Sensory service privacy notice

Essex Cares Limited (ECL) is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. This Privacy Notice explains how we use information about you when you use or access our services.

Who we are

ECL is the trading name of Essex Cares Limited, Registered in England and Wales (Company Number 06723149) with a registered office at Seax House, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH.

We are registered with the information Commissioners Office in the UK with reference number Z1801658.

We have a Data Protection Officer role, (fulfilled by our Information Governance Lead) they ensure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer, on the details provided in the further advice and guidance section below.

Personal information

The legal definition of personal data (information) is – ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier’.

There are different categories of personal information.

Personal Information: This this will include information such as your name, national insurance number, contact details.

Sensitive Personal Information: This will include information such as ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, criminal information or information concerning your health and social care.

What information does ECL hold about me?

We only collect and use the minimum personal information required to deliver your service. The services may use some or all of the personal information below:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Contact Details
  • Address
  • Next of Kin information
  • Financial Information (private customers who pay ECL directly)
  • Health conditions including diagnosis from professionals involved in your care
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Other persons/professionals involved in your care
  • Religious beliefs
  • Photos as part of your care record or where you have provided consent
  • Ongoing care and support records such as assessments of needs, risk assessments and support plans

How did ECL get my information?

Initially this information is provided to us by a referral received from the Local Authority, this is then used to create a file for our records about our interactions with you whilst you are receiving a service from ECL.

If you are a private paying customer than this information will have been provided to us by either yourself or someone who is able to provide the information on behalf of yourself.

How does ECL use my information?

We use your information to enable us to deliver your service in our day centers and to provide help with your care needs and to keep you safe (Safeguards and referrals to other professionals etc.).

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

When we collect your personal data, we rely on the following legal bases:

  • processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract

When we collect your ‘special categories of personal data’, (such as health, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) we rely on the following legal bases:

  • processing is necessary for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services

Who does ECL share my information with?

We may share your personal information with the Local Authority as part of our contract with them and to share outcomes with yourself or your representative during your service time with us.

We may also share your information with other organisations who provide support with sensory assessments, as part of our contract with Essex County Council.

We may also share your data with other charities or organisations such as the fire service where you have provided us with your consent to contact them on your behalf.

Sometimes, for the interests of your health, we may share information related to your direct care to external agencies and health care professionals, or to keep you safe in the form of a safeguard referral.

Does ECL use anyone else to process my information?

We use a range of systems to either store personal information or help deliver our services to you. Where we have these arrangements there is always an agreement in in place to make sure that the organisation complies with data protection law. Before entering a new contract or before we change the way we use and share information we will complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to ensure we protect your privacy and comply with the law.

Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide personal information to other organisations, we are required to provide personal information about the people who use the service and the staff who work in the service.

We will never share or sell your information to anyone outside the ECL Group of companies for their own use.

We may also use data processors to support activities, for example by providing the systems we need or delivering services on our behalf.

The Access Group: Provider of our electronic record systems.

Freedom (

Smartgate Solutions trading as Radar Healthcare: Provider of our regulatory compliance system

Who is the Data Controller for my information?

If you have been referred to ECL from the Local Authority, the Local Authority and ECL are joint data controllers of your information.

If you procure services directly from ECL then ECL is the Data Controller.

Will my personal information be accessible outside the UK?

None of your personal information is routinely sent or stored outside the UK. Should the transfer of personal information outside of the UK become necessary, it will only take place if permitted by law, and then only where there are appropriate safeguards in place to protect the personal information.

How long does ECL keep my information for?

We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary.

To look at how long we keep information, you are able to view our retention schedule. How long we keep information for varies from months to several years dependant on the record type.

Protecting your personal information

We are committed to ensuring that your personal data is secure, whether it is a paper record or held electronically. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place appropriate technical, physical and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect from you.

We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Examples of how we keep our information secure include:

  • Encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or what’s called a ‘cypher’. The hidden information is said to then be ‘encrypted’.
  • Pseudonymisation, this is where we use a different name so we can hide parts of your personal information from view.
  • Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it.
  • Annual training for all our staff to ensure they are aware how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong.
  • Regular testing of our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches).

Most our information is stored systems in the UK. There are some occasions where your information may leave the UK either in order to get to another organisation or if it’s stored in a system outside of the EU. We have additional protections on your information if it leaves the UK ranging from secure ways of transferring data to ensuring we have a robust contract in place with that third party.

Your rights

The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. To learn more about these rights please see the ICO website.

You can ask for access to the information we hold on you

We would normally expect to share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with services.

However, you also have the right to ask for the information we have about you and the services you receive from us. When we receive a request from, we must give you access to everything you have requested. This would apply to all personal information that is in paper or electronic records held by us.

In some cases, we will be unable to provide you with information in your records which, as there are certain exemptions which apply. This may be because the record;

  • Contains confidential information about other people
  • Information that a professional thinks will cause serious harm to you or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing.
  • If we think that giving you the information may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime.
  • We hold and use, but we are processing on behalf of another company or organisation where they are responsible.

Where we have applied an exemption, we will ensure you are informed of this.

You can request to have inaccurate information updated

You can ask us to change information you think is inaccurate. We may not always be able to change or remove that information but we’ll correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record to show that you disagree with it.

You can ask to erase information (right to be forgotten)

In some circumstances you can ask for your personal information to be deleted, for example:

  • Where your personal information is no longer needed for the reason why it was collected in the first place.
  • Where you have removed your consent for us to use your information, and there is no other legal reason us to use it.
  • Where there is no legal reason for the use of your information.
  • Where deleting the information is a legal requirement.

Where your personal information has been shared with others, we will do what we can to make sure those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure.

Please note that sometimes we cannot delete your information such as where:

  • We are required to have it by law.
  • It is used for public health purposes.
  • It is necessary for legal claims.

Restrict the use of your information

You can ask to limit what we use your personal data for. You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for where:

  • You have identified inaccurate information and have told us of it.
  • Where we have no legal reason to use that information, but you want us to restrict what we use it for rather than erase the information altogether.

When information is restricted, it can’t be used other than to securely store the data and with your consent to handle legal claims and protect others, or where it’s for important public interests of the UK.

Where restriction of use has been granted, we’ll inform you before we carry on using your personal information.

You have the right to ask us to stop using your personal information. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering that service.

Where possible we’ll seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or use information because we are required to by law.

Other Rights

You can ask to have any computer made decisions explained to you, and details of how we may have ‘risk profiled’ you.

You have the right to question decisions made about you by a computer, unless it’s required for any contract you have entered into, required by law, or you’ve consented to it.

You also have the right to object if you are being ‘profiled’. Profiling is where decisions are made about you based on certain things in your personal information, e.g. your health conditions.

If ECL uses your personal information to profile you, in order to deliver the most appropriate service to you, you will be informed.

Policy statement


The Data Protection Act 2018 requires us Essex Cares Limited (ECL) as a Data Controller to have an appropriate policy document in place relating to the processing of special category personal information and information about criminal offenses.

Personal data is any information by which a living individual can be identified. Individual identification can be by information alone or in conjunction with other information. Certain categories of personal data have additional legal protections when being processed. These categories are referred to in the legislation as “special category data” and are data concerning:

  • Health.
  • Racial or ethnic origin.
  • Political opinions.
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs.
  • Trade union membership.
  • Genetic data.
  • Biometric data.
  • Sex life or sexual orientation.

The processing of criminal offence data also has additional legal safeguards. Criminal offence data includes information about criminal allegations, criminal offences, criminal proceedings and criminal convictions.

The principles

The below information sets out our procedures for ensuring our compliance with the principles as detailed in Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Principle 1: Personal data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject.

We will:

  • ensure that personal data is only processed where a lawful basis applies, and where processing is otherwise lawful.
  • only process personal data fairly, and will ensure that data subjects are not misled about the purposes of any processing.
  • ensure that data subjects receive full privacy information so that any processing of personal data is transparent.

Principle 2: Personal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.

We will:

  • only collect personal data for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes, and we will inform data subjects what those purposes are in a privacy notice.
  • not use personal data for purposes that are incompatible with the purposes for which it was collected. If we do use personal data for a new purpose that is compatible, we will inform the data subject first.

Principle 3: Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.

We will:

  • only collect the minimum personal data that we need for the purpose for which it is collected.
  • ensure that the data we collect is adequate and relevant.

Principle 4: Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.

We will:

  • ensure that personal data is accurate, and kept up to date where necessary.
  • take particular care to do this where our use of the personal data has a significant impact on individuals.

Principle 5: Personal data shall be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.

We will:

  • only keep personal data in identifiable form as long as is necessary for the purposes for which it is collected, or where we have a legal obligation to do so. Once we no longer need personal data it shall be deleted or rendered permanently anonymous.

Principle 6: Personal data shall be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

We will:

  • ensure that there appropriate organisational and technical measures in place to protect personal data.

Accountability principle: The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with these principles. Our Data Protection Officer is responsible for ensuring that the company is compliant with these principles.

We will:

  • ensure that records are kept of all personal data processing activities, and that these are provided to the Information Commissioner on request.
  • carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment for any high risk personal data processing, and consult the Information Commissioner if appropriate.
  • ensure that a Data Protection Officer is appointed to provide independent advice and monitoring of personal data handling, and that this person has access to report to the highest management level of the department.
  • have in place internal processes to ensure that personal data is only collected, used or handled in a way that is compliant with data protection law.

Our policies in regards retention and erasure of personal data

We will ensure, where special category or criminal convictions personal data is processed, that:

  • there is a record of that processing, and that record will set out, where possible, the envisaged time limits for erasure of the different categories of data.
  • where we no longer require special category or criminal convictions personal data for the purpose for which it was collected, we will delete it or render it permanently anonymous.
  • data subjects receive full privacy information about how their data will be handled, and that this will include the period for which the personal data will be stored, or if that is not possible, the criteria used to determine that period.

If you have any concerns or questions about how we use your personal information, you can speak with our Data Protection Officer

You can contact them by:

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF / Tel: 03031 231 113 (local rate). Alternatively, visit or email