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Public Health Fair processing notice

Public Health Privacy Notice

From 1 April 2013, The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gave local authorities power to perform the public health function, which led to the transfer of Southwark’s Public Health team from the NHS (National Health Service) to Southwark Council. This means the council now has "a duty to improve the health of the people and will have responsibility for commissioning appropriate public health services".

To deliver this public health function, the local authority also has a legal status allowing the processing of Personal Confidential Data for certain public health purposes (under Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002, regulation 3). The use of such data is restricted so that the principles contained data protection legislation are fully adhered to.

The Public Health team in Southwark collects and holds a range of information to support the delivery of its role, including:

  • information on death certifications
  • information on birth certifications
  • information on the provision of public health services, including:
    • immunisations
    • drug and alcohol treatment services
    • sexual health services
    • 0 to 5 health services
    • school nursing services
    • health improvement services
    • other public health initiatives
  • information about lifestyles and behaviours collected through population surveys
  • information regarding the prevalence of disease, including cancer registrations
  • information about health and social care use, including:
    • GP services
    • hospital services
    • pharmacy services
    • NHS community services
    • mental health services
    • social care services

This information is provided to the Public Health team either direct from the public or by national and local NHS and local authority services and organisations. The information is shared in accordance with the principles outlined within the data protection legislation. All data is stored securely and is managed using the principles of medical confidentiality and data protection. The number of staff handling such information is limited to key professionals, all of whom undertake regular training regarding data protection and managing personal information.

Our Public Health team uses information on the health of local residents and people receiving health and care services in the borough to derive statistics and intelligence to:

These statistics are used in such a way that individuals cannot be identified and personal identifiable details are removed as soon as is possible in the process of intelligence. Confidential data will only be shared with other local NHS, local authority or care organisations once the necessary legal basis has been established and data protection safeguards have been verified. Anyone receiving such information is also under a legal duty to ensure the data is kept confidential.

Further information regarding how Southwark Council uses your personal information, along with your rights, is available within our Corporate Data Privacy Notice.

If you're concerned how the council is using your data, contact our Data Protection Officer via or on 020 7525 5000.

More information about your rights is available on our website or via the Information Commissioner at

Page last updated: 16 February 2023

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