Data protection legislation sets out rules and standards for the use and handling (‘processing’) of information (‘personal data’) about living identifiable individuals (‘data subjects’) by organisations (‘data controllers’).

The law applies to organisations in all sectors, both public and private.  It applies to all electronic records as well as many paper records. It doesn’t apply to anonymous information or to information about the deceased.

Until 24 May 2018, the legislation in the UK is the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998).  From 25 May 2018, this will be replaced by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Data controllers processing personal data must follow – and be able to demonstrate that they are following – the data protection principles.

Under the GDPR, there are six principles.  Personal data must be processed following these principles so that the data is:

  1. Processed fairly, lawfully and transparently – and only if there is a valid ‘legal basis’ for doing so
  2. Processed only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited
  4. Accurate (and rectified if inaccurate)
  5. Not kept for longer than necessary
  6. Processed securely – to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the personal data

Lawful Basis for Processing

The Trust must have a lawful basis for processing personal information, which are:

  • Consent
  • Contract
  • Legal obligation
  • Vital interests
  • Public task
  • Legitimate interest

Withdrawal of Consent

If the Trust has used consent as the lawful basis for processing personal information you have the right to withdraw this consent at any time. If you would like to withdraw your consent, please contact the Director of Operations, the Trust Data Protection Officer at

Privacy Notices

An important aspect of complying with data protection legislation is being open and transparent with individuals about how their personal data will be used.  This is achieved through the publication of privacy notices. The Trust’s privacy notices are available from the menu on this page.

Subject Access Requests

An individual has the right to put in a request to access their personal information. Further information on how to do this can be found on the subject access request page.

Data breaches

One of the most important accountability obligations concerns personal data breaches – that is, personal data held by the Trust is lost, stolen, inadvertently disclosed to an external party, or accidentally published.  If this occurs, this will be immediately reported to the Director of Operations at, who is the Trust Data Protection Officer,

Remedial work can then be done so that the breach can be contained. On occasion, we need to report breaches to relevant external authorities, including the ICO, within a short timeframe.


The Trust Data Protection Policy can be accessed from the Trust policies page.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to all “public authorities” as defined in the Act, including the Trust. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by us, sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on us. Under the Act a public authority has two main responsibilities:

  • production of a guide to the information it makes publicly available; and
  • dealing with individual written requests for information and providing the information if it is not already published, or exempt from release.

Further information can be access from the Trust Freedom of Information page.

Further information can be found on the Trust Information Governance page.