Newcastle and Hunter Community Health Privacy Statement
Newcastle and Hunter Community Health is committed to providing quality services and your right to privacy and confidentiality will be recognised, respected, and protected in all aspects of your contact with us. This statement outlines our ongoing obligations to you in respect to how we manage your Personal Information.
Newcastle and Hunter Community Health complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW), Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW), Health Privacy Principles contained in the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW), Privacy Act 1988 (Cwth) and Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cwth),
What is Personal Information and why do we collect it?
Personal Information is information or an opinion that identifies an individual. Examples of Personal Information we collect include: for instance: names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Personal Information includes Health Information, which is information about the physical or mental health or disability of an individual.
We collect your Personal Information in many ways including for instance: interviews, correspondence, by telephone, by email, via our website, from other publicly available sources and from third parties.
NHCH will only request and retain Personal Information that is necessary to:
- assess your eligibility for a service;
- provide a safe and responsive service;
- monitor the services provided; and
- fulfil contractual requirements to provide non identifying data and statistical information to a funding body.
When we collect Personal Information we will explain to you why we are collecting the information and how we plan to use it.
Where reasonable and practicable to do so, we will collect your Personal Information only from you. However, in some circumstances we may be provided with information by third parties (such as other disability support services). In such cases we will take reasonable steps to ensure that you are made aware of the information provided to us by the third party.
Disclosure of Personal Information
Your Personal Information will only be disclosed:
- to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of you or another person;
- to outside agencies with your or your representative’s permission;
- with written consent from a person with lawful authority; or
- when required by law, or to fulfil legislative obligations such as mandatory reporting.
Security and Destruction of Personal Information
Your Personal and Health Information is stored physically and electronically which reasonably protects it from misuse and loss and from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. This is to inform clients that we are storing their personal information in multiple formats and for our intake process this form needs to be given to clients as part of our intake packs.
Access to your Personal Information
You may access the Personal or Health Information we hold about you, including to update or correct it, subject to certain exceptions. If you wish to access your Personal or Health Information, please speak to a staff member.
In order to protect your Personal or Health Information we may require identification from you before releasing the requested information.
You have the right to:
- request access to personal information we hold about you;
- access this information; and
- make corrections if you consider the information is not accurate, complete or up to date.
However, access may be denied in part or in total where:
- the request is frivolous or vexatious;
- providing access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals;
- providing access would be likely to prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity;
- providing access would pose a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of any individual; and
- denying access is required or authorised by or under law.
We aim to address all requests to access or correct information within 2 working days. We will not charge any fee for your access request, but may charge an administrative fee for providing a copy of your information.
Maintaining the Quality of your Personal Information
It is an important to us that your information is up to date. We will take all reasonable steps to make sure that your Personal Information is accurate and complete. If you find that the information we have is not up to date or is inaccurate, please advise us as soon as practicable so we can update our records and ensure we can continue to provide quality services to you.
Newcastle and Hunter Community Health’s Privacy and Confidentiality and Records and Information Management Policies and Procedures will be formally reviewed at least annually. Formal reviews will include client, staff and other stakeholder feedback.