Privacy notice

This privacy policy applies only to Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). If you transfer to another site, please read the privacy policy relating to their information. We will not transfer personal information to other sites, unless you have been advised that we will do so.

​Service specific privacy notices

Your privacy

Northamptonshire County Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services.

The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

At the top of this page you'll see a list of services we provide. Under each service is more information about who we may share your information with and why. 

We have a Data Protection Officer who makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer, at DPO@northamptonshire.gov.uk or by calling 01604 368360 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) complies with data protection legislation (the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) and is registered as a 'Data Controller' (Reg. No. Z7589390).

How and why we use your personal information

Information which you have provided the Council will be stored securely. It will be used for the purposes stated when the information was collected.

Information will not be sold, rented or provided to anyone else, or used for any other purpose than that for which it was originally collected unless required to by law.

We are required under Section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 to participate in the National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise. The data held will be used for cross-system and cross authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud. For further information see the National Fraud Initiative webpage.

Since April 2013, The Health and Social Care Act 2012 has given local authorities the power to perform public health functions. This means that the County Council has "a duty to improve the health of the people and responsibility for commissioning appropriate public health services" and the statutory responsibilities for public health services are clearly set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. See the 'Public Health' section below for further details.

You have the right to opt out of the Public Health Intelligence Team receiving or holding your personal identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues. The process for opting out will depend on the specific data and what programme it relates to. For further information, please contact the Public Health team by email at:

Or write to us at:

Public Health Team, Northamptonshire County Council
One Angel Square
Northampton
NN1 1ED

​Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person. For example, this could be your name and contact details. 

​Some information is 'special' and needs more protection due to its sensitivity. It's often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is likely to include anything that can reveal your:

  • sexuality and sexual health
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • ethnicity
  • physical or mental health
  • trade union membership
  • political opinion
  • genetic or biometric data
  • criminal history

We may need to use some information about you to:

  • deliver services and support to you
  • manage those services we provide to you
  • train and manage the employment of our workers who deliver those services
  • help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your services
  • keep track of spending on services
  • check the quality of services
  • help with research and planning of new services

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information.

Each privacy notice (at the top of the page) explains for each service which legal reason is being used. Generally we collect and use personal information where:

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • you have entered into a contract with us
  • it is necessary to perform our statutory duties
  • it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency
  • it is required by law
  • it is necessary for employment purposes
  • it is necessary to deliver health or social care services 
  • you have made your information publicly available
  • it is necessary for legal cases
  • it is to the benefit of society as a whole
  • it is necessary to protect public health
  • it is necessary for archiving, research, or statistical purposes

If we have consent to use your personal information, you have the right to remove it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact DPO@northamptonshire.gov.uk and tell us which service you're using so we can deal with your request.

Where we can, we'll only collect and use personal information if we need it to deliver a service or meet a requirement. 

If we don't need personal information we'll either keep you anonymous if we already have it for something else or we won't ask you for it. For example, in a survey we may not need your contact details so we'll only collect your survey responses.

If we use your personal information for research and analysis, we'll always keep you anonymous or use a different name unless you've agreed that your personal information can be used for that research.

We don't sell your personal information to anyone else.  

​The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us.

We would normally expect to share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with services.

However, you also have the right to ask for all the information we have about you and the services you receive from us. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must give you access to everything we've recorded about you.

However, we can't let you see any parts of your record which contain:

  • confidential information about other people
  • data a professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else's physical or mental wellbeing
  • if we think that giving you the information may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime

This applies to personal information that is in both paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we'll also let others see your record (except if one of the points above applies).

If you can't ask for your records in writing, we'll make sure there are other ways that you can. If you have any queries about access to your information please contact dataprotection@northamptonshire.gcsx.gov.uk or 01604 368360.

​You can ask to change information you think is inaccurate, ask to delete information (right to be forgotten), ask to limit what we use your personal data for and you can ask to have your information moved to another provider (data portability).

Please see our 'General Data Protection Regulation' page, under the heading 'The right to rectification', for further details.

We use a range of organisations to either store personal information or help deliver our services to you. Where we have these arrangements there is always an agreement in place to make sure that the organisation complies with data protection law. 

We'll often complete a privacy impact assessment (PIA) before we share personal information to make sure we protect your privacy and comply with the law.

Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide personal information to other organisations. This is often because we need to give that data to courts, including:

  • if we take a child into care
  • if the court orders that we provide the information
  • if someone is taken into care under mental health law

We may also share your personal information when we feel there's a good reason that's more important than protecting your privacy. This doesn't happen often, but we may share your information:

  • in order to find and stop crime and fraud; or if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals
  • to protect a child
  • to protect adults who are thought to be at risk; for example, if they are frail, confused or cannot understand what is happening to them

For all of these reasons the risk must be serious before we can override your right to privacy. 

If we're worried about your physical safety or feel we need to take action to protect you from being harmed in other ways, we'll discuss this with you and, if possible, get your permission to tell others about your situation before doing so. 

We may still share your information if we believe the risk to others is serious enough to do so.  

There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share information straight away.

If this is the case, we'll make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We'll let you know what we've done and why if we think it is safe to do so.

We'll do what we can to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we'll only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Examples of our security include:

  • Encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or what's called a 'cypher'. The hidden information is said to then be 'encrypted'.
  • Pseudonymisation, meaning that we'll use a different name so we can hide parts of your personal information from view. This means that someone outside of the council could work on your information for us without ever knowing it was yours.
  • Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it.
  • Training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong.
  • Regular testing of our technology and ways of working, including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches).

The majority of personal information is stored on systems in the UK. But there are some occasions where your information may leave the UK either in order to get to another organisation or if it's stored in a system outside of the EU. 

We have additional protections on your information if it leaves the UK ranging from secure ways of transferring data to ensuring we have a robust contract in place with that third party. 

We'll take all practical steps to make sure your personal information is not sent to a country that is not seen as 'safe', either by the UK or EU Governments.

If we need to send your information to an 'unsafe' location we'll always seek advice from the Information Commissioner first.

There's often a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time, we try to include all of these in our retention schedule.

For each service the schedule lists how long your information may be kept for. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records.

​The Council Advertising Network is responsible for delivering advertising on the Northamptonshire County Council website. Please take a moment to read their privacy policy which includes cookie information and details on how to opt out.

​Public Health

To deliver public health, local authorities need to use available health data sources to get relevant health and social care information. This data can contain person identifiable data (PID) which may identify patients such as name, address, age, sex, ethnicity, disease, use of hospital services, and/or NHS Number. Some data may not be obviously identifiable, however there may be the potential to deduce individuals' identities through combinations of information, either by the people handling the data or by those who see published results.

Northamptonshire County Council will have access to the following data:

  • Primary Care Mortality Database (PCMD) – The PCMD holds mortality data as provided at the time of registration of the death along with additional GP details, geographical indexing and coroner details where applicable.
  • Births and Vital Statistics datasets – Births files include date of birth, sex, birthweight, address, postcode, place of birth, stillbirth indicators and age of mother. Deaths data includes: deaths broken down by age, sex, area and cause of death sourced from the deaths register.
  • Hospital Episode Data (HES) – is a data warehouse containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England. This data is collected during a patient's time at hospital and is submitted to allow hospitals to be paid for the care they deliver. HES data is designed to enable secondary use, that is use for non-clinical purposes, of this administrative data.

Northamptonshire County Council's Public Health service will access health and related information to analyse the health needs and outcomes of the local population and for monitoring trends and patterns of diseases and the associated risk factors.

The County Council Public Health team is however committed to using pseudonymised or anonymised information as much as is practical, and in many cases this will be the default position. Pseudonymisation is a procedure by which the most identifying fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms. There can be a single pseudonym for a collection of replaced fields or a pseudonym per replaced field. The purpose is to render the data record less identifying and therefore lower customer or patient objections to its use.

Anonymisation is the process of removing identifying particulars or details from (something, especially medical test results) for statistical or other purposes.

All information accessed, processed and stored by public health staff will be used to measure the health, mortality or care needs of the population; for planning, evaluating and monitoring health; protecting and improving public health. It is used to carry out and support:

  • health needs assessments
  • health equity analysis
  • commissioning and delivery of services to promote health and prevent ill health
  • public health surveillance
  • identifying inequalities in the way people access services
  • joint strategic needs assessment
  • health protection and other partnership activities

Any information held by the council about individuals will be held securely and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Information will not be held for longer than required and will be disposed of securely.

The legal basis for the flow of data for the above purposes is set out in 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.

Where can I get advice?

If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact our Data Protection Officer at DPO@northamptonshire.gov.uk or by calling 01604 368 360.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) at:

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

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk

Cookies (not the edible ones) and how you use this website

To make this website easier to use, we sometimes place small text files on your device (for example your iPad or laptop) called cookies. Most big websites do this too.

They improve things by:

  • remembering the things you've chosen while on our website, so you don't have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page
  • remembering data you've given (for example, your address) so you don't need to keep entering it
  • measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs

By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. 

We don't use cookies on this website that collect information about what other websites you visit (often referred to as privacy intrusive cookies).

Our cookies aren't used to identify you personally. They're just here to make the site work better for you. You can manage and/or delete these files as you wish.

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit AboutCookies.org or watch a video about cookies.

How to use this website (something called Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it's meeting peoples' needs and to understand how we can make the website work better.  

Google Analytics stores information about what pages on this site you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on while you are here. 

We do not collect or store any other personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this data cannot be used to identify who you are.

​Name ​Typical content ​Expires
​_utma ​randomly generated number ​2 years
​_utmb ​randomly generated number ​30 minutes
​_utmc ​randomly generated number ​when you close your browser
​_utmx ​randomly generated number ​2 years
​_utmxx ​randomly generated number ​2 years
​_utmz ​randomly generated number and data on how the site was reached (e.g. direct or via a link, organic search or paid search)

We also collect data on the number of times a word is searched for and the number of failed searches. We use this information to improve access to the site and identify gaps in the content and see if it is something we should add to the site.

Unless the law allows us to, we do not:

  • share any of the data we collect about you with others
  • use this data to identify individuals

Other people's cookies

We use videos from YouTube and feeds from other websites such as Facebook and Twitter. These websites place cookies on your device when watching or viewing these pages.

Below are links to their cookie policies:

Turning off cookies

You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

There is more information about how to delete or stop using cookies on AboutCookies.org. You can also opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics.

Further guidance on the use of personal information can be found at ico.org.uk.