data collected during the assessment process will form part of your ongoing care record.
Receiving Clinical Care
We collect and process Personal Data and Special Category Data to meet our obligations with our regulators, the Care Quality Commission and to comply with our legal obligations.
Your Personal Data is used to deliver safe and effective care through ensuring contact can be maintained at all times and to identify you as our patient.
Your Special Category Data is used to keep a safe record of care delivered including medication administered, observations taken and any other information relevant to your health and well-being during your episode of care with HomeLink Healthcare.
Your Personal Data may also be shared with third parties who have a legitimate purpose for accessing it, such as onward referral or to update your GP records.
When making an enquiry about a job with HomeLink Healthcare, we require some personal data in order to get in touch with you and to establish what role you are interested in applying for.
If you are put forward as a suitable candidate then the information provided will be used to support your application.
When enquiring about anything else, we may ask for some personal data in order to get in touch with you and to establish the nature of your enquiry.
On what Legal Basis does HomeLink Healthcare process Personal and Special Category Data?
Depending on the nature of your enquiry and whether services are provided by HomeLink Healthcare, the legal basis for processing will be:
HomeLink Healthcare Ltd will process Personal Data on the following basis
- where the processing is necessary for the performance of our contract or in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into any contract;
- it is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests being managing our relationship with you;
- it is necessary in order to protect your vital interests of or the vital interests of another natural person;
- where you have given consent to the processing of your personal data for one or more specific purposes;”
- where the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.
HomeLink Healthcare Ltd will process Special Category Data as per GDPR article 9.2(a) and 9.2(h):
- the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing of those personal data for one or more specified purposes, except where Union or Member State law provide that the prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 may not be lifted by the data subject;
- processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of Union or Member State law or pursuant to contract with a health professional and subject to the conditions and safeguards referred to in paragraph 3;
Who might HomeLink Healthcare share Personal and Special Category Data with?
We take care to allow access to personal and special category data only to those who require such access to perform their tasks and duties, and to third parties who have a legitimate purpose for accessing it.
Whenever we permit a third party to access personal and special category data, we will implement appropriate measures to ensure such data is used in a manner consistent with this policy and that the security and confidentiality of the personal and special category data are maintained.
In addition, we make certain personal and special category data available to third parties who provide services to us. We do so on a “need to know basis” and in accordance with applicable data protection and data privacy laws.
For example, some personal and special category data will be available to your general practitioner or other healthcare professional in order to ensure a safe handover and care continuity or to discuss a prescription required.
We may also disclose personal and special category data to third parties on other lawful grounds, including:
- To comply with our legal obligations, including where necessary to abide by law, regulation or contract, or to respond to a court order, administrative or judicial process
- In response to lawful requests by public authorities (including for national security or law enforcement purposes)
- To comply with requests from our regulatory body, the Care Quality Commission
- As necessary to establish, exercise or defend against potential, threatened or actual litigation
- Where necessary to protect the vital interests of our employees or another person
- In connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of all or part of our business; or
- With your freely given and explicit consent.
We use third party processors / service providers to process your data. These include cloud service providers providing services such as email, electronic health records, patient and staff administration, hosted databases, API interfaces and accounts. A list of our providers can be provided on request.
Transfers of Personal Data outside the EEA
We may need to transfer personal and special category data to countries outside of the United Kingdom. If we export your personal and special category data to a different country, we will take steps to ensure that such data exports comply with applicable laws. For example, if we transfer personal and special category data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), such as to the United States, we will implement an appropriate data export solution such as entering into contracts with the data importer that contain EU or other acceptable standard model clauses or taking other measures to provide an adequate level of data protection.
How long does HomeLink Healthcare retain Personal and Special Category Data for?
Personal and special category data is stored in accordance with applicable laws and kept for as long as needed to carry out the purposes described in this notice or as otherwise required by law.
Enquiries are retained for a period of 3 months following initial contact unless
- services are provided;
- a position of employment is offered;
- consent is given to retain personal data for an extended period in the event future opportunities may be suitable for the enquirer.
HomeLink Healthcare aligns itself with the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016.
The Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 sets out what people working with or in NHS organisations in England need to do to manage records correctly. It’s based on current legal requirements and professional best practice and was published on 20 July 2016 by the Information Governance Alliance (IGA).
Care Records with standard retention periods are generally retained for a period of 8 years following the end of care or last seen date with the exception of Mental Health Records (up to 20 years) and data stored on GP Patient Records (10 years following death).
Care Records with Non-Standard Retention Periods are retained for between 8 and 30 years depending on treatment and/or diagnosis.
For more information on the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 click https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/looking-after-information/data-security-and-information-governance/codes-of-practice-for-handling-information-in-health-and-care/records-management-code-of-practice-for-health-and-social-care-2016
How do we keep your data secure?
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal and special category data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal and special category data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal and special category data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal and special category data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
You have the right to:
- Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it. We may need to request confirmation of identity to ensure you have a right to access this data.
- Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
- Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
- Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
- Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
- Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
- Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
- The right to object to automated processing which makes decisions regarding the rights of the individual without human involvement.
If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us at DPO@homelinkhealthcare.co.uk.
Issues and complaints around privacy
We try to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.
This notice was drafted with clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of our collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed.
If you want to make a complaint about the way we have processed your personal information, you can contact the Data Protection Officer.
You can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator by:
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Information Commissioner’s Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Updates to this notice
This notice may be updated periodically to reflect any necessary changes in our privacy practices. In such cases, if we have relevant contact details then we will inform you of such changes.
We encourage you to check this policy periodically to be aware of the most recent version.
Data Controller & Data Protection Officer
Please address any questions or requests relating to this notice to the Data Protection Officer.
Data Protection Officer
HomeLink Healthcare Ltd
Regal Court Business Centre,
42-44 High Street,
Slough, SL1 1EL
Registered in England and Wales: 09767951
Tel: (020) 3137 5370
Fax: (020) 8573 7281