Confidentiality & privacy

Virgin Care Sexual Health ensures that your records are confidentially stored on our clinical system. We will not share any information about you without your consent. On this page, you'll find out; what information we collect about you, how we use that information, how long we hold information about you, how we protect your confidentiality and keep your personal information secure, what happens if you're under 16 or test positive for a sexually transmitted infection, how we use cookies, and how you can access and/or withdraw access to your information.

Your privacy & confidentiality

We take your rights and privacy very seriously and will always respect your confidentiality. This page explains the different aspects of privacy and confidentiality you might want to consider when using our services and this site. This includes the information we collect, how we use it, how we protect your confidentiality, security, consent, under 16’s, and your confidentiality if you’re positive.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect personal data and sensitive personal data (as described in the Data Protection Act 1998) from you when you submit an online booking on this site.  We only collect data in response to questions we need to ask to make sure you get the right appointment, care and treatment.

Personal data is data that relates to an identifiable living person (known as a ‘data subject) which can include a name, address, DOB etc.  Another type of data which is personal to the data subject is sensitive data.  This can include information relating to a data subjects race or ethnicity, political views, religious or other beliefs, physical or mental health/conditions, sexual orientation and the commission or alleged commission of an offence, or proceedings or sentence relating to offence or alleged offences.

We will also ensure that any data relating to our service users will be handled with the greatest care and in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.

The types of information that will be collected by Virgin Care Ltd when you are booking an appointment online is:

  • Name
  • Postcode (to receive your test, if requested)
  • Gender (M/F)
  • DOB
  • Translator
  • Contact Preference Details
  • Learning Disability/Impairment

The types of information that will be collected by Virgin Care Ltd when you request a home sampling kit is:

  • Name
  • Delivery Address
  • Postcode
  • Gender (M/F)
  • Contact Telephone Number

How will we use the information about you?

Virgin Care Ltd. will use your information to register you on our clinical system and book an appointment, to send reminders, to post home sampling kits and to produce anonymised reports.

The information you provide for both online booking and requesting home sampling kits will feed directly and securely into our clinical system. When booking an appointment online, you will be given the option to provide additional information. This additional information will provide the clinician you see with important extra information about you and may help to reduce the time you spend in the consultation. Additional information you provide will be stored in your medical notes.

Healthcare records are used to store important clinical information to help our health professionals provide the very best level of care to you.  All staff members who have access to any information are subject to a strict confidentiality agreement.

With your permission, Virgin Care Ltd. will send you an appointment reminder by text message to the mobile number you have supplied. You will also have the option to add your appointment directly to your mobile calendar at the end of the online booking process.  If you are an existing patient who has previously requested ‘No contact’ in clinic, you will not be able to receive appointment reminders. If you would like to receive appointment reminders, you will need to change your contact preferences in a Virgin Care clinic in person.

By requesting a home sampling kit, you are consenting to allow Virgin Care Ltd. to send these kits directly to your chosen address.  You will be given the option to have the home sampling kit delivered to your home address or arrange a click and collect service local to you.

As a service provider, we are required to produce reports on service activity and performance. Any reports generated from information collected by us including any information volunteered by you will not contain any personal details.

How long will we hold your information?

If you are over 18, your information will be retained for a minimum period of 10 years after the last entry in your Medical Records.

If you are under 18, your information will be retained until your 25th birthday or for 10 years after the last entry in your medical record, whichever is longer.

This is in line with the NHS Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 national standards.

How do we protect your confidentiality?

When booking appointments online, Virgin Care Ltd. will not share your information (other than for direct care) without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as where the health and safety of others is at risk, or where we are legally obliged to pass on information.  Like all health providers, we reserve the right to disclose your personal information to comply with applicable laws and government or regulatory bodies’ lawful requests for information. Any other agency receiving information from us is also under a legal duty to keep your information confidential.

When ordering a home sampling kit for sexually transmitted infections, your information will be shared with a third party provider, namely The Doctors Laboratory Limited (TDL).  TDL will send the home sampling kits to you, and when returned, carry out the testing and return results to Virgin Care Ltd. via a secure link.  This information will not be processed further by TDL, but will be stored on their IT servers within the UK.  Virgin Care Ltd. and TDL have comprehensive agreements in place to ensure the secure and confidential processing on your information.

Without your permission we will not:

  • inform your GP or healthcare professional about the fact that you have had the test or your results*
  • refer you to other specialist services
  • share your information

* The only time we may need to discuss your results with a GP or healthcare professional is if we are unable to contact you by your chosen method of communication and your test is positive. This is to help protect your health.

Occasions when we must pass on identifying information include:

  • To the police where a court order has been issued
  • To the local health protection team for certain infections that may be dangerous to the safety of others e.g. infectious hepatitis
  • Where there are concerns about safeguarding vulnerable adults or children
  • We will always try to discuss sharing identifying information with you first unless prevented by a court order or other overriding public interest.

Here are some of the partner organisations we may share information with:

  • Local authorities
  • Public Health England
  • Marie Stopes
  • The Doctors Laboratory (TDL)

We will not sell or share your information for marketing purposes. Nor will we transfer your personal information outside the European Economic Area.

What if you’re under 16?

Under 16’s have the same rights to confidentiality as anyone else and will not be treated any differently. However, if you are under 13, we are likely to be more worried about you having sex.

What if you test positive for a sexually transmitted infection?

Confidentiality is no different if you test positive unless we’re completely unable to contact you to inform you of your infection.

In some instances we may not be able to contact you due to incorrect contact details. It is important that you regularly inform us of any changes to your contact details, especially new mobile phone numbers.  We always recommend if you have not received your results within 2 weeks of your test you contact your local clinic.

How do we keep your personal information secure?

We take the security of your personal information very seriously and have appropriate physical, technical and administrative procedures in place to help protect your personal information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure as required by law in England.

However due to the open architecture of the internet, we do not consider the internet to be completely secure. If you choose to send information to us through any of the forms available on this website or via email you do so at your own risk as we cannot guarantee that this information will not be intercepted, changed or otherwise reach us safely.

What are cookies and how do we use them?

A cookie is a small file and holds some data, which our website can send to your browser. It may then be stored on your computer’s hard drive and can be accessed by our web server. This cookie data can then be retrieved when you visit our webpages so that we can customise the experience.

The cookies we use do not store personally identifiable information nor can they harm your computer. We want our website to be informative, personal, and as user friendly as possible and cookies help us to achieve that goal. For example, to enrich our website content, sometimes we may embed video content from other social media websites such as Twitter or Facebook.   As a result, when you visit a page with content embedded, you may be presented with cookies from these websites.  Virgin Care has no control or liability over these cookies set, so you should check the relevant third party’s cookie policy for more information.

By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies and other technologies as set out in this policy. If you do not agree to such use, please refrain from using the website.

If you would like more individual control over your visit to our website, you can adjust your cookie settings in your browser settings and delete cookies on your hard drive, Please visit www.allaboutcookies.org to find out more/. Should you choose to disable, reject or block our cookies, some parts of our websites will not function fully, or in some cases, our website will not be accessible at all.

How can you access your information and/or withdraw consent?

By accessing this website you give consent to the collection, reporting and use of your data. You have the right to withdraw consent and to request a copy of the information that we hold about you.  If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please email or write to us as the following address:

Head of Information Governance
Virgin Care Limited
6600 Daresbury Business Park
Daresbury
Cheshire
WA4 4GE

Email: information.governance@virgincare.co.uk

Changes to confidentiality or privacy

If we change anything relating to your confidentiality or privacy, we will post the revised version here with an updated effective date.  If we make significant changes to the privacy policy, we may also notify you by other means such as sending an email or posting a notice on our home page.

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