This notice provides details of how Portsmouth City Council Public Health collects and uses COVID-19 data for COVID-19 surveillance. 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.

What is this information?

Portsmouth City Council has a Data Sharing Agreement with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) for the supply of COVID-19 data in accordance with Regulation 3(1) of the Health Service Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002’.  UKHSA send us information on Portsmouth residents who test positive for Covid-19 in order that we may take action to manage and mitigate the spread and impact of the current outbreak of Covid-19.

The information we receive is:

Episode number (eg if someone has tested positive for the first time, this will be episode number 1; if someone has tested positive for the 2nd time, this will be episode number 2);

latest episode (ie ‘true’ indicates that this is the latest episode and ‘false’ indicates that it’s not the latest episode and that the person has previously had a positive test);

age (single years eg age 45 years); patient home postcode; sex; ethnic group (if stated);

test date; type of test location (eg Pillar 1 or 2); test type (eg LFT); test centre type (eg school, care home, Acute Trust); Organisation name (if stated/relevant eg a care home organisation name); reason for test (if stated); any details of Covid-19 symptoms; and any information on the variant (if available from PCR tests);

whether the person is linked to a care home and whether it’s a member of staff or a resident.

The data is processed by Portsmouth City Council in accordance with current data protection legislation.

The common law in this case being:

Regulation 3 (1), Health Service Control of Patient Information (COPI) Regulations 2002

The legal basis for processing personal data are:

(a) UK GDPR Article 6(1)(e) – It is necessary for us to process your information so we can carry out our official functions or public tasks

(b) UK GDPR Article 9(2)(i) – the processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health (with a basis in law, namely Regulation 3(1) of COPI).

(c) Data Protection Act 2018 – Schedule 1, Part 1 (3) – ‘Public Health’

Who uses this information?

The Director of Public Health and nominated members of the Public Health Intelligence Team in Portsmouth City Council.

What do we do with this information

We may use the information for the following Covid-19 Purposes specified in the COPI Regulation 3(1)(b); 3(1)(d)(i) and 3(1)(d)(vi):

(a) recognising trends in Covid-19 and such risks

(b) monitoring and managing outbreaks of Covid-19

(c) monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19 by providing information to the public about Covid-19 and the risks of acquiring Covid-19

No personal information is published; and numbers and rates in published reports are risk assessed in order to further to further protect confidentiality and anonymity (eg counts fewer than five in an area may be removed to further protect confidentiality and anonymity).  All outputs comply with the Anonymisation Standard for Publishing Health and Social Care Data:

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 the health of the local population; and ensure that health, social care and public health services address local health needs.

Who do we intend to share this information with?

Much of the information we produce is in the form of anonymous statistics. In its anonymous format it may be shared with other council departments and partner organisations for the management of public health and the Covid-19 response across the city.  Anonymised data may be shared with other council departments (eg Adult Social Care); partner organisations e.g. neighbouring authorities with public health responsibilities, Local Resilience Forum member organisations.

How do we keep this information secure?

Portsmouth City Council will process your personal information appropriately and legally in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.  Information is held on a secure server which is only accessible to staff within the Portsmouth City Council’s Public Health Intelligence Team. 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 UK Health Security Agency 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. 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:

Further queries

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
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth, PO1 2AL

Further information and independent advice can be found on the Information Commissioners website

Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
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 31 October 2023.