1. Business details
This is the privacy notice of The Essex Care Group.
Our registered office is at Office 6, COLBEA North, 340 The Crescent, Colchester, Essex, CO4 9AD
The Essex Care Group is registered with the Care Quality Commission to provide personal care and support to people in their own homes.
2. Aims of this notice
The Essex Care Group is required by law to tell you about your rights and our obligations regarding our collecting and processing any of your personal information, which you might provide to us. We have a range of policies and procedures to ensure that any personal information you supply is only with your active consent and will always be held securely and treated confidentially in line with the applicable regulations. We have listed the relevant documents in a later section (6) and can make any available.
3. What personal information we collect about: a) service users b) employees and c) third parties
a. Service users. As a registered care provider, we must collect some personal information on our service users, including health and financial information, which is essential to our being able to provide effective care and support. The information is contained in individual files (manual and electronic) and other record systems, all of which are subject to strict security and authorised access policies. Personal information that becomes inactive, e.g. from enquiries or prospective users who do not enter the service is also kept securely for as long as it is needed, before being safely disposed of.
b. Employees and volunteers. The service operates a safe recruitment policy to comply with the regulations in which all personal information obtained, including CVs and references, is, like service users’ information, securely kept, retained and disposed of in line with data protection requirements.
c. Third parties. All personal information obtained about others associated with the delivery of the care service, including contractors, visitors, etc. will be protected in the same ways as information on service users and employees.
4. How we collect information
The bulk of service users’, employees’ and thirds parties’ personal information is collected directly from them or through form filling, mainly manually, but also electronically for some purposes, eg when contacting the service through its website.
With service users, we might continue to build on the information provided in enquiry and referral forms, and, for example, from needs assessments, which feed into their care and support plans.
With employees, personal information is obtained directly and with consent through such means as references, testimonials and criminal records (DBS) checks. When recruiting staff, we seek applicants explicit consent to obtain all the information needed for us to decide to employ them.
All personal information obtained to meet our regulatory requirements will always be treated in line with our explicit consent, data protection and confidentiality policies.
Our website and databases are regularly checked to ensure they meet all privacy standards and comply with our general data protection security and protection policies.
5. What we do with personal information
All personal information obtained on service users, employees and third parties is used only to ensure that we provide a service, which is consistent with our purpose of providing a person-centered care service, and which meets all regulatory standards and requirements. It will not be disclosed or shared for any other purpose.
6. How we keep your information safe
As already stated, the service has a range of policies that enable us to comply with all data protection requirements. Foremost are:
• Access to Employee Data
• Computer Security
• Confidentiality of Service Users’ Information
• Consent to Care and Treatment
• Data Protection
• Record Keeping
• Information Governance under the General Data Protection Regulation
• Protecting Personal Data under the General Data Protection Regulation
• Safe Staff Recruitment and Selection
• Service Users’ Access to Records
• Sharing Information with Other Providers
7. With whom we might share information
We only share the personal information of service users, employees and others with their consent on a “need to know” basis, observing strict protocols in doing so. Most information sharing of service users’ information is with other professionals and agencies involved with their care and treatment. Likewise, we would not disclose information about our employees without their clear agreement, e.g. when providing a reference.
The only exceptions to this general rule would be where we are required by law to provide information, e.g. to help with a criminal investigation. Even when seeking to notify the local authority of a safeguarding matter or the Care Quality Commission of an incident that requires us to notify it, we would only do so with consent or ensure that the information provided is treated in confidence.
Where we provide information for statistical purposes, the information is aggregated and provided anonymously so that there is no privacy risk involved in its use.
8. How personal information held by the care provider can be accessed
There are procedures in place to enable any service user, employee or third party whose personal information we possess and might process in some way to request access to that information. (See the policies listed in No. 6 above.) The right to access includes both the information and any uses which we might have made of the information.
9. How long we keep information
There are strict protocols in place that determine how long the organisation will keep the information, which are in line with the relevant legislation and regulations.
10. How we keep our privacy policies up to date
The staff appointed to control and process personal information in our organisation are delegated to assess all privacy risks continuously and to carry out comprehensive reviews of our data protection policies, procedures and protocols at least annually.
11. What should you do if you have a complaint about how your information is being processed or stored?
In the first instance, we ask that you contact us directly with any concerns or complaints as to the way your data is being processed or stored.
If you are not satisfied with our response, you may then contact the Information Commissioners Office. (Also known as the ICO).
12. Lawful Basis
Under GDPR we are required to list the “lawful basis” we use to process and store personal data, and the “additional conditions” under which we process sensitive data.
We have detailed these below:
Service users. Our Lawful Basis is Contract. The data is necessary in order for us to fulfil our care contract. Our Additional Condition is Condition (H) – “the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services”
Staff / Applicants. Our Lawful Basis is both Legitimate Interest & Legal Obligations. Legitimate Interests covers data relating to pre-employment checks, and ongoing employment, the data is necessary for us to carry out certain checks in order to process your job application and to run the business. Legal Obligations covers data relating to pay and taxes. Our Additional Condition is Condition (H) – “for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, or the management of health or social care systems and services”
Third Parties. Our Lawful Basis is Contract. The data is necessary in order for us to fulfil our contract.