Information collected by local weight management services
If you are referred to a weight management service to help you reduce your weight and maintain a healthy weight, you are asked to provide personal information about yourself.
Personal information collected by your local service includes:
- demographic information, including your name, date of birth, sex, address, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation
- health information, including your height and weight, and information about your physical and mental health and well-being
Information on the progress of your weight, mental health and well-being is collected at regular times as you progress with your treatment.
The information collected is used to provide you with treatment services, to monitor the effectiveness of that treatment, and to help understand if there are differences in the effectiveness of and access to weight management services between groups of people. population.
Information shared with Public Health England (EPS)
Data collection on adult weight management services was initiated by EPS to help understand if there are differences in the effectiveness and access to weight management services across England. To this end, information about users of local weight management services is shared with EPS. This information is depersonalized only and does not directly identify individuals treated by local weight management services.
For example, your name, date of birth and address are not required to EPS, therefore, to protect your privacy, this information is not shared with us by your weight management department.
How information is used by EPS
De-identified information shared with EPS is used to monitor the effectiveness of behavioral weight management services across England in helping people lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, and improve their mental health and well-being.
We also use the information to monitor the effectiveness of and access to local weight management services in all population groups. This includes looking to see if there are differences based on ethnicity, deprivation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and health conditions.
Non-personal information shared with EPS by local weight management services is used to produce a series of statistics and will be published in a report.
No information identifying an individual will ever be published by EPS.
How information is protected by EPS
Information shared by local weight management services with EPS is protected in several ways. It is sent to EPS using a secure data transfer service and is kept on computer systems that have been tested to ensure that they are secure and kept up to date to protect them against viruses and hacking.
The information is only visible to EPS staff specially trained to protect the privacy of individuals. Strict controls are in place to ensure that these employees can only see the minimum amount of information they need to do their jobs.
The information is held in the UK only and no personally identifiable information will be published by EPS.
How long EPS keep information
De-identified information shared with EPS is retained for 2 years after the end of the 24-month data collection period, which begins in May 2021.
At the end of this period, the unique code used to update the information collected by EPS on changes in weight and in people’s mental health and well-being as they progress through treatment is removed. The resulting anonymous data is then kept for an additional 8 years before being examined and, if no longer needed, permanently destroyed.
Who is the information shared with?
EPS may share the de-identified information it receives from local weight management services with academic researchers and others.
We will only do this if there is a justified public health goal for sharing the data, and we will only share the minimum information necessary for research. Any information we share will be published under a contract that stipulates what it can be used for and how long it can be kept by the researcher.
EPS publishes a register of information it shares with researchers and other organizations.
EPS is listed under the Registration with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs with the Information Commissioner (ICO). We are the data controller for the information we collect and use for the data collection of adult weight management services.
You can find more information in our general privacy notice.
Since local authorities are responsible for providing weight management services in their area, they are the data controller of personal information collected and used by the services they commission. For more information, see the privacy notice on your local authority’s website.
Legal basis for EPS to use the information
The law on the protection of personal information, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, authorizes EPS use de-identified information shared with them by local weight management services.
The headings of the GDPR and the applicable data protection law are:
- GDPR Article 6 (1) (e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task of public interest or falling within the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
- GDPR Article 9 (2) (i) – processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the field of public health, such as protection against serious cross-border threats to health or ensuring high standards of quality and health care safety
- Data Protection Act 2018 Annex 1 Part 1 (3) – public health
Your rights over your information
Under data protection law, you have a series of rights over your personal information.
As the information shared by adult weight management services with EPS is depersonalized, it means EPS cannot identify you from the information it receives.
If you wish to exercise any of your rights, such as the right to receive a copy of your personal information, you will need to contact your local weight management department or your local authority as responsible for processing your personal information.
How to find out more or raise a concern
If you would like to know more about the information collected and used for adult weight management service data collection, you can contact EPS to [email protected]
If you have any concerns about how your information is used and protected, you can contact the EPS Data Protection Officer at [email protected]
If you have any concerns about how your personal information is being used and protected by your local weight management service, you can contact the data protection officer of your local authority. You will find their contact details on the website of your municipality.
You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office if you have any concerns about how your local weight management department, local authority or EPS use and protect your information.
You can do this by calling ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113 or by visiting ICO website.
About this privacy notice
If we need to make any additions or changes to the information provided in this notice, the publication date and version number will change.