Client Privacy Notice

Who we are

We deliver funding and support to victims and survivors of the Conflict/Troubles, on behalf of The Executive Office.

What is a privacy notice?

A Privacy Notice is a statement by the Service to all stakeholders that describes how we collect, process, retain and disclose personal information which we hold. This privacy notice is part of our commitment to ensure that we process your personal information fairly and lawfully.

Why issue a privacy notice?

The Victims and Survivors Service recognises the importance of protecting personal and confidential information entrusted to us. This notice is one of the ways in which we can demonstrate our commitment to our values of being transparent and open, and commitment to our values of:
– Acting with Integrity,
– Demonstrating Compassion,
– Striving for Excellence
– Respecting Diversity and
– Listening and Supporting others.
This document clearly expresses our policies and is accessible to anyone upon request in a variety of formats.

What are we governed by?

The key pieces of information legislation/guidance we are governed by are:
Data Protection Act 2018
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018

Who are we governed by?

Information Commissioner’s Office – https://ico.org.uk/

Why and how we collect information

We may hold personal and confidential information about you which will be used to support delivery of appropriate care and support. As a public body carrying out tasks in the public interest, we can legitimately process this information, but it is stored and processed solely to assist staff in the efficient running and monitoring of the service and service improvement. This data is stored securely with access restricted to appropriate identified personnel. Accurate and up-to-date information assists us in providing the best possible care for our service users.

Information collected may include:

• Basic details, such as name, address, date of birth, next of kin.
• Contact we have had, such as appointments and correspondence.
• Details and records of eligibility, including notes and reports about your health
• Details of awards and support given as part of our programmes

Permission to hold and use data for research and improvement

Some of the information we gather here will be used to help us to deliver better services. Information used for this purpose is anonymous. There will be no information released that could in any way identify you.

How we use information to:

– help inform decisions that we make about service users care.
– ensure that treatment is safe and effective.
– work effectively with other organisations who may be involved in individuals’ care.
– ensure our services can meet future needs.
– train our staff.
– prepare statistics on our performance.
– monitor how we spend public money.

Who will the information be shared with?

We will always keep your information safe and private. However, on occasion we may need to share certain information with other professionals. For example, we may do this in order to:

– progress requests that you have made for support
– ensure your safety and the safety of others; and
– report crime in line with public duty

Information sharing is also governed by specific rules and laws.
– When the health or safety of others is at risk or where the law requires the disclosure of information.
– We may also share information for the prevention and detection of fraud.
– We may share information with our supported organisations and partners in the necessary administration of awards and support. Where client information is shared with other organisations, an information sharing agreement is drawn up to ensure information is shared in a way that complies with relevant legislation.
– We deliver our services through local organisations that we fund. We may refer you to one of these, but we will ask you to consent to this in advance.

Access to your personal data.

You may ask us whether we process your personal data. If that is the case we will explain what personal data about you is processed by us, in what way and for what purposes we do this. You may also request a copy of your personal data that we process.

Retention period for personal data

We will only retain information for as long as we require it, closing files once they are no longer active. We have a document disposal schedule which ensures all records are disposed of once we are legally allowed to do so. The actual retention period varies depending on the type of information.

Rectification of your personal data.

In case it is your opinion that your personal data that we process, is incorrect or incomplete, you can make a request for to have inaccurate data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete.
Restriction of processing of your personal data.

In some cases you may wish that the processing of your personal data is restricted. In that case you may request from us restriction of processing. We will comply with such a request in the following cases:
– It is your opinion that your personal data which we process, is incorrect.
– The data has been unlawfully processed
– We do not need your personal data any longer
– You object to our processing of your personal data and we have not yet evaluated your objection.
If processing of your personal data is subject to a restriction, we will process this data only with your consent. Before the restriction is lifted, we will inform you of that.

Can I access my information?

Under GDPR a person may request access to information (with some exemptions) that is held about them by an organisation. For more information on how to access the information we hold about you please refer to https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

Contacting us if you have a complaint or concern

We try to meet the highest standards when collecting, processing, storing and using personal information. We encourage people to bring concerns to our attention and we take any complaints we receive very seriously. You can submit a complaint by contacting our Data Protection Officer:

Data Protection Officer
Victims and Survivors Service
1st Floor, Seatem House
28-32 Alfred Street
Belfast
BT2 8EN
Email: dpo@vssni.org

If you remain dissatisfied with our decision following your complaint, you may wish to contact:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Full Client privacy details are available in a variety of accessible formats by application to VSS.