Warm Handover Referral Scheme Privacy Statement

This statement explains what happens to the information you provide about yourself and your personal circumstances when it is shared between partner organisations using the Warm Handover Referral Scheme.

What is the Warm Handover Referral Scheme?

The Suffolk Information Partnership manages a secure, online referral scheme to help vulnerable clients access services they may not know about or be able to access without support. This scheme is called the Warm Handover Referral Scheme.

After a conversation with you, and if it is appropriate, a professional from an organisation who is part of the Scheme, can securely forward your personal details and information about your situation and support needs to another partner organisation. When that organisation receives your information they will contact you and offer other services that can help you.

This will only happen if you would like the professional to make contact with another organisation for you. If you are unable to give permission and a family member and / or the professional feels that it is in your best interests to be offered other services then they may make the referral without your permission.

What data about me will be passed on to another organisation?

The professional will pass on your:

  • name

  • address 

  • contact details, e.g. phone number or email address

  • date of birth

  • a brief description of your circumstances and relevant support needs

  • medical details, e.g. GP, NHS number, medical condition (if relevant)

If the professional already has this information they may ask you to confirm that it is still correct.

Do I need to give my consent?

When the professional talks to you about other organisations who can help you, you will be asked if you wish to be referred to them. If you say no a referral will not be made. Instead the professional can give you the organisation’s details so you can contact them yourself if you wish to.

If you are unable to give permission and a family member and / or the professional feels that it is in your best interests to be offered other services then they may make the referral without your permission.

At any time you can say that you no longer wish to be contacted by an organisation or for them to hold your data. If you wish to do this please contact the organisations involved in your referral.

Why we can make a referral without your consent 

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 local authorities can use “Public Task” as a lawful basis to process personal data, rather than asking for consent. This means that they, and organisations working on their behalf, can perform a specific task in the public interest that is set out in law without getting consent.

The lawful basis for the Warm Handover Referral Scheme is the Care Act 2014. Part 1 of the Act states:

A local authority must provide or arrange for the provision of services, facilities or resources, or take other steps, which it considers will:
a) contribute towards preventing or delaying the development by adults in its area of needs for care and support;
b) contribute towards preventing or delaying the development by carers in its area of needs for support;
c) reduce the needs for care and support of adults in its area;
d) reduce the needs for support of carers in its area.

The Warm Handover Referral Scheme helps Suffolk County Council to fulfil its duty under the Care Act by providing a secure route for the transfer of personal data between partner organisations of the Referral Scheme. This supports people to access a range of services that will help them to stay independent and safe in their own home and reduce their need for care services.

More information about the organisations that are part of the Scheme and the services they offer can be found here.

How will you use my data?

The organisations making or receiving your referral will use your data to give them an understanding of the support you require and how you wish to be contacted. Your data will be held securely and will not be passed to any other organisation or be used for any other purpose.

What happens to my data?

Your data will be held by the organisation making the referral. A professional will complete an electronic referral form, which is held securely by Suffolk County Council. The referral will be sent by secure, encrypted email to the organisation they have suggested can support you. This organisation will then save the data in its own secure system and contact you to offer support.

How do I know that my data is held securely?

Each organisation making or receiving a referral must hold your data in compliance with the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. They will have their own policies and processes to do this.

The data held within the referral form will also be sent by secure, encrypted email from one organisation to another.

Who has access to my data?

The only people who can see your data are authorised by and working for the organisations that hold your data. They have access to their organisation’s systems where your information will be held securely.

How can I trust the organisations my data is sent to?

Each partner organisation must sign the Warm Handover Referral Scheme Information Sharing Agreement before they join the Scheme. This shows that they are GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 compliant and follow procedures for handling, storing and retaining personal data. If applicable they are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Which organisations could I be referred to?

You will find a list of partner organisations here.

What data does the Suffolk Information Partnership hold about me?

The Suffolk Information Partnership does not hold any personal data on individuals. All it holds is contact information for the partner organisations. It also provides these organisations with support and guidance on using the Referral Scheme.

Who do I contact if I am concerned about the holding and processing of my data? 

You will need to contact the organisation that made the referral for you and the organisation you were referred to. You can find contact details for these organisations by clicking on their website link on the Partners page.

If you are not happy with the way you have been treated you should ask for the organisation’s complaints procedure, and as a final resort, contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.


Date: June 2020