Changes to the Data Protection Act are coming

NHS computer

A new data protection law to protect and strengthen people’s privacy will be coming out next year.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be introduced in the UK from May next year.

The aim is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world; a world vastly different from when the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA) was established.

The GDPR will replace the DPA on 25th May next year, and whilst it’s similar to the DPA, there are a number of changes that have been made to strengthen people’s privacy.

The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the start of the GDPR. Therefore we need to start preparing to be compliant as soon as possible.

As a public organisation we process personal data on a daily basis. Personal data is any information related to a natural person or ‘data subject’ that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, an address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information on an ePCR or paper PCR, or a computer IP address.

The Trust will need to demonstrate that it is processing and sharing personal information lawfully. This may include changing some of our working practices to prove that:

  • we have obtained parental consent and consent legally
  • the person had been given the choice to withdraw consent
  • the person has the choice to opt in or out of their personal information being retained by the Trust.

In the next few months a regular GDPR article will be published on Need to Know, to keep you informed of any changes. The first of these articles will be about the changes to obtaining consent, not just from a clinical perspective but from a business one. So keep your eyes peeled on Need to Know.

Published 26th June, 2017

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