Privacy Notice – Hospital Episode Statistics

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Privacy Notice

Hospital Episode Statistics (Pseudonymised)

This notice provides details of how Devon County Council collects and uses information about episodes of hospital care. For more general information about how Devon County Council uses your information, please refer to the Online Privacy section of the Devon County Council website.

What is this information?

Information about hospital activity is supplied to local authorities by NHS Digital and contains data collected when someone is admitted to a hospital bed, attends as an outpatient, or attends an urgent care centre. Devon County Council has a Data Access Agreement with NHS Digital and data are supplied in accordance with section 261 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002. Data supplied are pseudonymised, a process by which information within a data record that may identify an individual are replaced by artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms which means that individuals are no longer identifiable. Information held includes age, method of admission, source of admission, diagnosis codes, procedure and investigation codes, area of residence, hospital attended, date of attendance, and GP practice of patient. More information on this dataset can be found here:

Who uses this information?

The Public Health Intelligence Team in Devon County Council

What do we do with this information?

This information is used for the purposes of statistical analysis, the monitoring of population health in the county, and to inform the planning and commissioning (buying) of health services.

This information is used to monitor the local responsiveness, targeting and value for money of services, to provide public health advice and support to local NHS commissioners, and to monitor trends in the incidence and prevalence of disease and risks to public health, demand for and access to health care services, variations in health outcomes between groups, the integration of local health and care services and the association between causal risk factors and health outcomes. It is used to inform the planning and targeting of health, care and public health services. Analyses produced are used within the Annual Public Health Report, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (which in turn informs the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and local commissioning plans), the pharmaceutical needs assessment, health needs assessments and the local disaggregation of national performance measures in the health and wellbeing outcomes report and the public health outcomes report.

No person-identifiable information is published, and numbers and rates in published reports based on counts fewer than five are removed to further protect confidentiality and anonymity.

Why do we use this information?

This information is used to ensure that health, social care and public health services address local health needs and are focused on reducing health inequalities (differences in levels of ill health and premature deaths between groups and areas).

Who do we intend to share this information with?

This dataset will not be disclosed to anyone other than those stated above without permission, unless we have a legal reason to do so, for example disclosure is necessary to protect a person from suffering significant harm or necessary for crime prevention or detection purposes.

How do we keep this information secure?

Information is held in a secure database which is only accessible to analytical staff within the Devon Public Health Intelligence Team. The database is on a secure internal network protected by AES 256 encryption and can only be accessed within this network.

Data will be held be for deaths registered from 1996 onwards consistent with the data access agreement between NHS Digital, the Office for National Statistics and Devon County Council.

What are your rights?

You have the right to request Devon County Council to stop processing your personal data in relation to any council service. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering a service to you. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request but we may need to hold or process information in connection with one or more of the Council’s legal functions.

You have the right to opt-out of the Devon County Council 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 is and what programme it relates to. If you have any questions about our use of these data, wish to request a copy of the information we hold about you, or if you wish to discuss your rights in relation to opting-out from these processes, please contact the Public Health team by telephone on 01392 386371, by email at or by post at Public Health Intelligence Team, Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD. More information about how the Council will protect your privacy is available from our website at

If you have concerns about the use of your personal data, the Information Commissioners Office is an independent body set up to uphold information rights in the UK.  They can be contacted through their website:, through their helpline (0303 123 1113) and in writing at their head office: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF