1. Home
  2. Privacy
  3. Privacy notice - Adult Social Care: your information and you

Privacy notice - Adult Social Care: your information and you

As a local authority, by law we have to provide or arrange social care support for those most in need in the community. If you ask us for support we have to:

  • assess your needs (and the needs of your carer if they ask us), and
  • work out whether you qualify for financial help from us for your support.

To do this, we must hold records about you and your personal circumstances, and about the support you receive or may need in the future. We guarantee to use your personal data only in ways that respect your rights and promote your health and wellbeing. For example, we use information about you to:

  • agree with you what support you need
  • make sure your support is safe and effective
  • work with others who are involved with your support
  • investigate any concerns or complaints you may have.

The information we hold about you will depend on the level of service we provide you. In all cases we will hold your name, address and date of birth, gender, and ethnicity.

In relation to specific service provision we will hold your NHS number and may also hold information relating to contact details, assessments, reviews, care plans and service provision information.

We may also hold information received from other organisations including reports from doctors and other healthcare professionals which help to assess how best to provide your care and support.

Use of your NHS number in social care

In order to make sure we can work with health services to deliver your care, we obtain your NHS number from the NHS Personal Demographics Service (PDS).

You have a right to request that we remove your NHS number from your record. If you opt out of the use of your NHS number for social care purposes, it will not stop you receiving care but will make it harder for the NHS and the Council to work together. If you have any concerns about the use of your NHS number, please contact the person dealing with your case and they can discuss your options with yo

We hold your information so that we can provide services that you need and keep in touch with you. We also use it to plan and improve our services and to look into any concerns you may have about the services you receive. We need to do this either because we have statutory duties to fulfil, or because we are required to undertake certain tasks for reasons of public interest.

We aim to maintain high standards, adopt best practice for our record keeping and regularly check and report on how we are doing. Your information is never sold for direct marketing purposes.

We have strict controls on who can see your paper or electronic records. Nobody is allowed to see your information unless they have a valid reason and appropriate authorisation. Only people who need to know information about you, such as your head teacher, SENCO, health visitor, social worker, therapist, or other people involved in providing services to you, have access to our databases.

Our staff are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your confidentiality and privacy.

Your information is processed in the UK or in a country with an adequacy agreement with the UK.

All information is held securely in accordance with our Data Protection & Information Security Policy.

COVID-19: As part of the response to Covid-19, personal data we hold will be used to identify vulnerable and at risk children so that we can ensure they are able to still attend school despite school closures.

The Council has a statutory duty to provide social care and data protection legislation allows for the processing of personal data for the delivery of health and social care services.

Where your data is used for ‘secondary purposes’ such as to help plan future service provision, to allow other organisations to offer services to you which may be of interest, for example, home fire safety visits, we will ask for your consent.

If you no longer need to receive support from Adult Social Care your records will be closed and retained on our systems in accordance with the Council’s retention schedule.

Any sharing of personal data is always made:

  • on case-by-case basis
  • using the minimum personal data necessary
  • with the appropriate security controls in place
  • in line with legislation

Information is only shared with those agencies and bodies who have a ‘need to know’ or where you have consented to the sharing of your personal data to such persons.

We may use the information we hold about you to assist in the detection and prevention of crime or fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies that inspect and manage public funds.

As part of the response to public health emergencies like the coronavirus, Category 1 and Category 2 responders such as East Sussex County Council have a duty to share information with other responder organisations under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004).

We will keep a record of everyone who has permission to see the information, and what information has been shared with them.

If you give us permission to, we may share information with partners such as the NHS and other local authorities to help to improve services provided to everyone. Where information is shared for purposes other than direct provision of services, no sensitive* information will be shared without further consent.

If you give us permission to, in the interests of your wellbeing, we may share some of your information with other partners and organisations (e.g. NHS, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, District and Borough Councils, voluntary organisations, UK power networks) to allow referral for additional or follow up services such as specialist advice, health checks, home fire safety checks or for the purpose of prioritising electricity restoration in the event of a power cut. No sensitive information about you will be shared with other organisations without further consent (see below).

Sensitive information includes the following:

  • the processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade union membership
  • the processing of genetic data, or of biometric data, for the purpose of uniquely identifying an individual
  • the processing of data concerning health
  • the processing of data concerning of individuals sex life or sexual orientation

Normally, you are the only person who can decide how your information can be shared. However, if you are not able to make those decisions, the professionals involved in your care may decide that sharing the information will be in your best interests. They must take into account the views of your family and carers.

You can choose someone to take decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This is called a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’.

Use of third party organisations

To enable us to provide the services you need, East Sussex County Council may share your information with trusted external organisations to process your data on our behalf. Some of the organisations we may share your information with include:

  • nursing and residential homes
  • day care services
  • real time telephone monitoring for home care
  • telecare sensors, such as lifeline fall pendant
  • home care services
  • disability living equipment providers
  • NHS provider services

Any organisation commissioned by the Council will be under contractual obligation to comply with data protection legislation.

The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes.

Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at NHS – Your NHS data matters.

Compliance with the national data opt-out is mandatory for the Health and Social Care Sector from March 2020.

Under data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to be informed why, where and how we use your information
  • to ask for access to your information
  • to ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  • to ask us to restrict the use of your information
  • to ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way, without impacting the quality of the information
  • to object to how your information is used
  • to challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making).

Please visit data subject rights for further details.

Or you can contact:

Customer Services Team
East Sussex County Council
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Phone: 01273 482913
Email: Customer Services Team

Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please contact the person who deals with your case or their manager.

Or you can contact Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC), our customer contact centre:
Tel: 0345 6080191
Minicom via type talk on 18001 0345 60 80 191
Email: HSCC

We want to provide high quality services for everyone. But if you think things haven’t gone well, we need to know if we can put them right and learn from our mistakes.

If you want to make a complaint about Adult Social Care, you can contact the

Complaints Team
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes BN7 1UE

Tel: 01273 481242
Email: Adult Social Care Complaints Team

You might want to use an independent advocate to help you understand the complaints process and put your views across effectively.

Further information on making a complaint.

Or you can contact our Data Protection Officer.

You can also contact the ICO for further information or to make a complaint:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)
Email ICO
Report a concern on the ICO website