How do we manage the information you provide?
We want to make sure that as a carer accessing our service, you understand how we use the information you give to us and know how to ask questions and find out more if you wish. So this information is provided to help you feel confident about how we protect your personal information.
In order to provide the best possible service, we need to collect and store important information about you and your caring situation. We recognise that this information is often personal or sensitive and want you to feel confident that we will protect the confidentiality of information you provide to the highest standard and as the law requires.
What is personal information?
We mean anything that would identify you. This could include your name, address, date of birth, information about your caring situation, and who you care for. Less obvious things can also identify you, for example if the person you care for has an extremely rare health condition, or you have a job that only you, or a small number of others do.
What information do we record?
We may collect your:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Date of birth
If you speak to a member of the carer support team or one of volunteers over the phone or in person, we will document the reason you needed support, details of what we have done and the support we have offered. We may also need to record details you have given us about the person you care for.
Where do we record it?
All information is recorded and stored on the highly secure database at the Carers Centre which supports are computer system. We know exactly where this information is stored and we have full control of who can access it.
How do we use this information?
For our own internal records – we want to make sure we provide the information, services or support you need and have asked for. For example, to contact you and send our quarterly Newsletter, or to return telephone calls if you have sent us one of our self-referral cards, asking for us to contact you. We record any communication we have with you – if you contact us again, this means you don’t have to go through everything again.
We may also use the information you provide to help us involve you in developing and improving our services. For example, we may send out a questionnaire or survey with our Newsletter.
Do we share your information with anyone?
Sometimes, to make sure you receive the right support, we may share your information – for example, we may make arrangements for you to see a counsellor or benefits advisor, and need to pass on information to them. But we will only do so with your permission.
We will not share your personal information with organisations and individuals outside of the Carers Centre without your consent except in the most exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances might be that we have been asked for information by the police or law courts relating to a criminal investigation, or we need to share information in order to ensure a vulnerable person, who might be at risk of harm, receives proper protection.
We will never sell or give access to your information to third party organisations, nor share your personal information with third parties for their benefit.
How long will we keep your information?
We will hold your information for as long as you want to maintain your connection with the Carers Centre. If you ask to be removed from our database or you ask to receive no further contact from us, we will remove you from our mailing list and make your database record inactive.
We may keep some basic information in order to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future, and to ensure that we don’t accidentally store details for the same person multiple times. However, your record would not be ‘live’, we would not be accessing it and we would not use or share it for any reason.
After that, we would fully delete the record so nothing could be retrieved at all as soon as possible.
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites, including ours, and can do a number of things, for example ‘remembering’ your visit to the site and which pages you have looked.
Following links to third party websites
If you use our website, you will come across links to other organisations’ websites which you may choose to access. We will never pass your details on to these organisations. If you access these websites, you should consider reading their privacy statement if you want to find out how they manage any information you may provide.
What rights do you have?
You have a legal right to access information held about you. Contact us if you want to ask for this. Your request will need to be in writing but if you need some advice or information about this first, you can call us to discuss it. There are some exceptions to what we can disclose but we will make this clear to you. We will respond within 40 days.
There may be a charge for providing a copy of your record.
You can ask us to stop using or holding information about you if this is causing you substantial, unwarranted damage or distress. There are a few exceptions to when we would be able to do this, but will certainly respond to all requests within 21 days and will always comply with what the law says we must do.
If you believe we are holding any inaccurate information about you, you have the right to ask us to correct it.
What if your personal information changes?
We want to be sure the information we hold is accurate and up to date. Please tell us if your personal details change (such as change of address or phone number, or maybe you are no longer a carer and want us to stop sending you a Newsletter)
Finally, you do not need to become an expert on the Data Protection Act – but it is important to be mindful of what organisations do with the personal information you provide and to understand your rights. If you would like to know more about this, or to let us know your personal details have changed, please contact us.