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What we do

Public Health Dorset is a partnership of Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset councils working together, with day to day support for things like HR through Dorset County Council. As part of national changes to how the NHS works we moved from the NHS to join the local authority in April 2013. We still work very closely with the NHS.

We are here to improve and protect the health of the whole population in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. We do this in a number of different ways. We:

  • Work with other people in the local authorities, the NHS, and other organisations to make changes that will improve and protect the health of the population as a whole, for example to reduce social or environmental risks to health
  • Use a range of information from different places to understand the health issues for the local population as a whole and for different groups within the local population
  • Pay for public health services that are delivered to local people, for example services that help support people to have a more healthy lifestyle, sexual health treatment services, and drug and alcohol treatment services.

What information we use and why

To do our job we need information about people’s health and wellbeing. This comes from lots of different places. Some is data we collect ourselves, some is data collected through the services that we pay for, and some data comes from our partners in other parts of the local authorities, the NHS, and other national bodies. For example data from all these sources can help us to understand patterns of heart disease and what we can do locally to stop people developing heart disease, and improve care for those with heart disease, as shown in the DPH report.

In bringing together this information we have one aim – to protect and improve the health of people in Dorset.

The kinds of information we use

Much of the information we use is in aggregate form, in other words, it is made up of statistics that relate to groups of people rather than to individuals.  For example, we use aggregate data to produce the statistics help the public sector locally to identify local priorities to improve and protect the communities we serve.

We also use data that relates to individuals. When we do this it is often because we need to link different sources of information together. For example, we might link data about how many medical problems a person has with hospital admissions and social care data to better understand the impacts this has nad enable future plannning of services. When we do need to use data relating to individuals we try to remove as much of the detail as possible that could identify an individual. For example, we replace date of birth with age in years and addresses with codes that cover larger geographical areas.

Sometimes we will need to use personal information, and where we do so we will make it clear when we collect personal information why we need this and what we intend to do with it.

How we protect the information we use

We take our legal and professional obligations to protect the confidentiality of personal information very seriously.

As well as limiting the amount of personal information we hold, we make sure that our staff can only see information that is essential to their job. Some of the personal information we use is held on paper and some is held on computers. In both cases, we have processes to securely protect these records and to permanently delete any information that we no longer need to hold.

Who we share information with

Much of the information we produce is in the form of anonymous statistics published through our website and in reports and papers to the Joint Public Health Board, the two Health and Wellbeing Boards and other partners.

We never publish information that could be used to directly identify an individual. We only share information about individuals when the direct consent of patients has been obtained or when there is a clear basis in the law for that information to be shared.

Information collected through our website

When someone visits our website they do not need to give us any personal information. We do use a third party service to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We use this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site to help us in developing and improving our site.  This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow this service to make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

In some parts of the website we may give you the option to provide views or comments, or to sign up for particular features of the website. Where this happens we may ask for contact details and personal information so that we can act on your comments or requests accordingly.  We may contact you if we need to understand more about your comment or request using the contact details you provide.

If we do want to use personal information collected on the website in any other way we will make this clear as we collect it so that you can choose whether to give us this information or not.
We may process this information so that it does not identify anyone, and then use it to help us and people we work with to plan how we develop and improve what we all do.

How we use cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. Any cookies we use do not contain any record of the information you enter, of any other personal information.

A cookie cannot read data off your hard disk, read cookie files created by other websites or damage your system.

For more on how we use cookies view our Cookie Policy.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within our website linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Further queries

This privacy notice was written to be clear and concise. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of Public Health Dorset’s collection and use of information, including personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.

You may also ask to find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998 using the contact details below.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 2 July 2015.

Head of Public Health Intelligence
Public Health Dorset
First Floor Princes House, Princes Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1TP
01305 225872