The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has various roles and responsibilities, but a major part of our work involves making sure that:
• Contracts are in place with local health service providers
• routine and emergency NHS services are available to patients
• those services provide high quality care and value for money; and
• paying those services for the care and treatment they have provided
This is called “commissioning” and is explained in more detail on our website about us page.
Accurate, timely and relevant information is essential for our work to help us to design and plan current and future health and care services, evidence and review our decisions and manage budgets.
As a commissioning organisation, our purpose is not to provide direct care and so we do not routinely hold or receive information about patients and service users in relation to your care. We do however sometimes hold information from which people can be identified to enable us to fulfil our responsibilities as outlined above and this is explained in this notice.
What is a Privacy Notice?
We respect your right with regards to data privacy and data protection when you communicate (online or offline) with us through our various websites, offline programs and events.
What information do we collect?
Find out what information we collect about you, what types of personal data we handle and what we do with that information.
UK data protection laws give you several rights in relation to the information that NHS St Helens CCG holds about you.
To ensure that we process your personal data fairly and lawfully we are required to inform you:
This information also explains what rights you have to control how we use your information.
The law determines how organisations can use personal information. The key laws are: the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), and the common law duty of confidentiality, along with health specific legislation such as the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
Within these pages we describe instances where NHS St Helens CCG is the “Data Controller”, for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018, and where we direct or commission the processing of patient data to help deliver better healthcare, or to assist the management of healthcare services.
NHS St Helens CCG 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.
In the first instance, you should contact:
Midlands and Lancashire CSU Customer Care Team Liverpool Innovation Park Second Floor (Building 2) 360 Edge Lane Liverpool L7 9NJ
If you wish to make a complaint please email email@example.com
If, however, you are not satisfied that your complaint has been resolved, you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner to lodge a complaint:
Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF ico.org.uk
Tel: 0303 123 1113
Changes to our Privacy Notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review and we will place any updates on this web page. This notice was last updated on 01/06/2018.
NHS St Helens CCG is a ‘data controller’ under the DPA. We have notified the Information Commissioner that we process personal data and the details are publicly available from the:
Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF ico.org.uk
Registration number: ZA001812
Please contact us via our Data Protection Officer if you have any questions about our privacy notice or information we hold about you:
DPO Full name
Associate Director: Corporate Governance
We only collect and use your information for the lawful purposes of administering the business of NHS St Helens CCG.
We process personal information to enable us to support the provision of healthcare services to patients, maintain our own accounts and records, promote our services, and to support and manage our employees. In order to so effectively we are often required to process personal data i.e. that which identifies a living individual.
We also process special category data. This is personal data which the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) says is more sensitive, and so needs more protection:
This information will generally relate to our staff, covered by the Privacy Notice for Staff.
In terms of patient information, the special category data we process includes:
Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected to help ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.
The information collected about you when you use these services can also be provided to other approved organisations, where there is a legal basis, to help with planning services, improving care provided, research into developing new treatments and preventing illness. All of these help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential personal information about your health and care is only used in this way where allowed by law and would never be used for insurance or marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way.
To find out more about the wider use of confidential personal information and to register your choice to opt out if you do not want your data to be used in this way, visit www.nhs.uk/my-data-choice. If you do choose to opt out you can still consent to your data being used for specific purposes.
If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. You can change your choice at any time.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is explained by NHS Choices here.
To determine if someone is eligible for CHC and to then arrange a care and support package that meets their assessed needs, information about the individual will need to be collected, reviewed and shared with care providers such as care homes. As the CCG has a duty to provide CHC services, this allows for the collection of information about individuals for this purpose, the use of that information and the sharing of it with third parties who need to be involved in the process; we will make sure that we keep the individual concerned informed at all times of who will be providing or receiving data about them and why.
The National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012, Part 6 places a duty on CCGs to make provision for, i.e. provide, CHC services. As such, Blackpool CCG’s legal basis for processing this personal data under GDPR is Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For special categories (health) data the basis is Article 9(2)(h) ‘…health or social care…’
The personal data are submitted by the CCG and the applicant for review.
The information CCGs use to assess eligibility, and which may be submitted to an Independent Review Panel, fall under the following headings:
The obtained records that relate to these areas may include Care Home records, Health Records (for example GP, Hospital, Mental Health, District Nursing) and Social Care Records.
Categories of recipient’s Personal data relating to the application is received by NHS St Helens CCG's Continuing Healthcare teams and the members of the review panel. An Independent Review Panel is made up of:
Purpose and Legal basis for processing
Most NHS care and treatment goes well but sometimes things can go wrong. If you are unhappy with your care or the service you have received, it is important to let us know so we can improve. When NHS St Helens CCG receive a complaint, to allow it to be fairly and thoroughly managed, in most cases personal information will be required. CCGs have statutory duties (Section 6 of the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints [England] Regulations (2009) (under section 113 “Complaints about Healthcare” of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003)) which allow the processing of personal data in relation to complaints.
The legal basis we rely on to process your personal data is article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR, which allows us to process personal data when this is necessary to perform our public tasks as a CCG.
If the information you provide us in relation to your complaint contains special category data, such as health, religious or ethnic information the legal basis we rely on to process it is article 9(2)(g) of the GDPR, which also relates to our public task and the safeguarding of your fundamental rights. And Schedule 1 part 2(6) of the DPA 2018 which relates to statutory and government purposes.
NHS St Helens CCG will generally collect/receive information when members of the public, their representatives, or members of Parliament, contact us with concerns or enquiries. In order to process a complaint NHS St Helens CCG will collect the relevant information at the point of contact to enable the team to provide a sufficient response to the request.
Information relating to complaints would generally include the following categories of personal data:
The recipients of personal data relating to complaints include:
Yes - NHS St Helens CCG commission Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit to provide these services on their behalf.
Communications & Engagement
NHS St Helens CCG offers various services to the public giving them the opportunity to engage with us. This could be providing people with the latest news and information from the CCG, opportunities, events and details on how to get involved.
We have to hold the details of the people who have requested the service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a publication to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received or if the information is useful to them. We will never ask you to provide any personal data in response to a survey. Any personal data received in responses is removed before responses are collated, analysed or disseminated.
When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this. Personal data collected for the above purposes is only processed with the explicit consent of the data subject unless it becomes apparent that we are required to process the personal data due to statutory obligations such as investigating a complaint.
The personal data is provided by data subjects when signing up to receive one of our newsletters either via our website or by completing one of our sign-up forms at one of our stakeholder events we hold from time to time.
We only require you to provide us with your name and email address so that we can send you our publications. Information regarding your gender, sexual orientation, marital status and disabilities is collected so that we can ensure that our patient involvement groups are representative of our population we serve. We may also use it to send you targeted information or news. However, it is not mandatory to provide this information.
The information you provide as a member of one of our patient involvement groups is never shared outside of NHS St Helens CCG.
Purpose and Legal basis for processing
The NHS has a duty to spend the money it receives from the Government in a fair way, taking into account the health needs of the whole community. The CCGs role is to ensure it gets best value for this money by spending it wisely on behalf of the public.
CCGs pay for local NHS health services and NHS England pays for highly specialised health services. The CCGs have a legal duty to provide health services for patients in the county with the fixed amount of money they have received from the Government. They have a legal duty not to spend more than this. This means that some hard choices have to be made. Not all treatments can be provided by the NHS. Treatments that are limited by CCGs are shown in their Clinical Commissioning Policies.
However, the CCGs know that there will always be times when a patient would benefit from a particular treatment not usually given by the NHS. To apply for this treatment, an Individual Funding Request is made. To allow the CCG to consider these requests, access to both personal and health information regarding the individual to whom the request relates is required. As the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012, Part 7, Regulation 34 places a duty on CCGs in respect of the funding and commissioning of drugs and other treatments, this provides the CCG with a legal basis to use personal data as part of this process.
NHS St Helens CCG commission Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) to provide these services on their behalf.
The information may be provided by a clinician who submits an IFR application form on behalf of a patient.
The IFR application form includes NHS number, name and address, date of birth, GP details, diagnosis, requested intervention and other information relevant to the request. Gender and ethnicity are also collected and held in anonymous form for equality monitoring.
Applications are considered by an independent panel who have not been involved in your treatment. The panel is made up of doctors, nurses, public health experts, pharmacists, NHS England representatives and lay members and is led by a lay chair.
Purpose and Legal basis for processing
Invoice validation is an important process. It involves using your NHS number to check that we are the CCG that is responsible for paying for your treatment.
There are situations where identifiable patient personal data is required to ensure that the correct service provider is paid.
In such cases, service providers are required to send identifiable patient personal data such as the NHS Number to a Controlled Environment for Finance (CEfF). NHS St Helens CCG is an accredited Controlled Environment for Finance (CEfF) which enables them to process patient identifiable information without consent for the purposes of invoice validation. We will also use your NHS number to check whether your care has been funded through specialist commissioning, which NHS England will pay for. The process makes sure that the organisations providing your care are paid correctly.
NHS England has published guidance on how invoices must be processed and Commissioners have a duty to detect report and investigate any incidents of where a breach of confidentiality has been made.
Under the NHS Act 2006, provision is made for the sharing of patient information that is in the interests of improving patient care or deemed to be in the public interest. This is commonly referred to as a Section 251 exemption that allows the common law duty of confidentiality to be bypassed in order to fulfil a task in the interests of improving patient care or in the public interest. The specific reference for this exemption is: CAG 7-07(a)(b)(c)/2013. As such, our legal basis under GDPR is Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For special categories (health) data the basis is Article 9(2)(h) ‘…health or social care…’.
Sources of the data
The sources of data are providers who submit invoices to NHS Shared Business Services for payment.
The data required for effective invoice validations can be found in appendix B. of “Who Pays? Information Governance Advice for Invoice Validation” which you can find here:
NHS St Helens CCG is the only organisation that will have receive personal data relating to invoice validation as an accredited Controlled Environment for Finance.
Health care commissioners need information about the treatment of patients to review and plan current and future health care services. To do this they need to be able to see information about the health care provided to patients which can include patient level data.
The law says commissioners are not allowed to access Personal Confidential Data (PCD) because they are not providing direct patient care. So they need an intermediary service called Data Services for Commissioners Regional Office (DSRCO), that specialise in processing, analysing and packaging patient information within a secure environment into a format commissioners can legally use; anonymised patient level data. You can find more comprehensive information about this on the NHS Digital Website.
NHS Digital is able to disseminate data to commissioners under the Health and Social Care Act (2012). The act provides the powers for NHS Digital to collect, analyse and disseminate national data and statistical information. To access this data organisations must submit an application and demonstrate that they meet the appropriate governance and security requirements. For GDPR purposes NHS St Helens CCGs lawful basis for processing is Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For special categories (health) data the basis is Article 9(2)(h) ‘…health or social care…’
NHS Digital, through its Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices (DSCROs), is permitted to collect, hold and process Personal Confidential Data (PCD). This is for purposes beyond direct patient care to support NHS commissioning organisations and the commissioning functions within local authorities
GPs are able to identify individual patients from the risk stratified data when it is necessary to discuss the outcome and consider preventative care, however the CCG can never identify an individual from the risk stratified data that we see. Where the risk stratification process has linked GP data to health data obtained from other sources i.e. NHS Digital or other health care provider, the GP will ask for your permission to access the details of that information.
Purposes and basis for processing
NHS St Helens CCG is dedicated in ensuring that the principles and duties of safeguarding adults and children are holistically, consistently and conscientiously applied with the wellbeing of all and at the heart of what we do.
Our Legal basis for processing For the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) purposes is Article 6(1)(e) ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For the processing of special categories data, the basis is Article 9(2)(b) – ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law…’
Categories of personal data
The data collected by NHS St Helens CCG staff including its hosted bodies in the event of a safeguarding situation will be as much personal information as is necessary or possible to obtain in order to adequately deal with the situation. In addition to some basic demographics and contact details, we will also process details of what the safeguarding concern is. This is likely to be special category information (such as health information).
NHS St Helens CCG will either receive or collect information when someone contacts the organisation with safeguarding concerns or we believe there may be safeguarding concerns and make enquiries to relevant providers.
The information is used by NHS St Helens CCG when handling a safeguarding incident or concern. We may share information accordingly to ensure duty of care and investigation as required with other partners such as Local Authorities, the Police, healthcare professional (i.e. their GP or mental health team).
NHS St Helens CCG has a duty to secure continuous improvement in the quality of services provided to individuals for or in connection with the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness. Taking that into account, The Medicines Management Team supports the CCG with commissioning services that make best use of available medicines. Your personal data will be used to fulfil this duty in respect of promoting cost-effective use of medicines as well as implementing projects or actions to optimise the use of medicines to improve outcomes, enhance patient safety and improve capacity within the local health economy.
The legal basis we rely on under GDPR is Article 6(1)(e) “processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.” For the special categories of data, we rely on Article 9(2)(h) “processing is necessary for the purposes of….the provision of health or social care or treatment”
Data used to fulfil the above duties is received directly from the primary and secondary healthcare providers for which the CCG has responsibility for.
Typically, clinicians and pharmacists will require access to patient information including NHS Numbers and medication lists.
NHS St Helens CCG has a duty to the improvement of quality and delivery of services and uses incident events, investigation, evidence and reports relating to incidents under various policy and procedural structures.
An incident requiring investigation is defined as an incident that occurred in relation to NHS funded services and care resulting in unexpected or avoidable death, harm or injury to patient, carer, staff or visitor. In order to promote quality and compliance, NHS St Helens CCG has several reporting protocols for incidents and provides investigation and learning to improve systems and services they commission.
NHS Number and other personal details, including relevant healthcare records and information about the incident, including others involved or impacted by the event are used by the CCG to facilitate incident investigations.
Data received in order to fulfil the duties relating to incident investigation will be received directly from the reporting organisation, such as a GP practice or provider.
Information relating to outcomes will be sent back to the relevant providers.
We use information collected by NHS Digital from healthcare providers such as hospitals, community services and GPs, which includes information about the patients who have received care and treatment from the services that we fund.
The data we receive does not include patients’ names or home addresses, but it will usually include information such as your NHS number, postcode, date of birth, ethnicity and gender as well as coded information about your visits to clinics, Emergency Department, hospital admissions and other NHS services.
The Secretary of State for Health has given limited permission for us (and other NHS commissioners) to use certain confidential patient information when it is necessary for our work and unless we have a legal basis to use identifiable data, de-identified information is used for all purposes other than direct care. This approval is given under Regulations made under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 and is based on the advice of the Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality and Advisory Group.
In order to use this data, we have to meet strict conditions that we are legally required to follow, which includes making a written commitment to NHS Digital that we will not use information in any way that would reveal your identity.
NHS St Helens CCG does not use automated individual decision-making (making a decision solely by automated means without any human involvement).
Information in the CCG is held for a specific length of time depending on the type of information it is. The length of time we retain your information for is defined by the NHS retention schedule which can be viewed online here: NHS Digital Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016
Once information has been reviewed and is no longer required to be kept by a retention period the information will be securely destroyed.
The CCG destroys confidential information via shredding contractor.
NHS St Helens CCG take our duty to protect your personal information and confidentiality seriously. We are committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality and security of personal data for which we are responsible, whether computerised or on paper.
Alongside the Data Protection Officer (DPO), we have appointed a Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) who is accountable for the management of all information assets and any associated risks and incidents, and a ‘Caldicott Guardian’ who is responsible for the management of patient information and patient confidentiality.
All staff are required to undertake annual information governance training and are provided with an information governance handbook that they are required to read and agree to adhere to. The handbook ensures that staff are aware of their information governance responsibilities and follow best practice guidelines ensuring the necessary safeguards and appropriate use of person-identifiable and confidential information.
Under the NHS Confidentiality Code of Conduct, all our staff are also required to protect your information and inform you of how your information will be used. This includes, in most circumstances, allowing you to decide if and how your information can be shared.
Everyone working for the NHS is subject to the common law duty of confidentiality. Information provided in confidence will only be used for the purposes advised and consented to by the service user, unless it is required or permitted by the law.
You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data. This privacy notice is one of NHS St Helens CCG’s key methods for providing you with this information. In addition to this notice, we will provide you with more specific information at the time we collect personal data from you, such as when you apply for Continuing Healthcare or make a complaint to us.
You have the right to ask us for confirmation of whether we process data about you and if we do, to have access to that data so you are aware and can verify the lawfulness of the processing.
You can make your own application to see the information we hold about you, or you can authorise someone else to make an application on your behalf. A child’s parent or guardian, a patient representative, or a person appointed by the Court may also apply. If you wish to ask us for confirmation of whether we process data about you or access your personal data, then please contact:
The CSU SAR team provide a subject access request service on behalf of NHS St Helens CCG. All SARs need to be addressed to the CSU SARs team please see the teams direct contact details below.
Midlands and Lancashire CSU Customer Care Team Liverpool Innovation Park Second Floor (Building 2) 360 Edge Lane Liverpool L7 9NJ
If you wish to contact the SARs team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are entitled to have personal data that we hold about you rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete. If we have passed the data concerned on to others, we will contact each recipient and inform them of the rectification - unless this proves impossible or involves disproportionate effort. If this is the case, we will explain to you why.
You have the right to have personal data we hold about you erased and to prevent processing in specific circumstances:
However, if we have collected and are processing data about you to comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority, i.e. because we have a legal duty to do so in our functioning as a CCG, then the right to erasure does not apply.
You have the right to ‘block’ or suppress processing of your personal data which means that if you exercise this right, we can still store your data but not to further process it and will retain just enough information about you to ensure that the restriction is respected in future.
You can ask us to restrict the processing of your personal data in the following circumstances:
If we have disclosed the personal data in question to others, we will contact each recipient and inform them of the restriction on the processing of the personal data - unless this proves impossible or involves disproportionate effort. If asked to, we will must also inform you about these recipients.
We will inform you if we decide to lift a restriction on processing.
The right to data portability allows you to obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes across different services. It allows you to move, copy or transfer personal data easily from one IT environment to another in a safe and secure way, without hindrance to usability although it only applies where we are processing your personal data based on your consent for us to do so or for the performance of a contract and where the processing is carried out by automated means. This means that currently, the CCG dos not hold any data which would be subject to the right to data portability.
Where the CCG processes personal data about you on the basis of being required to do so for the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority, you have a right to object to the processing.
You must have an objection on grounds relating to your particular situation.
If you raise an objection, we will no longer process the personal data we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your interests, rights and freedoms or the processing is for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
As the CCG does not make any decisions based solely on automated processing, individuals’ rights in relation to personal data processed in this way are no applicable.
If the CCG processes data about you on the basis that you have given your consent for us to do so, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Where possible, we will make sure that you are able to withdraw your consent using the same method as when you gave it.
If you withdraw your consent, we will stop the processing as soon as possible. In order to do this please contact NHS St Helens CCG:
The Gamble Building, Victoria Square, St Helens, Merseyside WA10 1DY