This page explains how the Practice Management Network uses any information you give to us, and the ways in which we protect your privacy.

Your personal information will be used for several general purposes, including: providing information that you have requested; handling your enquiries, personalising your experience on the website, providing access to some areas of the website, and keeping you up to date with services which may be relevant to you.

We may also provide other information which we think you may find of interest, such as training events. We may contact you by post, telephone or fax, as well as by e-mail. Where relevant, you are given the opportunity to opt-out of receiving this information at the appropriate section of the website when you register your details. If you no longer wish to be contacted in the future by us, please follow the instructions on the specific mailing list or use the contact form available on the website.

The Data Protection Act

Under the Data Protection Act, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. We will only use your information for the purposes we have described and we do not pass on your details to any third party or government department unless you give us permission to do so. We use leading technologies to safeguard your data, and keep strict security standards to prevent any unauthorised access to it.

Accessing and updating your information

You are entitled to see a copy of the information that we have collected from you and that we maintain. If you wish to do this, please use the contact form available on the website. We may charge a small fee to meet our costs in providing you with these details.

You may ask us to make changes to the information provided by you and/or held about you, to ensure that it is accurate and kept up to date. You may also request that we cease from processing your personal information and that we delete this from our database or records. Please note that it may be impossible to completely delete your information because of back-ups and records of deletions.

We will only perform the activities outlined above to the extent that such activities will not compromise privacy, security or any other legal interests.

Comments and questions

If you send an email or log a query on the website asking for information, we may need to contact other government departments to find that information. If your question is technical, we may need to pass it to our IT team. We do not pass on any of your personal information when dealing with your enquiry, unless you have given us permission to do so.

When you post comments or questions, these can be read by anyone visiting the page. Your user name may appear next to your comments. We reserve the right to remove or edit material posted on the site.

Email newsletters

We never send unsolicited email newsletters – these are only sent to users who have chosen to receive them or similar communications from within the NHS family. Every email newsletter contains an ‘unsubscribe’ link. After clicking the link, an email will be sent to the relevant email address asking you to confirm the cancellation. Alternatively, you can cancel your subscription by updating your online profile.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user’s computer for record-keeping purposes. We make limited use of cookies on this site. We use both session ID cookies and persistent cookies.

We use session cookies to make it easier for you to navigate our site. A session ID cookie expires when you close you browser.

A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive for up to 1 year. The only uses we make of persistent cookies are (a) when you select the “remember me” option to avoid the need to submit login details repeatedly, and (b) when you increase the size of the text displayed on the site or select the high-contrast view. You can remove persistent cookies by following directions provided in your Internet browser’s “help” file.

You can set your computer not to accept cookies. If you do that, you may still use our site, but there may be some minor limitations on your ability to use some parts of it.

Registration

You are not required to register in order to use the open access material included on the website. However, to access restricted content you need be a resgitered user. Registration is open only to bona fide practice managers and to a limited number of specialist users who may be invited from time to time by the Network steering group in order to support the aims of the Network.

During registration, you will be asked to provide your name; job title; organisation; areas of interest; email address, and a password. We use this information for the following purposes:

  1. to personalise the information available to you, e.g. providing access for eligible users to restricted content and discussion forums
  2. to maintain an up-to-date database of contacts
  3. to allow extra administrative facilities (such as editing page content) to authorised users.

The information in your online profile (name, job title, email address, organisation, and contact details) would never be shared outside the “NHS family” without your express prior approval.

Within the Network your information may be used as described earlier in this statement – for maintenance of our contacts database, for communicating with colleagues, and for administration of events. Occasionally, we may share contact data with other teams in the “NHS family” where this supports our work.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. They enable us to make changes to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. This information includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, and date/time stamp.

We use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyse trends, to administer the site, to track users’ movements around the site and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.

We do not link this automatically-collected data to personally identifiable information.

Data storage, access, and IT security

All the information described above is held in an online database. We take all reasonable steps to protect this data.

Physical access to the computer holding the online database is restricted to authorised 3rd-party engineers for maintenance purposes. The computer is located in a secure data centre with 24/7 controlled access.

Remote access to the database is controlled by password and is restricted to authorised personnel of our contracted website maintainers – Kent House Consulting Ltd.

Controlled access to the information held in the database is available to authorised Network personnel in order to assist with support to users, production and distribution of email newsletters, operation of the discussion forums, and maintenance of the database of contacts.

Passwords for users’ accounts are one-way encrypted in the database. They therefore cannot practically be recovered by any user, authorised or otherwise.

The Network has a contractual arrangement to ensure that security of the web, email, and database servers is continually maintained up-to-date. All security updates released for web server, email and databases software and operating system are applied promptly.

What happens when I link to another site?

The website contains links to other websites, both those of government departments and of other organisations. This privacy policy applies only to our site, so you should always be aware when you are moving to another site and read the privacy statement of any site which collects personal information.

Changes to this privacy policy

If this privacy policy changes in any way, we will place an updated version on this page. Regularly reviewing this page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with other parties.

Contacting us

Please use the contact form available on the website if you wish to discuss any aspect of our management of your personal information:

Last updated: 26 August 2009