This notice provides details of how Devon County Council collects and uses information about births.
What is this information?
Personal information about births in the county of Devon is supplied to local authorities by NHS Digital and contains data provided at the time of registration of birth along with additional geographic information. Devon County Council has a Data Access Agreement with NHS Digital and data are supplied in accordance with 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. Information held includes date of birth, sex of child, birth weight, a birth in marriage indicator, country of birth of parents, occupation and socio-economic status of parents, address and postcode of mother, place of birth, a still birth indicator and age of mother.
Who is collecting and using your personal data?
Devon County Council will act as a “data controller” for any personal data that you provide to us. As such, we will ensure that the data give us is processed in line with our organisation’s Data Protection Policies and in line with your rights under the Data Protection Act 2017 and the EU General Data Protection Regulations.
Should you wish to find out more about Devon County Council’s Data Protection Policies please contact our Data Protection Officer.
Please note that failure to provide your personal data may affect the ability of the Council to offer support services to you and your child.
Why are we collecting your personal data?
Devon County Council has a statutory duty under the Health Protection Regulations 2010 to monitor public health needs and to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases. To carry out this function it may be necessary for the Council to process personal data provided to us during the process of registering a birth.
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 health status in relation to birth rates, low birth weights and still birth between groups and areas). We also use information from this dataset for work on planning fertility and maternity services.
What do we do with this information?
This information is used for the purposes of statistical analysis, the monitoring of population health and demographic change in the county, and to inform the planning and commissioning (buying) of health services.
This information is used specifically to identify patterns and trends in birth rates, low birth weight and still births, highlighting differences between geographic areas, age, sex and other characteristics. It is also used to identify differences between areas and inform the planning and targeting of health, care and public health services. This information is used in the Annual Public Health Report, Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (which in turn informs the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and local commissioning plans), and health needs assessments. Other uses include the monthly monitoring of trends in birth rates, analysis of the distribution and relationship between place of residence and place of birth, the monitoring of still birth rates, health and wellbeing and public health outcomes reports, community profiles, and population projections.
The term person identifiable data relates to any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. The following fields in the Birth Record are classified as person identifiable: address, place of birth, postcode of usual residence of mother / postcode of place of birth of child, NHS number of child, date of birth of child. These identifiable data are processed by Devon County Council for specific purposes including determining catchment areas, distances and drive times for providers of fertility and maternity services, and to monitor trends in monthly births to identify patterns in birth rate across the year. For other purposes, a pseudonymised version of the dataset is used. Pseudonymisation is a process through which identifiable fields within a data record are replaced by artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms which means that individuals are no longer identifiable.
No personal-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.
Who we will share your personal data with
Devon County Council will not share personal data provided during the course of registering a birth with anyone outside of the Council without a lawful reason for doing so.
How long will we hold your personal data?
Devon County Council will retain your personal data for only as long as is necessary, and in line with our organisation’s record retention schedules.
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 births from 1993 onwards consistent with the data access agreement between NHS Digital, the Office for National Statistics and Devon County Council.
Exercising your rights
Under the Data Protection Act 2017 and the EU General Data Protection Regulations you have the following rights;
- The right of access to your own personal data
- The right to request rectification or deletion of your personal data
- The right to object to the processing of your personal data
- The right to request a copy of the information you provide us in machine readable format
- The right to withdraw your consent to any processing that is solely reliant upon your consent
Should you wish to exercise any of your rights, you should contact the Data Protection Officer.
Your right to complain
In the event that you wish to complain about the way that your personal data has been handled by Devon County Council, you should write to the Data Protection Officer and clearly outline your case. Your complaint will then be investigated in accordance with the Council’s Customer Feedback Procedure. If you remain dissatisfied with the way your personal data has been handled, you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office whose contact details are below.
Information Commissioner’s Office