Learn about personal data protection and the NHS Number - including how your information is collected, why it's collected, who it may be shared with and how to opt out.
The Adults Social Care Department in Westminster City Council is a participant in WSIC. The Fair Processing Notice set out below is produced by the North West London Collaboration Partners, of which Westminster City Council is a member.
WSIC refers to the Whole Systems Integrated Care Programme, and is sometimes referred to as WSIC, WSIC Dashboard, WSIC Integrated Care Record. It is an electronic record used by health and care professionals to record key information about your care. It’s different from previous records as all the health and social care teams involved in your care can share a summary of relevant information from your health and social care records, providing a joined-up history of your care. The record holds your contact details, your date of birth and your NHS number, as well as details about your health and treatment.
WSIC has been established by health and social care providers (e.g. GPs, hospitals, mental health and community providers, and social services) from across North West London. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act, these partners collectively form the North West London Collaboration Partners and are the data controllers for WSIC. More information on the North West London Collaboration Partners, who they are and what they do can be found at the following links on their website:
You can contact the Data Protection Officer at nwlccgs.WSIC.email@example.com or via our postal address. Please mark your correspondence with ‘Data Protection Officer’. You can find more information about the role of the DPO here.
If your health or care organisation is part of the WSIC programme then data will be automatically extracted from your health and/or care records, and processed to create an ‘integrated record’. Any organisation who participates in the programme will have agreed, and be bound by the terms of the North West London Digital Information Sharing Agreement and data will be processed according to the North West London Information Sharing Protocol.
You don’t need to do anything for this to happen. This is because your health and/or care organisation have legal responsibilities when delivering their services, to share information where this will facilitate care for an individual. It is on this basis that data is collected and processed. You do have a choice whether you want this to continue or you would like to opt out. Details on this are provided in the ‘Can I Opt-out?’ section below.
The information collected includes your name, address, postcode, your date of birth and your NHS number, as well as details of your health and treatment.
This information is collected to produce an electronic record or dashboard of key information about your care. It provides a joined-up view of your care and allows your health and care team to access a complete picture of your care wherever they are, making the treatment you receive safer and more accurate. Medication history, diagnosis, alerts and allergies are among key information shared among all your care organisations and means that:
Your data is also used to support the improvement of health and care services across North West London. Researchers, doctors and people running health services use small amounts of information which doesn’t directly identify you to understand how our health is changing and the best ways to plan services, monitor safety and evaluate NHS policy. This information is called ‘de-personalised data’. They won’t be able to identify you from this information. De-personalised data is information about your care. It doesn’t include:
You can find out more about de-personalised data and how data is used in the NHS at the following website.
De-personalised data will be shared with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to help them understand what types of services the NHS should provide and where. This will help them to commission better health and care services for you.
The information from patient records is valuable to help understand more about disease and develop new treatments. The NHS may collaborate with academic researchers and industry partners to do this. To find out more about research work in North West London, please see the Imperial College Health Partners website.
Your WSIC dashboard/record will be seen only by health and care professionals directly involved in your care. This includes GPs, consultants, nurses and care co-ordinators. Authorised researchers will be able to view your de-personalised data, but this will not identify you.
Your data will be kept in line with NHS Guidance (see Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016), which sets out what people working with or in NHS organisations in England need to do to manage records correctly. It's based on current legal requirements and professional best practice. Appendix 3 of the Code contains detailed retention schedule and sets out how long records should be retained, either due to their ongoing administrative value or as a result of a statutory requirement. In the case of your WSIC record it is made up of many components therefore the longest retention period applies and they are kept until 10 years after death.
Please note that this retention period is being applied by the NHS, to include all of their data. Your social care record itself will be maintained in line with the council’s social care retention periods, which will differ and will depend on the nature of the services and support you received prior to your case being closed.
Your data is processed and stored on servers based in the United Kingdom. These are secured by state of the art datacentre facilities, with robust technical and organisational controls in place. The facilities and services we use are audited annually to make sure the highest standards are maintained.
You have the right to access information we hold about you. You can do this at any time by contacting us through our contact page.
If you believe any of your information is inaccurate then you have the right to request that it is updated. You may also request that access to your information is restricted until the correction is made. Please use the contact page to get in touch.
It’s your choice to share your information through the WSIC dashboard. If you don’t want to share your information, you can opt-out. Opt-out forms are available at your GP practice or online. If you can’t find a form in your GP reception, please ask the receptionist or your GP. Your GP will record your choice and your information will not be shared. Opting-out won’t affect your care in anyway. You’ll still be able to receive health services. However, you will not receive the benefits of having an WSIC Dashboard. Opting-out could mean that:
If you change your mind and want your information shared, you can inform the GP practice or care professional treating you, and they will mark your record.
If you have any concerns, or are unhappy about how your data is being used please get in touch through any of the contact methods below:
post: WSIC Dashboards Team, NWL CCCGs, 1st Floor, 15 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JD
Alternatively, you can raise a concern with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who are the UK data protection regulator who will investigate your complaint. Please see the Information Commissioner’s website for more details.
If you are receiving support from adult social care then the NHS may share your NHS Number with Westminster City Council’s adult social care department. This is so that the NHS and adult social care are using the same number to identify you whilst providing your care. By using the same number, the NHS and Westminster City Council’s Adult Social Care Department can work together more closely to improve your care and support.
The use of joined-up information across health and social care brings many benefits. One specific example where this will be the case is the discharge of patients into social care. Delays in discharge (commonly known as bed blocking) can occur because details of social care involvement are not readily available to the staff on the hospital ward. The hospital does not know who to contact to discuss the ongoing care of a patient. The linking of social care and health information via the NHS Number will help hospital staff quickly identify if social care support is already in place and who the most appropriate contact is. Ongoing care can be planned earlier in the process, because hospital staff will know who to talk to.
The addition of the NHS Number to social care data will bring additional benefits:
We collect the following information:
We obtain your NHS Number through an NHS service called the Personal Demographic Service (PDS). Westminster City Council’s Adult Social Care Department sends basic information we collect from you, such as your name, address and date of birth to the PDS in order to find your NHS Number. Once retrieved from the PDS the NHS Number is stored in the council’s dedicated adult social care case management system, to ensure that security controls are in place, and access is controlled
The NHS Number then has 2 uses:
The council’s IT security and confidentiality policies ensure that your information is protected, and available only to staff directly involved in your care. These policies are available by contacting the data protection officer. Find contact details and read the council’s privacy notice.
The council will share information only to provide health and social care professionals directly involved in your care access to the most up-to-date information about you. It will do this by sharing appropriate information between health and social care services at the time of patient contact. Access to information is strictly controlled, based on the role of the professional. For example, social workers will only have access to information that is relevant to the execution of their care duties.
The council’s IT security and confidentiality policies ensure that your information is protected, and available only to staff directly involved in your care. These policies are available by contacting the Information Management team.
We may also anonymise some personal data you provide to us, so that you cannot be identified, and then use this data to allow the council and the NHS to effectively target and plan the provision of services.
We share this data by securely submitting details of the services that we may provide to you for inclusion in a shared system, which approved health and social care professionals may access. That system may also hold information such as your prescribed medicines or your hospital admissions, provided by your GP or by the hospital.
Along with social care departments, GPs, hospitals, community and mental health trusts across North West London are participating in this initiative.
We will only keep your information for as long as the law requires and to provide you with the necessary services in line with our stated retention policy.
In general, we retain information related to adult social care for 6 years after we have ceased to assess your needs or provide services to you. In mental health cases, this period rises to 20 years.
You have the right to object to the processing of your NHS Number in this way. This will not stop you from receiving care, but will result in the benefits outlined above not being realised. To help you decide, we will discuss with you how this may affect our ability to provide you with care, and any other options you have.
If you wish to opt out from the use of your NHS Number for social care purposes, please talk with your social worker or contact us:
phone: 020 7641 2500
Please contact us using the contact details above if you would like to know more about the information we hold about you and how we use it.
You have a right to complain to us if you think we have not complied with our obligation for handling your personal information. Read more about our data protection policies.
If you are not satisfied with the council’s response you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your circumstances and personal details so we can maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information.
The information collected about you when you use our services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with:
All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential patient information about your health and care is only used like this where allowed by law.
We only do this when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. Currently, we ensure that anonymised data is used so that you cannot be identified, in which case your confidential patient information isn’t needed.
You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. Otherwise, you have the right to opt out through the NHS national data opt-out. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care.
Should a situation arise where we did need to use or share confidential patient information for one of these purposes, and we had a lawful right to do so, we would first consult the NHS National Data Opt-Out information in order to determine whether we could or could not include your confidential patient information.
To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit the NHS website.
On this web page you will:
You can also find out more about how patient information is used at NHS information about patients, which covers health and care research, and understanding patient data, which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made.
You can change your mind about your choice at any time.
Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement.