Who we are and what we do

We want to ensure that our residents live healthy, independent and fulfilling lives as part of our communities. We provide the support you need to achieve your goals, get involved in the community and make informed choices about your wellbeing and care. We aim to help you stay as independent as possible.

We are committed to protecting your privacy when you use our Adult Social Care services.

This Privacy Notice explains what personal information we collect about you, how and why we use it, who we disclose it to, and how we protect your privacy.

We comply with our legal obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and the Data Protection Act 2018 when using your personal data - for example, collecting, storing, sharing, and destroying it.

Adult Social Care staff will update their systems with any details about your situation to help us to meet your social care and health needs. The information we hold about you is confidential. Any records we store can only be seen by authorised staff and others with a right to know, including you.

The law gives you various rights to control the personal information we use and how we use it. For more information about your individual data rights see our Corporate Privacy Notice.

You can contact us by emailing mashrequests@walthamforest.gov.uk or calling 020 8496 3000.

Information we hold about you

When providing social care services to you, we must collect and use your personal information. We process your data to provide care and support services to adults with physical, mental health and learning disabilities, older people and carers. We do this either directly or by working jointly with our partners.

Most of the information given to us is necessary in order for us to comply with our statutory obligations. However, some of it is provided by you on a voluntary basis. To comply with the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, we'll say if we must use certain information to fulfil our statutory obligations or whether it is your choice to give us the information or not. When it is your choice about whether to provide the information or not, we will obtain your consent to collect and process your data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. We'll also explain what your data rights are and what your information will be used for.

We may collect information in various ways including on paper, by telephone, electronically or by a member of staff in person.

This may include all or some of the following:

  • Your personal details
  • Your contact details
  • Information about other members of your household
  • Details of family relationships in and outside of your household
  • The names and contact details of your close relatives and/or carers
  • Your legal status and documents (eg immigration, power of attorney)
  • Your accommodation (eg type, layout, details of alarms fitted, accessibility)
  • Details about your personal care, eating and drinking, practical tasks, physical and emotional wellbeing, parenting
  • Details of any risks
  • Whether you need an interpreter or translator
  • Any cultural, spiritual or religious beliefs we must consider when providing support
  • Your medical history and details of any diagnoses
  • Health, social care or other services you receive
  • Goals you wish to achieve relating to your social care needs
  • Support provided by any carers or others
  • Information about your situation given to us by your family and/or carers
  • Information other organisations (like health or other care services) tell us to help us understand your needs to better coordinate your care services
  • Reports relating to your situation and care (eg assessments, support plans and reviews)
  • Any documents sent to us relating to you
  • Records of phone conversations relating to you (eg conversations between you or your carer or representative and Adult Social Care staff, or conversations between our staff and NHS, members of your family/your representative or providers of care).

Purpose of processing personal data and how we use it

We collect person data in order to:

  • produce statistics and reports to plan our services (eg to help decide what support a person needs, how often they need it and when). This helps us to commission appropriate services to meet a person’s need). We use statistics in such a way that people cannot be identified from them.
  • account for our decisions and investigate complaints
  • make sure the service you receive is efficient and effective
  • meet our statutory obligations including those related to diversity and equalities
  • carry out different types of analysis, eg price benchmarking, placements and services, and calculation of rates for services
  • review the quality of care
  • research and plan new services
  • identify and protect those at risk of harm or abuse, and ensure compliance with adult safeguarding policies and procedures

The lawful basis for the processing

The legal bases for processing your personal information are:

  • Compliance with a legal obligation
  • Contract for the supply of services
  • Consent

We manage, maintain and protect all information according to the applicable legislation, our policies and best practice. All information is stored, processed and communicated in a secure manner. We provide training to staff who handle personal information that includes training on how to report and escalate when something goes wrong. 

For more details on the Lawful Basis see the ICO guidance

Who your information will be shared with (if applicable)

You may be unable to consent to us collecting your information. For example, a learning disability or cognitive impairment means you cannot understand this process. In such cases, we will talk to your representative and store and share your information to promote your wellbeing.

We may also share your personal information with third-party agencies. These include the NHS, domiciliary care services, care home providers and other health and care services we may commission to support you. We may also share your data when it is necessary and required under the law.

Who we share your information with internally:

Your data is used by staff working in our Adult Social Care Services. This has number of services / teams, including:

  • Older People Service Teams
  • Disability Service Teams
  • Adult Safeguarding Team
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team
  • Hospital Discharge Teams
  • Occupational Therapy Service Teams
  • Day Service Teams
  • Children’s Service Teams
  • NELFT Adult Mental Health Service Teams
  • Carers Support Services
  • Finance Team

These staff will only access the personal information that is vital to carry out their work and statutory functions. However, they may share data between different teams where this is necessary to provide you with services.

Other council teams or services may also have access to your personal information to perform their statutory roles or support the teams/services listed above and may include:

  • Complaints Team
  • Legal Services Department
  • Business Intelligence Team
  • Information Management Team
  • Corporate Finance Service Teams
  • Housing Service Teams
  • Welfare Service Teams

Who we share your information with outside the Council

Relevant information about you may be passed to external organisations to arrange support to meet your health and social care needs. The types of organisations we may pass your information to are listed below:

  • Your advocate or representative (if you have instructed one)
  • Health care professionals including your GP, nurse or hospital consultants
  • Mental Health Providers of domiciliary care and supported living care
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups are NHS organisations created by legislation to organise the delivery of NHS services in England
  • Providers of digital solutions that improve our services to you, this includes S12 Solutions which is a platform that supports the delivery of Crisis Care services
  • Providers of residential and nursing care services
  • Housing landlords and tenancy officers when necessary to provide you with care and support, or to prevent or avoid harm to yourself
  • Providers of respite services
  • Providers of community services whom we have a contract with
  • Other local authorities if you're placed or transferred outside the borough
  • Government departments such as the Disclosure and Barring Service and Care Quality Commission
  • We also have legal duties to pass information to third-party organisations like the Police, the Department of Work and Pensions and anti-fraud agencies. This is for the purposes of preventing and detecting crime, anti-fraud efforts and the protection of public funds.

All organisations to which we pass your information will have an information-sharing agreement with us to ensure they meet the standards of the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and will be covered by a legal basis allowing them to collect, use and share your personal information. In some circumstances, information may be shared with third parties where there is a legal obligation to do so.

Please note we may share your personal information when we feel that the risk is serious and protecting you is more important than protecting your privacy. For example, we may share your information:

  • To protect adults who are thought to be at risk if they are frail, confused or cannot understand what is happening to them
  • To prevent or investigate a crime
  • To protect yourself, or our staff, or the public
  • To protect other professionals
  • If we are required to do so by any court or law.

If we are worried about your safety and believe we need to take action to protect you from being harmed, we will discuss our concerns with you and, if possible, obtain your permission to disclose this information. We may share this information with third parties if we assess the risk to you or others to be serious.

There may also be situations when the risk to you or others is so great that we believe we need to share your information without delay. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will also let you know what we have done and why if we think it is safe to do so.

We may use WhatsApp to contact you for the purposes of making arrangements.  WhatsApp as a platform is owned by Meta, which is a global company and therefore your data may be transferred to another country (including the USA), through the use of WhatsApp.  You can find WhatsApp’s privacy notice on their website.

How long we will keep your information

When we no longer need to keep information about you, we will review it and archive it for any relevant legal retention period. After that period, we will dispose of it in a secure manner.