How We Take Care of Your Personal Information

Why do we hold your information?
To provide you with the services you need, our welfare team need to understand your circumstances, your background, and the support network around you.

We also need to make sure that, wherever possible, we have someone, like a family member or close friend, who we can contact for you if need be. We will only ask you for information that is appropriate to the services we provide to you

Where and how do we store it?
Our service is paperless, so your information is entered into our secure and encrypted case management system, at the time you provide it to us, using tablets and digital pens instead of taking notes on paper. This is not only more effective for making sure we capture everything from our calls and visits with you, but also means that your information is much more secure.

Our electronic case management system is on a fully encrypted and secure server, has three levels of password protection to access it, and only our Data Protection Officer can agree new staff access to the system. Access to your information is ONLY given to those that need it, in order to provide you with the support you need, and to make sure that we are meeting all our obligations to you, both from a professional standard of care, and our ethical and legal requirements. As we are working within the health arena, your records will be kept for 7 years, after which time your personal information will be completely removed from our system.

What about Consent?
We will only store your personal information with your explicit consent. Our consent form, which your welfare team will go through with you at the first visit, has been improved to meet with new regulations, and whilst it may seem quite a long form, it makes sure that we only use your information and make contact with you in ways that you have clearly agreed to.

We have a specific section for consent for marketing, or use of your story in case studies to promote our services. You can choose to take part in case studies, or to tell your story in articles that we use on social media, reports, and presentations – and you can do this anonymously. You can also choose for your contact details to be on our secure electronic contact system to receive information about DMWS.

You do not have to consent to everything we are asking for, you can opt out, and you can your consent for any part, at any time. Just let your welfare team know and it will be immediately changed on the system, and we capture your signature for confirmation.

How and with who do we share your information?
Your privacy and protection of your information is very important to us. As part of our service to you, we look at what other services and support you need, and what organisations can provide that support to you.

We will discuss everything with you, and every time you agree to a referral to another organisation, we will record your consent for us to make contact on your behalf. In order to make that referral happen, we will need to let that organisation have some basic details about you, for example your name and contact details, and some background so they have an initial understanding about your needs. We will only give them the information that you have agreed to. We will also ask them if they comply with data protection regulations before we provide them any of your information. If they say they do not, we will tell you so you can make an informed choice of whether to proceed.

If you don’t want us to share any of your information, we can give you the contact details and you can call them yourself to see how they can help you.

We sometimes have to share your information, without your consent, to official organisations if we feel that you are in danger, or are a danger to others. This is called Safeguarding, and we have a duty to report any situation where we believe there is a safeguarding concern. Your welfare team can go through the Safeguarding situations with you so you are clear about the circumstances where we may have to share some of your information without your consent.

What are your rights?
You have a number of rights in relation to the personal information that we keep.
a) Amendments or Corrections: We make every effort to keep your information up to date and you should let your welfare team know of any changes to your information so we can update our records. You can also make amendments to the records we hold. Please speak to your welfare team and we can make the changes.

b) Access: You can request access to your records at any time, and can request a copy of the information we hold. To access a copy of your information you will need to make contact with our Data Protection Officer (details below) who will let you know the process and what to do next.

c) Right to be Forgotten: You can request that we remove all your personal information from our records. You will need to make contact with our Data Protection Officer who will let you know the process and what to do next.

We have to put together reports, and have statistical information in respect of the services that we have provided, so we will need a retain data for that purpose, but this will not include any of your personal information. In any event all statistical reports are completely anonymous.

d) Transfer to another Organisation: You can request that we transfer your personal information to another organisation. You will need to contact the Data Protection Officer who will let you know the process and what to do next.

e) Your Right to Complain: You can raise any concern or complaint about how we keep, use, share, or transfer your data. In the first instance you should contact the Data Protection Officer to let them know what your concern or complaint is. They will let you know the process and what you need to do next, and then investigate thoroughly letting you know the outcome at the completion of the investigation. We would hope that any concerns or complaints that you raise will be dealt with to your satisfaction, however, if you are unhappy or do not agree with the outcome, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who will look into your complaint on your behalf.

Contact details

DMWS Data Protection Officer
The Old Stables
Redenham Park
Hampshire SP11 9AQ

Telephone: 01264 774 000

Information Commissioner Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113