Data Protection, Privacy & Subject Access Requests
The OH Service is committed to ensuring the protection, confidentiality and privacy of information entrusted to us by any individual and to ensure the data we hold is secure at all times.
Data protection and confidentiality is a fundamental aspect of our ethical codes of conduct and a central tenet in our relationship with our employees, our customers, their employees, our business partners and any applicants applying to work with us.
The OH Service will not only comply with the requirements of the current data protection legislation, but additionally meet all our ethical and professional bodies’ guidelines and codes of practice regarding privacy and confidentiality.
Information held on our customers’ employees include both personal and sensitive or special category data including name, date of birth, address, limited employment data and information regarding their health and for certain roles, immunity status. This information has been supplied to the OH Service by the customer, employee themselves or their GP/Specialist directly. It will only ever be used for the purposes of providing occupational health services and will not be shared with any third parties for any other activity such as marketing.
The OH Service processes and manages the data of our customers and their employees for the ‘purposes of occupational medicine, assessing the work capacity and capability of employees, medical diagnosis and the management of their cases’.
We will not process any data shared with us without consent, except when there is a risk of serious harm or we are required to by law.
Your medical record may be audited as part of our clinical governance protocols, but any outcomes will be anonymous and not contain any identifiable information.
Our commitment to you with regard to your data:
- We will process your data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner, ensuring we only collect the data for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes.
We will inform you of what information we are processing about you, and will never use it for any other purposes, such as marketing etc.
We will ensure the data is relevant, adequate and limited to what we need to know to assess your fitness for work or wellbeing.
We will endeavour to ensure the data is accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
We will process it in a manner that ensures suitable and sufficient security of the personal and special category data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.
We will not hold the data for longer than necessary. Generally occupational health data is kept for a period of 8 years after the last annotation, however for statutory documents (such as health surveillance records) we will need to keep them for up to 40 or 50 years, depending on which type of record they are.
An individual’s consent has to be freely given, specifically, be informed and an unambiguous indication of the individual’s wishes and we will respect this.
Ethically, individuals have a right to withdraw consent at any time.
An individual has the right to have inaccuracies amended. Any factual inaccuracies will be amended promptly, and the information noted on the case. This right does not however include an individual’s right to have ‘clinical opinions’ amended, this remains the decision of the clinical author of the document.
An individual may request copies of the information we hold on them at any time. These are referred to as Subject Access Requests.
The data will be stored on our secure portal, which is based in the UK only.
The OH Service will not transfer any of your data outside the United Kingdom
Subject Access Requests
Individuals may request copies of their occupational health records or parts thereof, at any time. These requests are known as subject access requests (SARs). An individual may also request that a copy of their occupational health records is sent to a third party, such as a solicitor.
If an individual wants access to their occupational health records, because of the very confidential nature of the records we ask that the request be made in writing, just to ensure we do not release anything incorrectly.
The letter or email must include:
- Your full name and title
- Your date of birth
- Your address
- You must also expressly request their occupational health records from Health Partners, rather than your company, as they hold only the reports whereas we hold your full medical record.
It should also contain a signature, if in letter form. If we receive the request by e mail, we may make an additional security check to ensure you are who you say you are. This is designed to protect your information.
If the request comes from a third party, such as a solicitor, then it is essential that we have the following information included in a consent form from the individual. The consent form should include:
- The individual’s full name and title
- The date of birth
- Their address
- They must also expressly request their occupational health records from Health Partners (please do not ask for the occupational health records from their company as these records will only be the outcome reports which the company hold and not our full medical records)
- It must explicitly consent to us sending the records to the named third party, i.e. contain the words ‘I consent to the release …’
- It must be signed by the individual.
- If we receive a request from a third party we may contact you to verify that the request is legitimate and you have asked them to request the data.
Should you have any queries regarding data protection there is further information available on the ICO website at www.ico.org.uk. The ICO is the government body responsible for data protection in the United Kingdom.
If you have a complaint regarding data protection, please contact Health Partners’ Data Protection Officer via firstname.lastname@example.org initially.