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Public Health privacy notice

The Public Health Team is responsible for protecting and improving the health of the population of the Rochdale Borough and is part of Rochdale Borough Council.

We use personal data and information from a range of sources, including birth and death registrations, surveys and other information to produce statistics and reports to understand more about the health and care needs in the Rochdale borough. 

We're also required to commission and manage services for the population, which include:

  • Immunisations
  • Control of infection
  • Drug and alcohol treatment services
  • Sexual health services
  • 0-5 health services
  • School nursing services
  • National Child Measurement Programme
  • Lifestyle and behaviour change services
  • Cancer screening and registrations
  • Other screening programmes
  • Public health initiatives and campaigns
  • Blood pressure status
  • GP services
  • Hospital services
  • NHS community services
  • Mental health services
  • Social care services

Who do we collect information about?

Personal information means data relating to a living individual who can be identified from the data, or from that data and other information held by the data controller. We collect and hold personal information for public health purposes about:

  • Rochdale borough residents
  • Births and deaths in the Rochdale borough
  • People receiving health and care services in the Rochdale borough
  • People who work or attend school in the Rochdale borough
  • All people who the council has a public health duty of care

What information do we collect?

Public Health collects different information for different reasons, from providing funding for services to producing statistics to prioritise activities and campaigns. Some examples of information that may be collected include:

  • Name, address, date of birth or date of death
  • NHS number
  • Postcodes and electoral wards for the analysis of health inequalities
  • Information from birth and death certifications which could include place of birth, maiden name, cause of death, GP code

When this information is used or shared, we ensure that individuals cannot be identified. The information is anonymised or de-personalised so personal details are removed as soon as possible.

Where else do we get information from?

Data from other national and local NHS and local authority data services and organisations is shared with Public Health, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Examples include NHS Digital, Office for National Statistics and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.

What do we use the data for?

We uses personal identifiable information about residents and users of health care to enable us carry out specific functions for which we're responsible, this includes:

  • Control of infection
  • Management of risks to public health
  • Organising the National Child Measurement Programme
  • Organising the NHS Health Check Programme
  • Organising and supporting the 0-5 health service and school nursing services

We also use the information to produce information for research and planning purposes, which include producing assessments of the health and care needs of the population, in particular to support the statutory responsibilities of the:

  • Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
  • Director of Public Health Annual report
  • Health and Wellbeing Strategy

This information helps to provide intelligence and support to the council in protecting and improving the health of the population by:

  • Identifying priorities for action
  • Informing decisions on (for example) the planning, design and commissioning of services
  • To assess the performance of the local health and care systems and to evaluate and develop them
  • To report summary statistics to national organisations
  • Undertaking equity analysis of trends, particularly for vulnerable groups and deprived areas
  • To support clinical audits, for example deaths from suicide
  • To provide intelligence to support the council in protecting and improving the health of the population

Who do we share data with?

Confidential public health data will only be shared with other areas of the NHS, local authorities or care organisations with the permission of the Caldicott Guardian, once the necessary legal basis has been established and data protection safeguards have been verified, so that the data is managed and used under the same restrictions. Anyone who receives information from Rochdale Borough Council Public Health is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.

How do we keep information secure?

We have safeguards in place to protect your information which include things like using secure email, training staff and having processes in place to make sure we only collect the information we need and no more and that it is kept only for as long as necessary.

We’re required to comply with the Data Protection Act to ensure information is managed securely and this is reviewed every year as part of our NHS Information Governance Toolkit assessment, which ensures we operate at an adequate standard in relation to Data Protection, confidentiality and all other information governance areas.

View our NHS Information Governance Toolkit assessment

Legal basis for data use

Rochdale Council is a data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Public Health Team of Rochdale Borough Council have a legal basis under section 42(4) of the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) and regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 allowing the processing of Personal Confidential Data for certain Public Health purposes.

How to opt out

You may have the right to opt out of Rochdale Public Health receiving or holding your personal information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues which you cannot opt out of. The process for opting out will depend on what the specific data is and which programme it relates to. For further information please contact us.

Further information

The Council is registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Registration Number Z5481774) under the Data Protection Act 1998. Further details about how the council processes personal data can be found in our registration at the Information Commissioner’s Office

The Information Commissioner is an independent regulator who provides advice and guidance on and enforces the Data Protection Act.


01706 925505

Information Governance Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU ​