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Privacy and fair processing notice for public health services.

All local authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. The shared public health service of Camden and Islington Councils is responsible for protecting and improving the health of the population of Camden and Islington. To do this we provide a range of services, such as those to help people make a lifestyle change e.g. smoking cessation services, weight management services and contraceptive services, provide guidance and advice to the public and professionals and monitor and publish intelligence about local health and wellbeing needs to help the council, NHS and other partners plan services to meet the needs of the people of Camden and Islington.


The data we collect

To deliver public health, local authorities need to use available health data sources to get relevant health and social care information. This data can contain person identifiable data (PID) which may identify patients such as name, address, age, sex, ethnicity, disease, use of hospital services, and/or NHS Number. Some data may not be obviously identifiable; however there may be the potential to deduce individuals’ identities through combinations of information, either by the people handling the data or by those who see published results.

Camden and Islington Councils have access to the following public health data:

  • Primary Care Mortality Database (PCMD) – The PCMD holds mortality data as provided at the time of registration, which include: date of birth, date of death, sex, NHS Number, address, place of death and cause(s) of death as sourced from the deaths register of the death along with additional GP details, geographical indexing and coroner details where applicable. Data is supplied to the Public Health team under strict licence by NHS Digital and is limited to people who lived or were registered with GP Practices in the Islington and Camden areas.
  • Births datasets - Births files include date of birth, sex, birthweight, usual address of mother, NHS Number, postcode, place of birth and stillbirth indicators. Data is supplied to the Public Health team under strict licence by NHS Digital and is limited to babies born to mothers who live in the Islington and Camden areas.
  • Hospital Episode Data (HES) – is a data warehouse containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England. This data is collected during a patient's time at hospital and is submitted to allow hospitals to be paid for the care they deliver. HES data is also designed to enable secondary use, that is for non-clinical purposes that are not to do with direct patient care - such as research and planning local health services. The Public Health team receives HES data that is anonymous and is not identifiable under license from NHS Digital for non-clinical purposes.
  • National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) - The National Child Measurement Programme is a mandatory nationwide government scheme that is responsible for collecting annual information on the height and weight status of children in reception year (ages 4-5) and year 6 (ages 10-11). Using Body Mass Index (BMI), the results are used to monitor and assess childhood obesity trends nationally and in local areas to support public health initiatives and campaigns. It is the responsibility of Public Health Teams in Local Authorities to collect and process the data at a local level, before it is reported up to a national level, where the data is then collated by Public Health England’s Obesity Risk Factors Intelligence Team.
  • Psuedonymised data from General Practices in Camden and Islington linked to hospital data. The data includes information on diagnosis in the population such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, alongside the management of these conditions such as blood pressure readings, cholesterol levels and gender, ethnicity and age of the population with these conditions. This dataset does not contain any data that directly reveals an individual’s identity, such as names, NHS numbers, addresses.

When the above data is processed for Public Health purposes the London Borough of Islington is the Data Controller. 

The Public Health team is committed to using pseudonymised or anonymised information as much as is practical, and in many cases this will be the default position. Pseudonymisation is a procedure by which the most identifying fields such as the NHS number is replaced by an artificial identifier, or pseudonym which the Public Health team are unable to decrypt thus effectively anonymising the dataset. 
Your data may also be joined up with other health and social care data that the using this method to increase understanding of the care experience received across the whole health and social care system.

How your data is used

All information accessed, processed and stored by public health staff will be used to measure the health, mortality or care needs of the population; for planning, evaluating and monitoring health; protecting and improving public health.  It is used to carry out and support:

  • health needs assessments
  • health equity analysis
  • commissioning and delivery of services to promote health and prevent ill health
  • public health surveillance
  • identifying inequalities in the way people access services
  • joint strategic needs assessment
  • health protection and other partnership activities

Any information held by the council about individuals will be held securely and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Information will not be held for longer than required and will be disposed of securely.

The legal basis for the flow of data for the above purposes is set out in 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.

How we hold and manage your data

All data that we hold is stored in secure systems within the council and in line with both the council and NHS Information governance framework.  These systems are accessed controlled, so only a small number of relevant council employees have access to them.

Apart from data processed as part of the NCMP, Public Health do not share any person identifiable information that is processed. 

Only aggregated analyses or reports as a result of processing data may be shared with key stakeholders such as local CCGs, GP Practices, other NHS Organisations and not for profit organisations that the Borough may do collaborative work with.

How to opt out

You have the right to opt of Islington Borough Council Public Health Team receiving or holding your personal identifiable information.

To take steps to doing this please send an email to or write to:
Information Governance Team, Resources, 4th Floor, 7 Newington Barrow Way, Islington, N7 7EP.

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  1. Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.