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 must provide or arrange social care support for those most in need in the community. If you ask us for support, we must:

  • assess your needs (and the needs of your carer if they ask us),
  • support you with your health and wellbeing 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.

Your information and feedback also help us plan our services, investigate complaints, legal claims and incidents of concern as well as part of internal or external audit where we are required to or where it would help improve the services we offer.  Our services may be directly provided by us, by one of our partners such as NHS or in partnership with another agency such as private care home providers.


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.

Adult Social Care staff also have access to other authority and organisation databases. For example, some of our staff directly access DWP information and NHS Trust information.

Use of your NHS number in social care

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 you.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) information 

Adult Social Care staff also have access to other authority and organisation databases. For example, some of our staff directly access DWP information and NHS Trust information.


We hold your information so that we can provide services that you require 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 and legal obligations 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 social worker, therapist, support staff or other people involved in providing services to you, have access to our databases.

Your information is not processed outside the EEA (European Economic Area).

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

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


Our legal basis for collecting and processing your data is to fulfil our legal obligations and when it is considered necessary to enable us to carry out our tasks, functions, duties or powers or to perform a task carried out in the public interest. This is in line with GDPR Article 6,1 (c & e).

We will also need to process your special category data where it is necessary for the provision of health or social care, where there is a substantial public interest or where we are protecting public health. This is in line with GDPR Article 9,2 (g), Data Protection Act 2018 Schedule 1, Part 2, Part 2 Paras 6, 8, 17, 18 and 19 and GDPR Article 9,2 (h), Data Protection Act 2018 Schedule 1, Part 1, Para 1, 2 and 3 and GDPR Article 9, 2(i).

Where we rely on seeking your Consent to process your data, we will ask on an individual basis.

In addition to working within strict compliance with data protection legislation, Adult Social Care and Health also work within the below legislation and regulations:

  • Care Act 2014, Care and Support Statutory Guidance
  • Health and Social Care Act 2008
  • Mental Health Act 1989, associated Codes of Practice
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  • The Care and Support (Discharge of Hospital Patients) Regulations 2014
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Equalities Act 2010
  • Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
  • Children Act 2004
  • Local Government Act 1974 and 1999
  • The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996
  • Care Homes Regulations 2001
  • Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • The Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009
  • The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009
  • The Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013

Where your personally identifiable data is used for ‘secondary purposes’ e.g. to help plan future service provision, to allow other organisations to offer services to you which may be of interest 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 depending on need
  • 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 consent.

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) where this falls outside of our duties and powers to provide social care and support. This may be 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.

*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.

If you are not able to make decisions about how your data is shared, 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
  • 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.


Depending on the legal basis for processing your information you may have the following rights:

  • A right to a copy of data held about you, an explanation for its processing and who it has been shared with – this right applies to data processed under any lawful basis.
  • A right to rectification (correction) of data which is demonstrably wrong – this right applies to data processed under any legal basis.
  • A right to restrict processing – this right applies if it has been shown that there is no legal basis for processing your data, but you wish it to be retained for your own purposes.
  • A right to object to processing – this right does not apply where the Council is under a legal duty to process your data but can be used where you dispute that there is a legal basis to process your data. In this circumstance, the Council is required to weigh its lawful basis for processing your data against your objection and provide you with a response.
  • A right to erasure – this applies where there is no longer a legal basis to retain your data.
  • A right to portability of your data (having it moved to another organisation) – this right applies only where the legal basis was either consent or performance of a contract, but data will usually be transferred to another local authority if a data subject moves to a new location.

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
Lewes
BN7 1UE
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
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

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


Overview and how your information will be used

The council have direct access to DWP information in certain circumstances to help us better understand your benefits and pensions situation. We may look at this information when we are undertaking a financial assessment or when you have applied for a Blue Badge or when we are delivering schemes and grants with the local District and Borough Councils.

What information is being used?

The council have access to information relating to tax credits, earnings and pensions.

We will not make automated decisions using your data.

Your rights

Depending on the legal basis for processing your information you may have the following rights:

  • Right to Access
    A right to a copy of data held about you, an explanation for its processing and who it has been shared with – this right applies to data processed under any lawful basis. Please see Subject Access Request page for more information on how the council handle SAR(s).
  • Right to Rectification
    A right to rectification (correction) of data which is demonstrably wrong – this right applies to data processed under any legal basis. If the information we hold on you is wrong, you can ask for us to change it. Where this relates to DWP information accessed by the Council, we will speak to the DWP.
  • Right to Erasure
    This applies where there is no longer a legal basis to retain your data. We will carefully consider any requests to delete your information and where this relates to DWP information accessed by the Council, we will speak to the DWP.
  • Right to Restriction
    This right applies if it has been shown that there is no legal basis for processing your data, but you wish it to be retained for your own purposes. Where this relates to DWP information accessed by the Council, we will speak to the DWP.
  • Right to Object
    This right does not apply where the Council is under a legal duty to process your data but can be used where you dispute that there is a legal basis to process your data. In this circumstance, the Council is required to weigh its lawful basis for processing your data against your objection and provide you with a response. Where this relates to DWP information accessed by the Council, we will speak to the DWP.