Who we are.
Changes Health & Wellbeing is a registered in England and Wales as charity number 1144940 and a registered company number 7761177. This privacy policy explains how we use your information that we collect when you use our services.

We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office – Z3293216

Why we collect your information, and how we will use the information that you give us.

Changes Health & Wellbeing will take all reasonable steps to keep your information safe and secure.

To process your information we must have a legal basis. For most of the information that we process, this is based on what is known as a ‘legitimate interest’. We only ask for the bare minimum of information that we have identified that we need to carry out our role as a mental health charity, and to balance our duties towards you, our own requirements, and those of our funders, without whom we could not operate. Please see below for more details on how your information is used by us.

Some of the information that we ask you for is known as ‘special category data’. To process this we need to provide an additional reason on top of the legal basis above. We have identified the following reason from the General Data Protection Regulations, Article 9(2)(d):

‘processing is carried out in the course of its legitimate activities with appropriate safeguards by a foundation, association or any other not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim and on condition that the processing relates solely to the members or to former members of the body or to persons who have regular contact with it in connection with its purposes and that the personal data are not disclosed outside that body without the consent of the data subjects.’

The information that we ask you for that falls under special category data are: your ethnic origin / ethnicity; information about your health; and information about your sexual orientation. It is optional to you whether or not you provide us with this information.

By processing information relating to ethnicity and sexual orientation, we are able to see who is accessing our services, and to see if we are reaching often under-represented parts of the community.

The health information that you give us, though basic, would still fall under ‘special category data’. Certain aspects, such as what mental health condition you have, or physical ailments, will again allow us to see what parts of the community we are reaching and that we are providing a diverse service. Other data, such as that collected through regular monitoring, such as GAD7 forms and PHQ9 forms, are used to help you to see how you are progressing, and also for us to be able to evaluate how our services are doing.

All information that we process that falls under ‘special category data’ will never be shared without your explicit consent. We may, though, use this information for anonymous statistical purposes. This could be internal reporting, or as part of a report for funders. For example, we would be able to state that 45 people identifying as White British attended our Stoke-on-Trent service in March 2018 – there would be no identifiable information attached to this figure.

Other information that you give us will be used for different purposes.

Your name, address, telephone number and email address will be used to keep in touch with you, for example to inform you that a venue that you are due to attend, or regularly attend, is closed so that you do not unnecessarily travel, or to let you know about changes to the service, or to tell you about upcoming workshops. If you do not provide us with this information, or it is out of date, we cannot let you know of any changes. These details will also enable us to create an individual ‘file’ for you, keeping your information secure and separate from that of other persons. We will also be able to use the first parts of your postcode to see which geographical areas are well served by our services, and which areas are not. For example, our postcode is ST4 4AL – we would only make use of ST4 4 for this purpose.

We will never sell your information.

Your personal data will not be shared with other organisations or individuals outside of Changes Health & Wellbeings’ services without your express permission.

There are exceptions to this, however. These include:

• Protecting the vital interests of a person. In these circumstances we may need to organise a ‘welfare check’, which will often mean passing on your name, address, telephone number and the nature of our concerns to the police in order for them to carry out the welfare check. Additionally, if there are concerns around the vital interests of another person, then we may be required to pass on your personal information if requested to, for example, the police. This will always be the minimum information necessary.
• Protection of children, young people, and vulnerable adults – in these circumstances we are obliged to report our concerns to the local Safeguarding Team. This will involve providing them with your name, address telephone number and any information which we hold to enable the Safeguarding Team to carry out their due-diligence.
• Other legal requirements – there are other occasions when Changes Health & Wellbeing is legally obliged to disclose your personal information to 3rd parties, for reasons including the prevention of terrorism or the reporting of money laundering. This may also include passing your details on to the NHS Test & Trace service if required.
• If you are a Full Member of Changes Health & Wellbeing, we will write to you via either email or post with any business relating to your membership such as Annual General Meeting Invitations. This is a legal obligation on our part. Should you no longer wish to receive any such invites, you must request your removal as a member, either to our postal address, or to members@changes.org.uk
• For certain NHS related purposes (see below)

How the NHS and care services use your information.

Whenever you use a health or care service, such as attending Accident & Emergency or using Community Care services, important information about you is collected in a patient record for that service. Collecting this information helps to ensure you get the best possible care and treatment.

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 patient information about your health and care is only used like this where 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 patient information isn’t needed.

You have a choice about whether you want your confidential patient 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 https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters
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:
https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/ (which covers health and care research); and
https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/what-you-need-know (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.

How long will we keep your information?

We will usually keep your information for up to 7 years after you have stopped using our service. After this date, we will either fully anonymise your records, permanently delete your records, or a combination of the two.

How we will store your information?

Most of the information that we collect is originally in a paper format. Once it has been returned to the office, we enter the information into a secure and encrypted system called Charity Log. Only relevant members of staff will have access to the system, meaning that the number of people with access to your information within Changes is strictly controlled and limited. The paper information is kept in locked filing cabinets for up to two years for the purpose of data quality and data audits; once this time period has elapsed, the paper documents are securely shredded and disposed of.

How to request a copy of your information.

If you would like to see a copy of the information that we hold about you, please send an email to data.protection@changes.org.uk , or write to our registered Head Office – Data Protection, Changes Health & Wellbeing, Victoria Court, Booth Street, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4AL. We will send you a copy of your information as soon as possible, but within one month of receiving your request. We may need contact you about the information if we need any more details; for example, we may need to request a proof of identification.

There is no cost to you in requesting to see a copy of your information.

Any questions or concerns.

If you have any questions or concerns about how we use your information, please contact us via email to data.protection@changes.org.uk or write to us at our registered Head Office – Data Protection, Changes Health & Wellbeing, Victoria Court, Booth Street, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4AL. Alternatively, contact Kris Kinsella on 01782 411433.


Privacy Notice Updated 1st March 2021.