Privacy Policy

Essex Sexual Health Service understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your information is used and shared online.  We respect and value the privacy of everyone who visits Our Site and will only collect and use information in ways that are useful to you and in a manner consistent with your rights and Our obligations under the law.

This Policy applies to Our use of any and all data collected by us in relation to your use of Our Site. Please read this Privacy Policy carefully and ensure that you understand it.

Your acceptance of Our Privacy Policy is deemed to occur upon your first use of Our SiteIf you do not accept and agree with this Privacy Policy, you must stop using Our Site immediately.

Who are we?

Provide CIC as lead provider is responsible for the delivery of the Essex Sexual Health Service (ESHS) across Essex. Provide is working with a
number of organisations with extensive experience of innovative sexual health delivery, geographical insight and specialist knowledge to ensure that all aspects of a focussed, specialist and general service delivery are
available, accessible, safe, efficient, and responsive.

Provide is a Community Interest Company (social enterprise). We deliver a broad range of health and social care services in the community and are committed to making sure that they are safe, responsive, and of high quality.

The ESHS is commissioned by Essex County Council

Why we keep personal information about you

We aim to provide you with the highest quality
care. To do this, we must keep records about you and the care we provide for you.

Our staff are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your privacy. We aim to maintain high standards, adopt best practice for our record keeping, and regularly check and report on how we are doing. Your information is never collected for direct marketing purposes and is not sold on to any other third parties. Your information is not processed overseas.

Information is held for specified periods of time as set out in the Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care.

How do we collect information about you?

When you contact us for the first time (by
phone to our intelligence centre, our website,
or visiting one of our clinic locations), you will
be asked to provide us with some information
including your name, some contact details and
some information about your sexual history.

If you visit us again you will be asked to check
that the details we hold about you are accurate
and up to date, including your contact details.
Please inform us if any of the information we
hold about you is incorrect.

What information do we keep about you?
  • The information we hold may include:
    Basic details, such as your name, address
    and next of kin.
  • Contacts we have had with you, such as
    clinic visits.
  • Notes and reports about your health and any treatment or care you needed.
  • Details about your treatment and care.
  • Results of laboratory tests and home tests requested through the service.
  • Assessment records based on medical and sexual history
How do we hold your information?

We keep electronic medical records which are
accessible to those involved in your care or
administration in the sexual health teams across Essex, including Thurrock. This is to support your individual care and treatment. We will only share information about you with your GP or other professionals outside of these services if you agree to this. Even if you are under 18 we will keep your medical records confidential unless there is a legal reason to do so (see ’How do we use your information?’ below)

How do we use your information?

Information collected about you to deliver yourhealth care is also used to assist with:

  • Making sure your care is of a high standard.
  • Assessing your condition against a set of risk criteria to ensure you are receiving the best possible care.
  • Reporting and investigation of complaints, claims and untoward incidents.
  • Reporting events to the appropriate authorities when we are required to do so
    by law.

The legal basis for the processing of data for
these purposes is that as a provider of NHS care we have a public duty to care for its patients, as guided by the Department of Health and Data Protection law which says it is appropriate to do so for health and social care treatment of patients, and the management of health or social care systems and services.

Anonymised information may also be used to
help us:

  • Obtain payment for the care we provide.
  • Make sure our services meet patient needs in the future.
  • Review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard.
  • Teach and train healthcare professionals.
  • Prepare statistics on our performance

There may also be situations where we are under a duty to share your information, due to a legal requirement. This includes, but is not limited to, disclosure under a court order, sharing with the Care Quality Commission for inspection purposes, the police for the prevention or detection of crime, or where there is an overriding public interest to
prevent abuse or serious harm to others

Who can see you information?

The following organisations are involved
in delivering each of the services. Each organisation delivering the service is registered
with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to process personal and special categories of information under the Data Protection Act.

  • Provide CIC.
  • Essex Partnership University NHS
    Foundation Trust.
  • East Suffolk and North Essex NHS
    Foundation Trust.
  • Community Pharmacy Essex (CPE)

This means that, depending on where you are
seen, your information will be accessed by those involved in your care or administration in these organisations in order to deliver your individual care. Your information will only be accessed by those who have a legitimate need to know and who are involved in your care. We will only share your information with your GP or other health professionals outside of these services where you give us permission to, unless we have a legal duty to as described above.

Use of third party companies

To enable effective running of the sexual health services, we may share your information with external companies to process your data on our behalf, in order to support your individual care. The services may share your information
with the following third parties. Where required we share the minimum information required in order for them to fulfil their obligation.

SH:24 provides our online, confidential, triage and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing system accessible 24 hours a day. This quick, discreet and completely confidential service makes it easier for people to get tested for the four most common STIs. SH:24 provide our “Test at Home” service.

Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)THT are contracted to provide dedicated outreach and support to high-risk
communities, where key issues are HIV testing, late diagnosis, and risk.

The Doctors Laboratory
Provide pathology services when you request a home test through our website. This
means they undertake specific tests and examinations on clinical samples sent to
them. Their clinical laboratory helps in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of
diseases and medical conditions.

SXT Health CIC
Our services have signed up to the Interactive Digital Contact Slip provided by SXT Health CIC to allow any patients diagnosed with an STI to securely and anonymously inform any partners through a secure online system. Patients may inform partners themselves (patient referral) or supply details for a healthcare worker to notify the partner without disclosing their identity (provider referral).
We will never do this on your behalf unless directed to do so by you. The services do not share any information to SXT Health CIC that can identify you nor identify you to any partners that you inform.

We make sure that any third party your information is shared with complies with the same high levels of data security and maintain strict confidentiality through the use of contractual clauses and / or through Information Sharing Agreements.

Your Rights

Data protection laws give individuals rights in respect of the personal information that we hold about you. These are:

  1. To ask for access to your information (see
    Your Information page on our website).
  2. To ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete (see Your Information page on our website).
  3. To ask for your information to be deleted or erased. Please note that this does not apply to your health or care record, or where we process information for public health or scientific research purposes.
  4. To ask us to restrict the use of your
    information in some circumstances.
  5. To request your personal information to be transferred to other providers on certain occasions.
  6. To object to the use of your personal
    information. In certain circumstances you may also have the right to ‘object’ to the processing (ie sharing) of your information where the sharing would be for a purpose beyond your care and treatment (see ’How do we use your

Should you have any further queries on the
uses of your information, please speak to your
health professional, our Customer Services
Team, or our Data Protection Officer –

Should you wish to lodge a complaint
about the use of your information, please
contact our Customer Service Team –

If you are still unhappy with the outcome of your enquiry you can write to:
The Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, or telephone: 01625 545700.

Organisations delivering service and ICO Notification No. 

Provide CIC – Z2604172
Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust – ZA24281
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust – Z6601302
The Healthy Living Partnership – ZA421932