This notice provides details of how Portsmouth City Council Public Health collects and uses information about deaths. For more general information about how Portsmouth City Council uses your information for Public Health purposes, please refer to the Public Health Privacy Notice on the Portsmouth City Council website.
Public Health and Death Records – privacy notice
What is this information?
Portsmouth City Council has a Data Sharing Agreement with NHS Digital for the supply of deaths data in accordance with section 261(5)(d) of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The death data contains personal information (data which could potentially identify a specific individual). Information held include: address of deceased; postcode of usual residence of the deceased; place of death; NHS number of deceased; date of birth of deceased; date of death; GP practice; name of coroner; name of certifier; cause of death; and occupation. More information on this dataset can be found here.
The data is processed by Portsmouth City Council in accordance with current data protection legislation.
The legal basis for processing personal data is:
Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR – It is necessary for us to process your information so we can carry out our official functions or public tasks
The condition for processing special category personal data is:
Article 9(2)(h) of the GDPR – It is necessary for us to process your personal data for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services.
Who uses this information?
The Public Health Intelligence Team in Portsmouth City Council
What do we do with this information?
This information is of great benefit to health and social care, and the use of it has led to considerable benefits to public health. The data is used to identify patterns and trends in mortality rates, life expectancy and premature death, highlighting differences between geographic areas, age, sex and other characteristics.
Typical uses of deaths data are for the following:
- Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs);
- Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies;
- the annual report of the Director of Public Health;
- reports commissioned by the Health and Wellbeing Board;
- public health and wider Local Authority health and wellbeing commissioning strategies and plans;
- public health advice to NHS commissioners;
- local health profiles;
- health impact assessments
- Suicide audits (this specifically requires NHS number)
- End of life care projects
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme
- responses to internal and external requests for information and intelligence on the health and wellbeing of the population.
Statistical outputs using deaths data include local breakdowns of seasonal monitoring of trends of death rates (e.g. excess winter deaths); community profiles; the monitoring of causes of deaths which are considered preventable (e.g. heart disease, cancer and respiratory); monitoring deaths to protect the health of the population such as deaths from vaccine preventable diseases; monitoring drug and alcohol related deaths; suicide audits; and the monitoring of child deaths.
Personal data are processed by Portsmouth City Council for specific purposes including: distribution and relationship between place of residence and place of death (requires postcodes and address) in particular to inform suicide prevention; and seasonal monitoring of trends in death rates (requires date of birth and date of death). Should a child safeguarding investigation arise due to child deaths, which may require the use of the child’s NHS number.
When we do need to use personal data, we remove as much of the detail as possible that could identify an individual. For example, we replace date of birth with age in years; and home addresses and postcodes with codes that cover larger geographical areas (e.g. electoral wards).
No personal information is published, and numbers and rates in published reports based on counts fewer than five are removed to further protect confidentiality and anonymity. All outputs comply with the ONS Disclosure Control Guidance for Birth and Death Statistics. The latest guidance is available on the ONS website.
Please also note that no automated decision making (decisions taken without a person involved) occur for any parts of these procedures controlled by Portsmouth City Council and we do not use profiling to deliver our service to you.
Why do we use this information?
This information is used to protect and improve the health of the local population; and ensure that health, social care and public health services address local health needs and are focused on reducing health inequalities (differences in health status between groups and geographical areas). We also use information from this dataset for work on suicide and accident prevention to identify local suicide hotspots and risk factors locally.
Who do we intend to share this information with?
Much of the information we produce is in the form of anonymous statistics published through our website and in reports and papers to the Health and Wellbeing Board and other partners. We never publish information that could be used to directly identify an individual. We only share information about individuals when the direct consent of individuals has been obtained or when there is a clear basis in the law for that information to be shared. Along with other council departments, Public Health Portsmouth follows the principles and standards for information sharing and data protection which are set out in the Portsmouth Information Sharing Framework as well as national legislation, guidelines etc.
Along with other council departments, Public Health Portsmouth follows the principles and standards for information sharing and data protection which are set out in the Portsmouth Information Sharing Framework as well as national legislation, guidelines etc.
How do we keep this information secure?
Portsmouth City Council will process your personal information appropriately and legally in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and Data Protection Act 2018. Information is held in a secure database which is only accessible to staff within the Portsmouth City Council’s Public Health Intelligence Team (individuals authorised by NHS Digital). These staff members are trained in data protection / information governance.
We have processes to securely protect these records and we only keep information for as long as is necessary and in accordance with the law; and which is consistent with the data access agreement between NHS Digital and Portsmouth City Council.
What are your rights?
You have the right in certain circumstances to request that Portsmouth City Council stop processing your personal data. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering a service to you. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request but we may need to hold or process information in connection with one or more of the Council’s public functions or legal obligations.
You have the right to rectify inaccuracies in your personal data and in certain circumstances to restrict processing and to opt-out of Portsmouth City Council Public Health Intelligence Team receiving or holding your personally identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues. The process for opting out will depend on what the specific data is and what programme it relates to.
For further information, please contact the Public Health team by email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like further information, please send your requests to the address below:
Public Health Intelligence Team
Public Health Portsmouth
Portsmouth City Council
Floor 2, Core 2
Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone:023 9268 8217
Further information and independent advice can be found on the Information Commissioners website.
Information Commissioner’s Office,
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (if you prefer to use a national rate number).
Changes to this privacy notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 22 June 2022.