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We Change Lives | Privacy Notice

We Promise to keep your private information safe and sound. 

As part of the services we offer, we are required to process personal data about the people we support and, in some instances, their friends or relatives. “Processing” can mean collecting, recording, organising, storing, sharing or destroying data. 

We are committed to providing transparent information on why we need your personal data and what we do with it. This information is set out in this privacy notice. It will also explain your rights when it comes to your data.   

If you have any concerns or questions please contact us:  

WCL Data Protection Officer, G104 Bolton Arena, Arena Approach, Horwich, Bolton. BL6 6LB 

Telephone: 01925 972635 Email:  



General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into effect in 2018. This regulation updates the Data Protection Act 1998 and provides individuals with the following rights: 

  1. The right to be informed 

  2. The right of access 

  3. The right to rectification 

  4. The right to erasure 

  5. The right to restricted processing 

  6. The right to data portability 

  7. The right to object 

  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling 

As part of those rights this privacy statement sets out the basis for processing any personal data we collect from you or that you provide to us as an individual that we support. 

We will only collect and store information which is necessary to fulfil the WCL stated purpose “Supporting People to live their best lives” and we will not retain it for any longer than necessary. 

GDPR does not override other legislation. WCL is governed by a lot of different legislation including the Care Act 2014 and Safe Recruitment Practices which does overrule your rights under GDPR. That is why there are clauses which mean we don’t always have to ask for your written consent to collect and hold data because these are not optional. 


What data do we have? 

So that we can provide a safe and professional service, we need to keep certain records about you. We may record the following types of data about you: 

  • Your basic details and contact information e.g. your name, address, date of birth and next of kin; 

  • Your financial details e.g. details of how you pay us for your care or your funding arrangements.  

We also record the following data which is classified as “special category”: 

  • Health and social care data about you, which might include both your physical and mental health data. 

  • We may also record data about your race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religion.  

Why do we have this data?  

We require this data so that we can provide high-quality care and support. By law, we need to have a lawful basis for processing your personal data.  

We process your data because:  

  • We are required to do so in our performance of a public task; 

  • We are required to do so in order to fulfil a contract that we have with you; 

  • We have a legal obligation to do so – generally under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 or Mental Capacity Act 2005. 

We process your special category data because: 

  • It is necessary due to social security and social protection law (generally this would be in safeguarding instances); 

  • It is necessary for us to provide and manage health and social care services; 

  • We are required to provide data to our regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), as part of our public interest obligations. 

We may also process your data with your consent. This may be because we would like to put your picture on our website or in a newsletter. If we need to ask for your permission, we will offer you a clear choice and ask that you confirm to us that you consent. We will also explain clearly to you what we need the data for and how you can withdraw your consent.  

Where do we process your data? 

So that we can provide you with high quality care and support we need specific data. This is collected from or shared with: 

  1. You or your legal representative(s); 

  2. Third parties. 

We do this face to face, via phone, via email, via our website, via post and via application forms. 

Third parties are organisations we have a legal reason to share your data with. These include: 

  • Other parts of the health and care system such as local hospitals, the GP, the pharmacy, social workers, clinical commissioning groups, and other health and care professionals;  

  • The Local Authority; 

  • Organisations we have a legal obligation to share information with i.e. for safeguarding, the CQC; 

  • The police or other law enforcement agencies if we have to by law or court order. 

How the NHS and WCL use your information.  

The information collected about you when you use these services can also be used and provided to other organisations for purposes beyond your individual care, for instance to help with: 

  • improving the quality and standards of care provided

  • research into the development of new treatments 

  • preventing illness and diseases

  • monitoring safety

  • planning services

This may only take place when there is a clear legal basis to use this information. All these uses help to provide better health and care for you, your family and future generations. Confidential information about your health and care is only used like this were allowed by law.  

Most of the time, anonymised data is used for research and planning so that you cannot be identified in which case your confidential information is not needed. 

You have a choice about whether you want your confidential information to be used in this way. If you are happy with this use of information you do not need to do anything. If you do choose to opt out your confidential patient information will still be used to support your individual care. 

To find out more or to register your choice to opt out, please visit  On this web page you will: 

  • See what is meant by confidential patient information 

  • Find examples of when confidential patient information is used for individual care and examples of when it is used for purposes beyond individual care 

  • Find out more about the benefits of sharing data 

  • Understand more about who uses the data 

  • Find out how your data is protected 

  • Be able to access the system to view, set or change your opt-out setting 

  • Find the contact telephone number if you want to know any more or to set/change your opt-out by phone  

  • See the situations where the opt-out will not apply 

You can also find out more about how patient information is used at: (which covers health and care research); and (which covers how and why patient information is used, the safeguards and how decisions are made) 

You can change your mind about your choice at any time.  

Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your specific agreement. 

Health and care organisations have until 2020 to put systems and processes in place so they can be compliant with the national data opt-out and apply your choice to any confidential patient information they use or share for purposes beyond your individual care. Our organisation is  currently compliant with the national data opt-out policy. 

For how long does WCL keep data? 

We will hold your personal data for the duration of the time you are supported by WCL. Such data will be reviewed annually to ensure out of date or irrelevant data is removed/updated. The period for which your data is held after the end of support is 6 years in England. However, some data relating to health and safety may need to be retained for 40 years. 



We may ask for your consent to collect and use some data which falls outside the other categories. For example, using photographs in your support plan so that we can get medication right. Or using images of you on our website to celebrate what you have achieved. 


The Security of Your Information 

WCL stores information in three ways. 

Computer based – We employ a specialist IT Company to store our information on a server based in a secure location. The server is protected by anti-data theft software. All our access to the server be it via PC, laptop, tablet or phone is password protected. It is WCL Policy not to hold data on the actual devices.  

Paper files – All your personal information will be locked away with responsible persons holding the key. We work together to protect paper information. As all our services are different, so how we store paper files will be different for each service.  

Archived Information – Laws governing record keeping for people receiving support mean we have to keep a lot of information. For paper based records we do this by commissioning specialist space in a remote location which is only accessible by responsible appropriate individuals. We will regularly appropriately destroy this information when the required timescales expire. We will also regularly review what we hold on computer systems and take this information off line when appropriate.  


Continuous Improvement 

WCL is committed to implementing changes in line with the “spirit” of the GDPR legislation. This means we will continually review the information we collect and retain about you. We will look for ways to ensure it remains accurate and where appropriate we will responsibly dispose of anything which is no longer needed. 

If you feel we have unintentionally missed something or could improve how we deal with your data please speak up; the relevant individuals to contact are listed in the Data Protection Policy or you can speak to your line manager.  


Access to information 

Requests may be made in writing or by speaking to us. All requests will be recorded, and you may need to provide information to verify your identity and enable us to locate the information.  

  • Full name, address, date of birth,  

  • An indication of what information you are requesting to enable us to locate this in an efficient manner.  

WCL have produced a booklet telling you how you can access you information, this is called a Subject Access Request (SAR). Please ask for a copy of the WCL Access to Personal Data Booklet if required. 


Complaints & Queries 

We hope that you will understand the reasons for the information we collect and keep. However if you do have questions, queries or complaints all the information you need is contained within the WCL Complaints Booklet. Please ask a Manager or Colleague for a copy of this. 


You can also complain directly to the Information Commissioners Officer (ICO): 

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF 

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