This Privacy Statement sets out the data processing practices carried out by this Healthwatch website. If you have any requests concerning your personal information or any queries with regard to these practices, please contact us.

Who we are

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire is a local independent consumer champion and is a Healthwatch England, a statutory committee of the Care Quality Commission. We collect a lot of information about local people’s experiences of health and social care services, and some of this data is personal.

References to “we” or “us” below are to Healthwatch Bedfordshire.

This statement does not cover links within this website to other websites.

Information we collect

We collect personal information from:

Visitors to this website through the use of online forms. When you simply browse through the information on this website, it does not store or capture your personal information. We do log your IP address (as it is automatically recognised by the web server) but this is so you can download this website onto your device rather than for any tracking purpose.

We will only collect personal information volunteered by you, such as, feedback from surveys and online forms, email addresses, preferred means of communication. Our website is hosted by Krytal Hosting.

This site uses cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping carts, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or taking a look at the About Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers.

  • We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. This helps us provide you with a better website. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies, usually by modifying your browser settings.
  • We use Google Analytics to measure and evaluate access to and traffic on the Public Area of the website, and create user navigation reports for our site administrators. Google operates independently from us and has its own privacy policy, which we strongly suggest you review. Google may use the information collected through Google Analytics to evaluate Users’ and Visitors’ activity on our Site (including the number of people who have spent time on our website and other such statistics). The data collected will only be used on a need to know basis to resolve technical issues, administer the Site and identify visitor preferences; but in this case, the data will be in non-identifiable form. We do not use any of this information to identify visitors or users.

Feedback about services:
There are a number of ways that we collect feedback from people about their experiences of using health and social care services day to day. Our staff will visit different health and social care settings as part of their role to evaluate how services are being delivered. We also receive phone calls and reviews on local services via our online feedback centre

Where personally identifiable information is collected we will ensure that we have your consent to keep it and we will be clear on how we intend to use your information. We will aim to anonymise information where we can but there may be instances where this is not possible. There may be exceptional circumstances where we can and will keep the data without consent, but we must have a lawful basis for doing so, such as for safeguarding purposes.

We make sure that where consent is required it will be freely given, used only for agreed specific and unambiguous purposes and that you are well informed about how the information will be kept. This includes where it will be stored, details on security and for how long it will be kept. We will comply with current data protection legislation at all times.

Email and telephone enquiries to our offices:
We may ask for your name, email address and/or phone number when you contact us. We may keep information about the enquiry long enough to allow us to help. When this happens, we will explain to you how this information is stored and used. You can ask us to delete personal information, or to use it differently, or you can make anonymous requests for information.

Mailing lists:
We use Active Campaign to provide our e-newsletter service. By signing up to receive our e-newsletter, you will be agreeing to them handling your data.

They handle the data purely to provide this service on our behalf. They will not make your data available to anyone other than our organisation. They are also required to follow the General Data Protection Regulation in how they obtain, handle and process your information and will not make your data available to anyone other than Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire.

Please note; the current e-mail circular list was gathered before the rules about gathering consent changed in May 2018. People on this list expect this processing to take place because an ongoing relationship exists, and they already receive a newsletter from us. Gathering their consent to being on the mailing list again would involve contacting them all to refresh their consent. We have deemed that the effort involved in carrying this out would be disproportionate to the benefits achieved for existing recipients. Also, this is likely to negatively affect the number of recipients remaining on the list and our ability to deliver effectively against our statutory duties. We have informed all e-newsletter recipients how they can easily unsubscribe from our mailing list.

Staff and volunteers :

Personal and financial information about staff and volunteers collected in their applications. We do this in order to be a legal and safe employer: We will use this personal data to check that people are safe to work for us, and to keep to our contract with them. The personal data that we process about our teams includes information about racial or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender and sexuality. We use this information to check we are promoting and ensuring diversity in our workforce and to make sure we are complying with equalities legislation. We also hold and use information on qualifications and experience, pay and performance, contact details and bank details. This may include asking people to undertake Disclosure and Barring Service(DBS) checks.

Our data systems

Healthwatch England provides a secure digital system for local Healthwatch to manage their data. Other organisations process the data contained within it on behalf of local Healthwatch and a Data Processing Agreement is in place to ensure that this is held securely and according to current data protection legislation.

Healthwatch England is a committee of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but acts independently. These organisations must comply with all legal requirements and do not reuse any data for any other reason or make it available to others.

We are required to share information collected with Healthwatch England to ensure that your views are considered at a national level. This enables them to analyse service provision across the country and supply the Department of Health and national commissioners with the information you provide.

The information we provide to Healthwatch England from the secure digital system contains no personally identifiable data. Any information that is used for national publications is anonymised and will only be used with the consent of Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire.

Purposes for which we use the information collected

The purpose of Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire is to improve health and social care services in Central Bedfordshire. To do this we need feedback about local GP surgeries, hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, opticians, social care, emergency care and community based health teams. With this, we are able to inform, liaise, influence and, if necessary, challenge decisions and plans.

We gather personal data to:

  • Gather views in order to improve the quality and safety of care.
  • Give information and respond to any queries
  • Share information about what we are doing in newsletters, if you have consented to this;
  • Fulfil contracts and legal obligations.

We will never include your personal information in survey reports.

Who we disclose the information to

We will only disclose your personal information where we have a legal ground to do so, or where there is another very good reason to make the disclosure ­– for example, we may disclose information to CQC or a local authority where we think it is necessary to do so in order to protect a vulnerable person from abuse or harm. Any such disclosure will be made in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR.

We use reports about people’s experiences to improve the quality and safety of care. These reports may be shared with the people who commission or provide services, such as councils or NHS providers, the Care Quality Commission or Healthwatch England.  We are required to share information with Healthwatch England to ensure that your views are considered at a national level. Wherever possible, we will ensure that any information that we share or disclose is anonymised, so as to ensure that you cannot be identified from it.

We might share personal data with a third party, but this would only be with your clear, informed consent, when it is to protect someone from significant harm, or when we need to disclose the information to fulfil a legal contract or comply with a law. Examples of third parties: our e-newsletter service provider Active Campaign, our website hosting company Krystal Hosting and pension provider, NEST pensions. If you need more details about who we disclose information to please contact us by emailing

Your rights with regard to data and privacy

In relation to your privacy you have these rights:

  • You have the right to be told how we are dealing with your data
  • You have the right to have access to your data and to be told how it is being used in detail
  • You have the right to challenge the accuracy of the data and ask to have it corrected
  • You have the right to ask us to have your data deleted
  • You have the right to limit or restrict how the data is used
  • You have the right to have the data given to you in an accessible way
  • You have the right to object to how your data is being used
  • You have the right to have decisions about your data made by humans, not computers
  • You have the right to ask for information from public bodies
  • You have the right to raise a concern about how organisations use your data

You can see an independent description of your rights  on The Information Commissioners website –

If you would like to know what data we hold about you, have a copy, see our data protection and confidentiality policy, or a list of all the information we keep, why and where, please contact us email at or call 0300 3038554

If you feel that we have not met our responsibilities under data protection legislation, you have a right to request an independent assessment from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can find details on their website.

Healthwatch Central Bedforshire has appointed Juliet Snell, Taproot Consultancy as Data Protection Officer under Article 37 of the GDPR. You can find out more about Taproot at or contact Juliet via

Changes to this Privacy Statement

From time to time we may update this Privacy Statement. When we do so we will publish the changes on this website. If you do not agree to these changes, please do not continue to use the website. If material changes are made to this Privacy Statement, we will notify you by email or by placing a prominent notice on the website.