The Health Agency

Community Link Working Privacy

These days we’re all aware of the importance of keeping our personal information safe and secure. As Community Link Workers (CLW), we appreciate that when you share your personal information with us, you trust us to look after it. So, we’ve produced this Privacy Policy which provides information about the different ways we use and store personal information and data about you.

What is personal information and data?

It is information that identifies you. It includes things like your name, address, date of birth and postcode and health data.

What are Community Link Workers?

A Community Link Worker (CLW) is a social practitioner who is part of the primary care team based at your GP practice. A CLW is not a nurse or a doctor, but we are part of the primary care team who work closely with your GP, and we can help you to improve your health and how you are feeling. We are employed by a third sector organisation and know what activities and services are available in your local community.

  • We can spend time with you to talk about what really matters to you.
  • We can help you to identify any problems or issues you are experiencing.
  • We can support you to set goals and work with you to achieve these.
  • We keep up to date with what is happening locally so we can tell you about new services and resources.
  • We can go with you to visit these services.

If you would like to be referred to a CLW ask your GP, practice nurse or receptionist, and they will explain how you make an appointment. A CLW can see you at the GP practice or a community venue if that is easier for you.

Community link working is supported by the Scottish Government’s National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan: Part 3 – Improving workforce planning for primary care in Scotland.

We are employed by The Health Agency which is responsible for ensuring we keep your information safe and use it appropriately. The Health Agency has agreed formal processes with NHS Lothian to ensure that we only access the health information about you that we need.

How we protect your personal information

  • We take care to make sure your personal information is not given to any unauthorised people. It will only be available to those directly involved in your care. This is known as the ‘need to know’ principle.
  • CLW have a legal and contractual duty to keep your personal information secure, and to handle confidential information safely.
  • Our use of your personal health information is covered by a duty of confidentiality, and is regulated by Data Protection legislation. This gives you a number of rights in relation to how your personal information is used, including a right to access the information we hold about you.
  • Your personal information is protected by Data Protection legislation. Under the legislation, we have to tell the Office of the Information Commissioner how we use personal information. You can see a copy of this on the Information Commissioner’s website.

How we use and share personal information

  • To provide you with the care and support you need, the CLW may need to access relevant details of your consultations, illnesses, tests, prescriptions, and other treatments that have been recorded by everyone involved in your care and treatment (e.g., GP, Health Visitor, Practice Nurse).
  • If the CLW accesses your medical record, there will be an audit trail on the practices’ information system. This information is usually stored on paper or electronically on computer file by practice staff.
  • The Community Link Worker may also keep a separate secure and confidential detailed record about you. If appropriate, a summary may be shared with the practice and/or another agency on a ‘need to know’ basis.
  • We may disclose your name, address and phone number to other organisations involved in your care. For example, we may refer you to a specialist service and send your contact details in the referral letter.
  • Sometimes we are required by law to pass on information for example notify a birth or to report certain infectious diseases for public health reason.
  • Sometimes we may participate in studies that are designed to improve the way services are provided to you or to check that our performance meets required standards and benchmarks. Whenever we take part in activities such as these, we will ensure that any details that may identify you are not disclosed. If these studies involve you personally, we will ask you for your consent.

You have a choice, you can decide if the CLW can access, collect and share with others, personal information about you.

Contact

Data Privacy
The Health Agency
The Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre
30 Harvesters Way
Edinburgh
EH14 3JF