Public Health Portsmouth improves and protects the health of the whole population in Portsmouth. We do this in a number of different ways. For example, we:

  • Work with other departments in the city council, the NHS, and other local and national organisations to make changes that will improve and protect the health of the population as a whole, for example to reduce social or environmental risks to health
  • Use a range of information from different places to understand health and wellbeing issues and trends for the local population as a whole and for different communities or areas of the city. This allows us to allocate our scarce resources more effectively
  • Pay for public health services that are provided for local people, for example the Wellbeing Service that supports people to have healthier lifestyles.
What information we use and why

To do our job we need information about the health and wellbeing of people in Portsmouth – both now, and how this might change in the future. This information comes from lots of different places. Some is data we collect ourselves through the services that we pay for or provide (like the Wellbeing Service), and some is data which comes from our partners in other parts of the local authority, the NHS (such as primary care and pathology data), and other local or national organisations.

Some of the data from national organisations, such as NHS England, includes births and deaths data, which may involve using personal data only where necessary.

We also receive hospital data (A&E; inpatient and outpatient hospital admissions) which is de-personalised data (often referred to as pseudonymised data) and supplied by NHS England in accordance with section 261 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. De-personalised data means replacing personally identifiable information such as your NHS number with an alternative ‘identifier’ such as a random reference number so that individuals can’t be identified.

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 UK 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 UK 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.

Data from these sources help us understand more about the nature and causes of disease and ill-health in the area by measuring the health, mortality and care needs of the population and ill-health in the area and how we live.  This enables us to plan and evaluate services to monitor health and ensure the services are effective and working for the benefit of the population by improving or protecting public health.

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.

The kinds of information we use

Much of the information we use is in anonymous form (through aggregation). In other words, it is made up of statistics that relate to groups of people rather than to individuals. For example, we use aggregate data to produce statistics to help the public sector locally to identify local priorities to improve and protect the community we serve.

We also use data that relates to groups of individuals. We might also need to link different sources of information together. For example, deaths data is used to produce suicide audits by linking into hospital / GP / social care data and births data can be linked into child care / social care systems when infant deaths are investigated usually as part of local “Safeguarding Children” projects. When we do need to use data relating to individuals, 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 with codes that cover larger geographical areas.

Sometimes we will need to use personal information, and where we do so we will make it clear when we collect personal information why we need this and what we intend to do with it.

For information about how Portsmouth City Council Public Health uses information, please see the following privacy notices on the City Council’s website:

How we protect the information we use

We take our legal and professional obligations to protect the confidentiality of personal information very seriously. As well as limiting the amount of personal information we hold, we make sure that our staff can only see information that is essential to their job. Some of the personal information we use is held on paper and some is held on computers. In both cases, we have processes to securely protect these records and to permanently delete any information that we no longer need to hold.

Who we share 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.

What are your rights?

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 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 the specific data is and what programme it relates to. For further information, please contact the Public Health team by email:

You can find out if we hold any other personal information by making a ‘subject access request’. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to the City Council for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to:

Data Protection Officer
Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices,

Further queries

This privacy notice was written to be clear and concise. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of Public Health Portsmouth’s collection and use of information, including personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent 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
telephone: 023 9268 8217

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.