You are here:

Terms and conditions

Your privacy on NHS Choices

The Department of Health is the Data Controller for this website under the Data Protection Act 1998. We will process your data in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The purpose of the privacy policy is to inform you as a user of the site about what information we collect when you visit the site, how we use the information, whether the information is disclosed and the ways in which we protect users' privacy.

We want you to feel secure when visiting the site. We are committed to respecting your privacy. Below we give an overview of how we do that.

 

Information we collect when you visit NHS Choices

We collect information indirectly and directly.

When you access www.nhs.uk, we use technology to collect information indirectly, such as your internet address, which is then kept in our internet access logs.

We collect information directly from you in a number of ways. One way is by using cookies. Cookies are small files of information that save and retrieve information about your visit to our site, such as how you entered our site, how you navigated through the site and what information was of interest to you. In addition to this, if you customise the homepage, we will store the information you give us in a cookie.

The cookies we use identify you merely as a number. (If you are uncomfortable about the use of cookies, you can disable cookies on your computer by changing the settings in the preferences or options menu in your internet browser.)

We also collect information when you give it to us. For example, you may register to use the message-posting facility called 'Patient feedback'. When we collect this type of information, we will notify you as to why we are asking for information and how this information will be used. It is completely up to you whether you provide it.

The social media bookmarking sites that NHS Choices links to are third-party sites and NHS Choices does not have any control over the way that these sites use your information.

If you choose to access these sites using the links provided, the operators of these sites may collect information from you that may be used by them in accordance with their privacy policy, which may differ from ours.

You should read their respective privacy policies carefully to find out what happens to any information that is collected by these services when you use them.

Videos from NHS Choices, whether viewed on www.nhs.uk or embedded in third-party sites, are supplied (streamed) to users by a third-party company, Brightcove. A product called TubeMogul is used by Brightcove to compile statistics for NHS Choices; it uses an anonymous tracking cookie and stores no personal data. For more information see the Brightcove privacy policy and the TubeMogul privacy policy.

Use of NHS Choices tools on third-party sites will be tracked. No personal data is collected by the tools. Information gathered by NHS Choices includes the user’s IP address, the web page a tool is accessed from, and how many times it is accessed. In some cases, tracking is used to show user journeys through a tool. This information is the sole property of NHS Choices and will not be shared with third parties. All NHS Choices tools store the number of times a user has visited the tool. Some tools also store ‘state’ information so that when a user returns to a tool it is in the ‘state’ they left it in. 

How do we use this information?

We analyse it to see what is most effective about our site, to help us identify ways to improve it, and to make it more effective. We may also use data for other purposes, which we would describe to you at the point we collect the information.

 

Will we disclose your information to or share it with other organisations?

As a government department, we do not share data with other organisations unless the law permits us to do so. We do not sell individual information. We will share it only with our authorised Data Processors, who must act at all times on our instructions as the Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. Before you submit any information, we will notify you as to why we are asking for specific information and it is up to you whether you provide it.

We may give you access to your information

You are entitled to know whether we hold information about you and, if we do, to have access to that information and require it to be corrected if it is inaccurate.

You can do this by contacting the Data Protection Officer, Department of Health, Skipton House, 80 London Road, London SE1 6LH.

 

Your data is kept under secure conditions

We take appropriate steps to maintain the security of your data on our website. The open nature of the internet means that data may flow over networks without security measures and may be accessed and used by people other than those for whom the data is intended. Our intention is that this should not happen and we take measures to ensure that it does not.

 

Last reviewed: 27/04/2011

Next review due: 27/04/2013