The purpose of this document is to provide a concise policy statement regarding the Data Protection obligations of the Irish Congenital Heart Centre (ICHC). ICHC is committed to protecting all patients’ data.
ICHC must comply with the Data Protection principles set out in the relevant legislation. This Policy applies to all Personal Data collected, processed and stored by ICHC in relation to its staff, service providers and clients in the course of its activities. ICHC makes no distinction between the data of both patients and employees. They are both treated with rights and respect. All are treated equally under this Policy.
The policy covers both personal and clinical data held in relation to data subjects by ICHC. The policy applies equally to personal data held in manual and automated form. All Personal and Sensitive Personal Data will be treated with equal care by ICHC. Both categories will be equally referred-to as Personal Data in this policy, unless specifically stated otherwise.
ICHC as a Data Controller
In the course of its daily organisational activities, ICHC acquires, processes and stores personal data in relation to:
- Employees of ICHC
- Patients of ICHC
- Third party service providers engaged by ICHC and who are directly involved in patients care delivery
In accordance with GDPR (2018) legislation, this data must be acquired and managed fairly. ICHC is committed to ensuring that their staff have sufficient awareness of the legislation in order to be able to anticipate and identify a Data Protection issue, should one arise. In such circumstances, staff must ensure that the Data Protection Officer is informed, and in order that appropriate corrective action is taken.
Due to the nature of the services provided by ICHC there is regular and active exchange of personal data between ICHC and its Data Subjects. In addition, ICHC exchanges personal data with Data Processors on the Data Subjects’ behalf.
This is consistent with ICHC’s obligations under the terms of its consent with the Data Subjects.
This policy provides the guidelines for this exchange of information, as well as the procedure to follow in the event that ICHC staff member is unsure whether such data can be disclosed.
In general terms, the staff member should consult with the Data Protection Officer to seek clarification.
The Data Protection Principles
The following key principles are enshrined in the legislation and are fundamental to ICHC’s Data Protection policy.
In its capacity as Data Controller, ICHC ensures that all data shall:
1… be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully.
For data to be obtained fairly, the data subject will, at the time the data are being collected, be made aware of:
- The identity of the Data Controller (ICHC)
- The purpose(s) for which the data is being collected
- The person(s) to whom the data may be disclosed by the Data Controller
- Any other information that is necessary so that the processing may be fair
- ICHC will meet this obligation in the following way
Where possible, the informed consent of the Data Subject will be sought before their data is processed:
- Where it is not possible to seek consent, ICHC will ensure that collection of the data is justified under one of the other lawful processing conditions – legal obligation, contractual necessity, etc.;
- Processing of the personal data will be carried out only as part of ICHC’s lawful activities, and ICHC will safeguard the rights and freedoms of the Data Subject;
- The Data Subject’s data will not be disclosed to a third party other than to a member of the medical team involved in their care delivery.
2… be obtained only for one or more specified, legitimate purposes.
ICHC will obtain data for purposes which are specific, lawful and clearly stated. A Data Subject will have the right to question the purpose(s) for which ICHC holds their data, and ICHC will be able to clearly state that purpose or purposes.
3… not be further processed in a manner incompatible with the specified purpose(s).
Any use of the data by ICHC will be compatible with the purposes for which the data was acquired.
4… be kept safe and secure.
ICHC will employ high standards of security in order to protect the personal data under its care. Appropriate security measures will be taken to protect against unauthorised access to, or alteration, destruction or disclosure of any personal data held by ICHC in its capacity as Data Controller.
Access to and management of staff and patient records is limited to those staff members who have appropriate authorisation and password access.
5… be kept accurate, complete and up to date where necessary.
- ensure that administrative and IT validation processes are in place to conduct regular assessments of data accuracy;
- conduct periodic reviews and audits to ensure that relevant data is kept accurate and up to date., ICHC conducts a review of sample data every six months to ensure accuracy; Staff contact details and details on next-of-kin are reviewed and updated every two years.
- conduct regular assessments in order to establish the need to keep certain Personal Data.
6… be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose(s) for which the data were collected and processed.
ICHC will ensure that the data it processes in relation to Data Subjects are relevant to the purposes for which those data are collected. Data which are not relevant to such processing will not be acquired or maintained.
7… not be kept for longer than is necessary to satisfy the specified purpose(s).
ICHC has identified an extensive matrix of data categories, with reference to the appropriate data retention period for each category. The matrix applies to data in both a manual and automated format.
Once the respective retention period has elapsed, ICHC undertakes to destroy, erase or otherwise put this data beyond use.
8… be managed and stored in such a manner that, in the event a Data Subject submits a valid Subject Access Request seeking a copy of their Personal Data, this data can be readily retrieved and provided to them.
ICHC has implemented a Subject Access Request procedure by which to manage such requests in an efficient and timely manner, within the timelines stipulated in the legislation.
Data Subject Access Requests
As part of the day-to-day operation of the organisation, ICHC’s staff engages in active and regular exchanges of information with Data Subjects. Where a formal request is submitted by a Data Subject in relation to the data held by ICHC, such a request gives rise to access rights in favour of the Data Subject.
There are specific timelines within which ICHC must respond to the Data Subject, depending on the nature and extent of the request. These are outlined in the attached Subject Access Request process document.
ICHC’s staff will ensure that, where necessary, such requests are forwarded to the Data Protection Officer in a timely manner, and they are processed as quickly and efficiently as possible, but within not more than 30 days from receipt of the request.
As a Data Controller, ICHC ensures that any entity which processes Personal Data on its behalf (a Data Processor) does so in a manner compliant with the Data Protection legislation.
Failure of a Data Processor to manage ICHC’s data in a compliant manner will be viewed as a breach of contract and will be pursued through the courts.
Failure of staff to process Personal Data in compliance with this policy may result in disciplinary proceedings.
Data Protection Officer
Send any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
For the avoidance of doubt, and for consistency in terminology, the following definitions will apply within this Policy.
|Data||This includes both automated and manual data. Automated data means data held on computer or stored with the intention that it is processed on computer. Manual data means data that is processed as part of a relevant filing system, or which is stored with the intention that it forms part of a relevant filing system.|
|Personal Data||Information which relates to a living individual, who can be identified either directly from that data, or indirectly in conjunction with other data which is likely to come into the legitimate possession of the Data Controller. (If in doubt, [The Company] refers to the definition issued by the Article 29 Working Party and updated from time to time.)|
|Sensitive Personal Data||A particular category of Personal data, relating to: Racial or Ethnic Origin, Political Opinions, Religious, Ideological or Philosophical beliefs, Trade Union membership, Information relating to mental or physical health, information in relation to one’s Sexual Orientation, information in relation to commission of a crime and information relating to conviction for a criminal offence.|
|Data Contoller||A person or entity who, either alone or with others, controls the content and use of Personal Data by determining the purposes and means by which that Personal Data is processed.|
|Data Subject||A living individual who is the subject of the Personal Data, i.e. to whom the data relates either directly or indirectly.|
|Data Processor||A person or entity who processes Personal Data on behalf of a Data Controller on the basis of a formal, written contract, but who is not an employee of the Data Controller, processing such Data in the course of his/her employment.|
|Data Protection Officer||A person appointed by ICHC to monitor compliance with the appropriate Data Protection legislation, to deal with Subject Access Requests, and to respond to Data Protection queries from staff members and service recipients|
|Relevant Filing System||Any set of information in relation to living individuals which is not processed by means of equipment operating automatically (computers), and that is structured, either by reference to individuals, or by reference to criteria relating to individuals, in such a manner that specific information relating to an individual is readily retrievable.|