Who we are
Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG) is responsible for securing, planning, designing and paying for your NHS services, including planned and emergency hospital care, mental health, rehabilitation, community and primary medical care (GP) services. This is known as commissioning. We need to use information about you to enable us to do this effectively, efficiently and safely.
We also have a performance monitoring role of these services, which includes responding to any concerns from our patients on services offered.
For further information please refer to the ‘About Us’ page on our internet: http://www.horshamandmidsussexccg.nhs.uk/about-us/
What is this Fair Processing Notice about?
This Fair Processing Notice (FPN) is part of our programme to make the data processing activities we are carrying out in order to meet our commissioning obligations transparent.
This FPN tells you about information we collect and hold about you, what we do with it, how we keep it secure (confidential), who we might share it with and what your rights are in relation to your information.
What kind of information we use?
We use the following types of information/data:
- identifiable - containing details that identify individuals
- pseudonymised - about individuals but with identifying details (such as name or NHS number) replaced with a unique code
- anonymised - about individuals but with identifying details removed
- aggregated - anonymised information grouped together so that it doesn't identify individuals
What do we use anonymised data for?
We use anonymised data to plan health care services. Specifically we use it to:
- check the quality and efficiency of the health services we commission
- prepare performance reports on the services we commission.
- work out what illnesses people will have in the future, so we can plan and prioritise services and ensure these meet the needs of patients in the future
- review the care being provided to make sure it is of the highest standard
What do we use your sensitive and personal information for?
There are some limited exceptions where we may hold and use sensitive personal information about you. For example the CCG is required by law to perform certain services that involve the processing of sensitive personal information.
The areas where we regularly use sensitive personal information include:
- a process where you or your GP can request treatments that is not routinely funded by the NHS, which are known as Individual Funding Requests
- assessments for continuing healthcare and appeals.
- responding to your queries, compliments or concerns
- assessment and evaluation of safeguarding concerns
- where there is a provision permitting the use of sensitive personal information under specific conditions, for example to: understand the local population needs and plan for future requirements, which is known as “Risk Stratification for commissioning"; ensure that the CCG is billed accurately for the treatment of its patients, which is known as “invoice validation”; monitor access to services, waiting times and particular aspects of care, for which the CCG is considered to be an “accredited safe haven”.
Sensitive personal information may also be used in the following cases:
- the information is necessary for your direct healthcare
- CCGs responding to patients, carers or Member of Parliament communication
- you have freely given your informed agreement (consent) for us to use your information for a specific purpose
- there is an overriding public interest in using the information e.g. in order to safeguard an individual, or to prevent a serious crime
- there is a legal requirement that will allow us to use or provide information (e.g. a formal court order).
Do you share my information with other organisations?
We commission a number of organisations (both within and outside the NHS) to provide healthcare services to you. We may also share anonymised statistical information with them for the purpose of improving local services, for example understanding how health conditions spread across our local area compared against other areas.
The law provides some NHS bodies, particularly NHS Digital, (formally the Health and Social Care Information Centre) ways of collecting and using patient data that cannot identify a person to help Commissioners to design and procure the combination of services that best suit the population they serve.
We may also share information with NHS England and NHS Digital. If you do not want your information to be used for purposes beyond providing your care you can choose to opt-out. If you wish to do so, please inform your GP practice and they will mark your choice in your medical record. You can opt out of your data being used for some purposes. You can withdraw your opt-out choice at any time by informing your GP practice. More information is available on NHS Digital Your personal information choices.
NHS Digital takes the responsibility for looking after care information very seriously. Please follow links on how we look after information for more detailed documentation.
NHS England recognises the importance of protecting personal and confidential information in all that we do, all we direct or commission, and takes care to meet its legal duties. Follow the links on the How we use your information page for more details.
Details of data linkage with other datasets
Data may be de-identified and linked so that it can be used to improve health care and development and monitor NHS performance. Where data is used for these statistical purposes, stringent measures are taken to ensure individual patients cannot be identified.
When analysing current health services and proposals for developing future services it is sometimes necessary to link separate individual datasets to be able to produce a comprehensive evaluation. This may involve linking primary care GP data with other data such as secondary uses service (SUS) data (inpatient, outpatient and A&E). In some cases there may also be a need to link local datasets which could include a range of acute-based services such as radiology, physiotherapy, audiology etc, as well as mental health and community-based services such as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), community nursing, podiatry etc. When carrying out this analysis, the linkage of these datasets is always done using a unique identifier that does not reveal a person’s identity as the CCG does not have any access to patient identifiable data.
We may also contract with other organisations to process data. These organisations are known as Data Processors. We ensure external data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.
Currently, the external data processors we work with and the services they provide include:
Financial Invoice Validation
The CCG has contracted NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit (SCW CSU) to use limited information about individual patients to validate financial invoices received for your healthcare. The validation of invoices is undertaken within a Controlled Environment for Finance (CEfF). Invoice validation is undertaken to ensure that the CCG is paying for treatments relating to its patients only. The dedicated SCW CSU team receives patient level information direct from the hospital providers and undertakes a number of checks to ensure that the invoice is valid and that it should be paid for by the CCG. The CCG does not receive or see any patient level information relating to these invoices.
Targeted Healthcare Intervention
Where we analyse population data to provide lists of patients to GPs where a person may benefit from a targeted healthcare intervention, we call this Risk Stratification (Pro-Active Care Management). Risk Stratification is based on research that shows a person that has a recognised history and characteristics may avoid an undesirable health outcome if the signs are recognised and a particular action is taken early enough.
What are your rights?
Where information from which you can be identified is held, you have the right to ask to:
- View this or request copies of the records by making a subject access request
- request information is corrected
- have the information updated where it is no longer accurate
- ask us to stop processing information about you where we are not required to do so by law – although we will first need to explain how this may affect the care you receive
Currently, the external data processor for Risk Stratification data is Docobo Limited
What is the patient opt-out?
The NHS Constitution states "You have the right to request that your confidential information is not used beyond your own care and treatment and to have your objections considered".
There are two types of opt- outs available at different levels. These include:
Type 1 opt-out
If you do not want personal confidential information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, for purposes beyond your direct care, you can register a ‘Type 1 opt-out’ with your GP practice. This prevents your personal confidential information from being used other than in particular circumstances required by law, such as a public health emergency like an outbreak of a pandemic disease.
Patients are only able to register the opt-out at their GP practice.
Records for patients who have registered a ‘Type 1 opt-out’ will be identified using a particular code that will be applied to your medical records that will stop your records from being shared outside of your GPPractice.
Type 2 opt – out
NHS Digital collects information from a range of places where people receive care, such as hospitals and community services.
To support those NHS constitutional rights, patients within England are able to opt out of their personal confidential data being shared by the HSCIC for purposes other than their own direct care, this is known as a 'Type 2 opt-out'.
If you do not want your personal confidential information to be shared outside of NHS Digital, for purposes other than for your direct care, you can register a ‘Type 2 opt-out’ with your GP practice.
Patients are only able to register the opt-out at their GP practice.
Further Information and Support about Type 2 opt-outs:
For further information and support relating to Type 2 opt-outs please contact NHS Digital on:
Tel: 0300 303 5678
Alternatively visit the website http://content.digital.nhs.uk/article/7092/Information-on-type-2-opt-outs
What safeguards are in place to ensure data that identifies me is secure?
We only use information that may identify you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Data Protection Act requires us to process personal data only if there is a legitimate basis for doing so and that any processing must be fair and lawful.
Within the health sector, we also have to follow the common law duty of confidence, which means that where identifiable information about you has been given in confidence, it should be treated as confidential and only shared for the purpose of providing direct healthcare.
The NHS Digital Code of Practice on Confidential Information applies to all of our staff, and they are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared. All CCG staff are expected to make sure information is kept confidential and receive annual training on how to do this. This is monitored by the CCG and can be enforced through disciplinary procedures.
We also ensure the information we hold is kept in secure locations, restrict access to information to authorised personnel only, protect personal and confidential information held on equipment such as laptops with encryption (which masks data so that unauthorised users cannot see or make sense of it).
We ensure external data processors that support us are legally and contractually bound to operate and prove security arrangements are in place where data that could or does identify a person are processed.
The CCG is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a data controller and collects data for a variety of purposes. A copy of the registration is available through the ICO website. You can search by our CCG name or ICO Data Protection Register number Z3563099
The role of the CCG’s Caldicott Guardian
The CCG’s Clinical Chair is the Caldicott Guardian who is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of patients/service-user’s information and enabling appropriate information sharing. Acting as the 'conscience' of the organisation, the Caldicott Guardian actively supports work to enable information sharing where it is appropriate to share, and will advise on options for lawful and ethical processing of information. The Caldicott Guardian contact details are:
The Caldicott Guardian
Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive
How long do you hold confidential information for?
All records held by the CCG will be kept for the duration specified by national guidance from the Department of Health,http://systems.digital.nhs.uk/infogov/iga/rmcop16718.pdf.
Gaining access to the data we hold about you
The CCG does not directly provide health care services and therefore does not hold personal healthcare records. If you wish to have sight of, or obtain copies of your own personal health care records you will need to apply to your GP Practice, the hospital or NHS Organisation which provided your health care.
Everybody has the right to see, or have a copy, of data we hold that can identify you, with some exceptions. You do not need to give a reason to see your data, but you may be charged a fee.
If you want to access your data you must make the request in writing. Under special circumstances, some information may be withheld.
If you wish to have a copy of the information we hold about you, please note that there may be a charge for this (of up to £50). Please see our Subject Access Request Policy. Please complete the form in appendix 3 of the Policy and send to:
The Information Governance Manager
Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive
Your right to opt out
In some instances, you are allowed to request that your confidential information is not used beyond your own care and treatment and to have your objections considered. If your wishes cannot be followed, you will be told the reasons (including the legal basis) for that decision.
If you wish to exercise your right to opt-out, or to speak to somebody to understand what impact this may have, if any, please contact us.
What is the right to know?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives people a general right of access to information held by or on behalf of public authorities, promoting a culture of openness and accountability across the public sector.
What sort of information can I request?
In theory, you can request any information that Horsham and Mid SussexCCG holds that does not fall under an exemption. You may not ask for information that is covered by the Data ProtectionAct under FOIA. However you can request this under a subject Access Request – see section above ‘Gaining access to the data we hold about you’.
How do I make a request for information?
Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed to:
Post: NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 7DH
We use NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit, which is part of the NHS, to process our freedom of information request; however all responses will be carried out by the CCG. If you have any concerns about this process or would like further information please contact a member of the FOI team at the address above.
For independent advice about data protection, privacy, data sharing issues and your rights you can contact:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745
Visit the ICO website.
Complaints or questions
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 concerns to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. Please contact us.