Privacy notice

Who are we?

Kent County Council collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. The Kent Public Health Observatory provides analysis, knowledge and evidence to improve health and wellbeing across Kent as part of the Strategic Commissioning Division. Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.

The personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

In the course of providing a public health observatory service we do not collect personal information, but we do obtain personal information from other sources as follows:

  • NHS Digital
  • NHS organisations such as NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups, GP practices, and other provider organisations
  • Other parts of Kent County Council
  • District and Borough Councils
  • Kent Fire & Rescue

The personal information is:

  • Descriptions such as socio-economic categories, levels of deprivation, household groupings, ethnicity, gender, age, smoking status, type of housing, locations like ward and lower super output area, frailty ratings, likelihood of being re-admitted to hospital.
  • Health conditions such as diagnoses, procedures, test results, types of services used, and medications prescribed.
  • Records of births and deaths.
  • Health information such as appointment, admission, and discharge dates; and services used.
  • Social care information such as dates and amounts of services used.
  • Education information such as attendance and attainment.

Almost all personal information used in the Observatory is de-personalised so that individuals cannot be easily identified. There are strict safeguards on how this information is used to prevent re-identification of individuals.

We do use some personally identifiable data about births and deaths which has additional safeguards on its use.

How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to:

  • Improve health, care and services through research and planning (commissioning)
  • Understand if health and care services are working well and are value for money (evaluation)
  • Look for outbreaks of disease

How long your personal data will be kept

We do not collect personal information, but we do obtain personal information from other sources. All data will be held in line with the retention schedules of the organisations sharing data with Kent Public Health Observatory. These retention schedules will determine the length of time data will be kept.

All person-level data flows into the Kent Integrated Dataset (KID) ceased on 31 March 2019. Since this date, the KID has been maintained as a ‘static’ data set for the purposes outlined above. The full static data series extends from 01 April 2014.

The KPHO also accesses linked person-level data through a secure route via MedeAnalytics and Optum, the Commissioning Support Unit for the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

We rely on Article 6 1 (e) of the GDPR as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data. That is, processing necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

We rely on Article 9 (2) (h) and (i) of the GDPR as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your special categories of personal data.

If there is a significant threat to health of the public, for instance an outbreak of an infectious disease, the Council has the legal right to use identifiable data under:

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

Who we share your personal information with

Data sharing:

  • We routinely share de-personalised information with NHS England which processes the data in a facility provided by Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9QQ.
  • This data sharing informs further planning of health and social care services at a national level.
  • We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

Your Rights

Under the GDPR you have a number of rights which you can access free of charge which allow you to:

  • Know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
  • Ask to see what information we hold about you
  • Ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
  • Object to direct marketing
  • Make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office

Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

  • Ask us to delete information we hold about you
  • Have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
  • Object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
  • Object to how we are using your information
  • Stop us using your information in certain ways

We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. As we hold health and social care data in a de-personalised form it is not possible for us to honour your rights directly. Please contact your GP surgery to opt out of data sharing for health information and your social worker or case manager for social care information.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Covid-19 and your information – updated on 12 July 2022

This notice describes how Kent Public Health may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Kent Public Health use patient information collected by health and social care services and national health bodies such as Public Health England to protect people in their area. This data is vital for researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak.

Existing law allows patient information to be used and shared appropriately in a public health emergency. Under regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002, Kent County Council is permitted to process COVID-19 data for the purpose of communicable disease surveillance.

We download, process and store person level pseudonymised COVID-19 testing data. This data is collected by UK Health Security Agency and accessed via their secure web portal. The list of data variables comprises episode number, latest episode indicator, age, sex, coronavirus test result and test date, Lower Super Output Area geographical code plus geographical lookups (such as lower tier local authority), whether the case is linked to a care home, care home ID number and care home name. All outputs are aggregated and anonymised.

When necessary, we use identifiable data for outbreak consequence management.

Who to Contact

Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner.

Last Updated: July 2022.