Physio4Life Data Protection Policies

Introduction

Physio4life ltd needs to gather and use certain information about individuals. These can include, customers, suppliers, business contracts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact. This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards – and to comply with the law.

Data protection law

The Data Protection Act 1998 describes how organisations – including Physio4life ltd – must collect, handle and store personal information. These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials. To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully. The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:

  • Be processed fairly and lawfully
  • Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
  • Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Be accurate and kept up to date
  • Not be held for any longer than necessary
  • Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
  • Be protected in appropriate ways
  • Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection

People, risks and responsibilities

Policy Scope

The policy applies to:

  • The head office of Physio4life ltd
  • All branches of Physio4life ltd
  • All staff and volunteers of Physio4life ltd
  • All contractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of Physio4life ltd

It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the Data Protection Act 1998. This can include:

  • Names of individuals
  • Postal addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • …plus any other information relating to individuals

Data protection risks

This policy helps to protect Physio4life ltd from some very real data security risks, including:

  • Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
  • Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
  • Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.

Responsibilities

Everyone who works for or with Physio4life ltd has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately.

Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.

However, these people have key areas of responsibility:

  • The board of directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Physio4life ltd meets it legal obligations.
  • The data protection officer, Mark Saunders, is responsible for:

– Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.
– Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
– Arranging data protection training and advice for the people covered by this policy.
– Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy – Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data Physio4life ltd holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’).
– Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.

  • The IT manager, Hany Girgis, is responsible for:

– Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data Physio4life ltd holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’).
– Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
– Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.

  • The clinic and marketing manager, Katherine Alvaro, is responsible for:

– Approving any data protection statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.
– Addressing any data protection queries from journalists or media outlets lie newspapers.
– Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.

General staff guidelines

  • The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
  • Data should not be shared informally, When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from their line manager.
  • Physio4life ltd will provide training to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
  • Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
  • In particular, strong passwords must be used and they should never be shared.
  • Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people,
  • Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
  • Employees should request help from their line manager or the data protection officer if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.

Data storage

These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the IT manager or data controller.  When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.  These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:

  • When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
  • Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
  • Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.

When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:

  • Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
  • If data is stored on removable media (like CD or DVD), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
  • Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
  • Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
  • Data should be backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
  • Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
  • All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.

Data use

Personal data is of no value to Physio4life ltd unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greater risk of loss, corruption or theft:

  • When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
  • Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
  • Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The IT manager can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
  • Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
  • Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.

Data accuracy

The law requires Physio4life ltd to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.  The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort Physio4life should put into ensuring its accuracy.  It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.

  • Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
  • Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customers detail’s when they call.
  • Physio4life ltd will make it easy for data subjects to update the information Physio4life ltd holds for them. For instance, via the company website.
  • Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number, it should be removed from the database.
  • it is the marketing manager’s responsibility to ensure marketing databases are checked against industry suppression files every six months.

Subject access requests (SAR)

All individuals who are the subject of personal data help by Physio4life ltd are entitled to:

  • Ask what information the company holds of them and why.
  • Ask how to gain access to it.
  • Be informed how to keep it up to date.
  • Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.
  • If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.Subject access requests from individuals should be made by email, addresses to the the data controller at mark@physio4life.co.uk. The data controller can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this.Individuals will be charged £10 per subject access request. The data controller will aim to provide the relevant data within 14 days.

Subject access request – Health Records

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 , a ‘health record’ is a record which:

  • Consists of information relating to the physical or mental health or condition of any individual; and
  • Has been made by or on behalf of a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

‘Heath professionals’ include registered medical practitioners, dentists and nurses and clinical psychologists. The Data Protection Act provides a full list of the types of professionals that fall within the definition (see section 69 of the Act).

Information that forms part of a health record about a living individual is the personal data of the individual it relates to, regardless of the form in which it is held. This means that a subject access request (SAR) can be made for health records in manual form, e.g. paper or in GP’s  medical notes wallets, as well as for health records kept electronically.

Complying with the SAR relating to health records, Physio4life ltd may charge a maximum fee of between £10 – £50. The precise amount of the maximum fee depends on how the health records are held.

  • Physio4life ltd may charge up to £10 for complying with a SAR relating to health records if they are held electronically.
  • Physio4life ltd may charge up to £50 for complying with SAR relating to health records if those records are held either wholly or partly in non-electronic form.

Disclosing data for other reasons

In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without consent of the data subject.

Under these circumstances, Physio4life ltd will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.

Disclosing data for other reasons

Physio4life ltd aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:

  • How the data is being used
  • How to exercise their rights

To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company.

[A hard copy is available on request.]

 

 

Ready to book an appointment with Physio4Life?

To book an appointment please complete our contact form with your details and one of our team members will be in touch within 10 minutes.



Please select a service*