Wirral Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use council services. The Privacy Notice below explains how Wirral Council uses information about you and the ways in which we protect your privacy.
Why do we collect and use personal information?
We may need to use some information about you to:
- deliver services and or support
- manage services
- train employees
- help investigate any concerns or complaints you have about our services
- keep track of spending on services
- check the quality of services
- help with research and planning of new services
We will not collect any personal information without your knowledge. This information will be collected for a known purpose that you understand and will not be used in future for any other reason.
We may collect information via our website so we can communicate with you about an online query or a council service that you are using. This information is collected by you filling out an electronic form.
A browser's mechanism called cookies may be used in some cases for the users' convenience but our cookies will not store or retrieve personal information.
Advertising on the council website
How can you access the information we hold about you?
In general terms we would share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with a service.
You also have the right to ask for some or all information we have about you and your services. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you.
However, we will not let you see any recorded information which contains:
- confidential information about other people
- information a care professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing
- information which may prejudice an investigation if disclosed
This right of access applies to both paper and electronic records. If you authorise another person to act on your behalf then we can deal directly with that other person. If you are unable to ask for your records in writing, the Council will ensure there are other ways you can apply for your personal data.
To make a request in writing please e-mail: [email protected]
How you can request correction of inaccurate information
You should let us know if you disagree with any recorded information we hold about you. You may not always be able to change or remove the information but the Council will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the records.
How we keep information secure
We will take appropriate steps to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Our security includes:
- access controls on systems
- security training for all staff
Who will we share your personal information with?
Sometimes the Council has a legal duty to disclose information about people. This can be for a variety of reasons, for example:
- when we take a child into care
- court orders
- cases under mental health law
We may also share your personal information when we feel there is a good reason that is more important than protecting your confidentiality. This does not happen often, but the Council may share your information:
- for the detection and prevention of crime or fraudulent activity
- if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals
- to protect a child
- to protect adults who are thought to be at risk
The law does not allow us to share your information without your permission, unless there is proof that someone is at risk. This risk must be identified as being serious before we can go against your right to confidentiality.
When we are worried about your physical safety or we feel that we need to take action to protect you from being harmed in other ways, we will discuss this with you. If possible we will get your permission to tell others about your situation. We may still share your information if we believe the risk to others is serious enough to do so.
There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share the information straight away. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record the information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will let you know what we have done and why as soon as or if we think it is safe to do so. Wherever possible we will share information without giving your name, to protect your identity.
When using personal data for research purposes, the data will be anonymised to avoid the identification of an individual, unless consent has been given for the use of the personal data.
Your trust in Wirral's online system is vital to our success and we would welcome any comments, doubts or suggestions that you may have. Please contact us if you wish to submit comments, you can do this using the ‘is there anything wrong with this page?’ link at the foot of every page on this website.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.
Where a match is found, it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation.
National Fraud Initiative
We participate in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative. This requires us to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching. The use of data for this data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.
You can view further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.
Public Health Data
Pseudonymised data/information is anonymous to the people who hold or receive it (e.g. a research team), but contains information or codes that would allow others (e.g. those responsible for the individual's care) to identify an individual from it. (Also referred to as linked anonymised)
Anonymised data is data that is held on a system that contains no identifiable information such as date of birth, post code, NHS number, first name, surname, anonymised data cannot be used to identify an individual.
Birth and death registration data
This data will not be linked or cross matched with any other datasets and will be analysed on its own. The personal identifiable data that will be used to analyse this data will be postcode aggregated to Ward and age aggregated to 5 year age band.
All Local Authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. To help with this, we use data and information from a range of source data, including data collected at the registration of a birth or death to understand more about the health and care needs in the area.
All data is saved on a secure encrypted SQL Server with user restrictions in place so that only staff members with data sharing agreements can access the data.
This data assists Local authorities in tailoring local solutions to local problems, and using all the levers at their disposal to improve health and reduce inequalities and it helps to create a 21st century local public health system, based on localism, democratic accountability and evidence as directed in the Health and Social Care act 2012.
The Local Authority has a legal basis for the flow of this data: Section 42(4) of the SRSA (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.
For further information on data protection please visit the ICO website.
For further information on Public Health data please contact the Public Health Intelligence Team on:
- Tel: 0151 666 5155
- Email: [email protected]
Use of your NHS Number in Social Care (Adult and Children’s)
If you are receiving services or support from adult social care then the NHS may share your NHS number with Social Care. This is so that the NHS and social care are using the same number to identify you whilst providing services to you. By using the same number the NHS and social care can work together more closely to improve your care and support.
Your NHS number is accessed through an NHS service called the Personal Demographic Service (PDS). Social care sends basic information 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 social care case management system.
In terms of the Data Protection Act the Council is the Data Controller.
We will also use this Number in an integrated care record system across a number of support services including GPs, hospitals, community matrons, district nurses, mental health services and social care practitioners.
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 will only share information where there is a legal right to do so and will ensure that this is done securely.
We use a Facebook Pixel tracking code on all pages of this website. The Pixel is an analytics tool that measures how Facebook users interact with our website, and helps us to create ‘audiences’ of people, who are never identified individually, that we would like to show adverts to. Our aim is simply to show people adverts about things they might be interested in, and measure how effective those adverts are. For example, we might advertise an Invigor8 gym offer to people who had visited leisure centre pages on our website, and then measure the number of people who sign up for the offer.
If you have a Facebook account, you can adjust your Facebook advert settings to opt out of adverts based on your use of websites and apps. You can also read more about Facebook Pixel and about online advertising on the Your Online Choices website.
You can opt out from having the council use your data in certain ways. For example, if you have opted in to our mailing list to receive emails from us about a particular service or event. All of these emails will have an unsubscribe link which can be used if you no longer wish to receive emails from us.
The council collects, stores, matches and works with personal and sensitive data to meet its public functions as a local authority, or to help other organisations, such as the police, or NHS to do the same. This is not a consent-based processing and so you cannot opt out.
For example, you would not be able to opt out of the Council Tax system as, although it is your personal information, we as a council have a legal obligation to collect this.
You would not be able to opt a child out of the child protection system as the council has a legal obligation to safeguard children. This is a documented process and so we will have their information on our secure systems.
If you are receiving support from Social Care and have any concerns about how your information is shared, or the use of your NHS number, you should discuss this with your Social Worker. 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 via email to [email protected].
If you feel any of our processing is causing you undue distress you can inform us via email at [email protected] and we will respond.
To check whether you can withdraw your consent for processing please email [email protected] with the service and information involved and we will get back to you.