Covid 19 Privacy Notice

What personal information is being processed and what for

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice which is available here.

Health and social care services are facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.

We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email.

During this period of emergency we may offer you a consultation via telephone or video conferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.

Cheshire East Council Public Health has a duty of care to ensure that residents eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, are given every opportunity to do so. The purpose of the vaccination tracing pilot is to support and enable the realisation of this duty of care and facilitate the National Government’s intent of society’s return to a business-as-usual position, whilst living with COVID.

Three scenarios have been identified where residents can be contacted:

  • a resident is already vaccinated. Aim of the contact to identify and understand the choices made in deciding upon having a vaccination, subsequently using this response to inform and improve vaccine communications developed / deployed by Cheshire East Council, Cheshire CCG, and GPs
  • a resident is not vaccinated. Aim of the contact being to identify and understand reasons for not having a vaccination including:
    • signposting to a clinical professional to assist with any queries relating to vaccination hesitancy and existing healthcare conditions
    • sending information to the resident giving the resident the best information available to ensure the likelihood of an informed choice
    • assist the resident in starting their vaccination journey, should they want to do so 
  • a resident is not vaccinated and is emphatic that they do not wish to be vaccinated. Aim of the call: acknowledge and accept resident choice. If possible, identify their reasons for this choice. Offering them information about general health and wellbeing and ensuring they know their personal choices are acknowledged and respected.

Why we are allowed to use your information

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak.

Under the Health Service Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002, the Secretary of State has issued a Control of Patient Information (COPI) Notice which requires NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Who we will share your information with

As described above, your health and care information will be shared with health organisations and other local authorities in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The information shared will be kept to the minimum necessary for the relevant purpose. In order to look after your health and care needs we may share your confidential patient information, including health and care records, with clinical and non clinical staff in other health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111.

We will also be required to share personal/confidential patient information with health and care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak.

Where we get your information from

NHS England and Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to inform the Covid-19 response. This includes data already collected by local authorities, NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves.

How long we will keep your personal information

Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data. 

How your information is stored

All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation. In such circumstances where you tell us you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

What happens if you don’t provide us with your information

During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes National Data Opt-outs.

Will your information be used to make automated decisions


Your rights

In relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will not apply. It may also take us longer to respond to subject access requests, freedom of information requests and new opt-out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.

For detailed information about your rights please see our privacy notice.

Page last reviewed: 23 September 2021