Rough sleeping drug and alcohol treatment grant: privacy notice | #itsecurity | #infosec

Who we are

We are the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We collect data on alcohol and drug treatment so we can make sure we are improving the lives of people who are affected by drug and alcohol misuse.

We are responsible for the information you share with us. We are the data controller, which means we:

  • have a responsibility to protect your privacy
  • decide how to use the information
  • have a responsibility to keep you informed about changes to how we collect or use your information

Why we collect your information

The Rough Sleeping Drug and Alcohol Treatment Grant (RSDATG) is funding for services to provide extra support to people experiencing rough sleeping to help them recover from drug and alcohol misuse.

The RSDATG services will collect information from you, some of which they share with us. We need this information so we can make sure that the RSDATG services are providing good care and support for you and others.

What information we collect

The RSDATG service collects information from you to help them improve the treatment they provide. You can help improve lives and the support available (to you and others) by agreeing to share some of that information with us.

The service will not share your name or any other identifiable information with us. An anonymised code, that does not include any of your personal details, helps us to tell your information apart from anyone else’s. We cannot use this code to work out who you are.

If you choose to share your information, you can change your mind at any time (you can read more about how to do this in the section on your rights below).

The information we collect from your service includes your:

  • age at first assessment

  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • preferred language (if not English)
  • details on engagement with the treatment service
  • housing status
  • substance use
  • need assessments

What we do with your information

We use the information you give us to:

  • evaluate how effective the RSDATG services are in delivering treatment to service users
  • monitor people’s engagement with treatment services, which helps make sure that funding for these services is more equally distributed across the country
  • provide local information about service users and their needs, to help service commissioners, health and wellbeing boards and local authorities to plan and develop better drug and alcohol treatment services
  • produce statistics and research on alcohol and drug treatment and other health issues to help inform future policy decisions

We will use the information we collect to produce reports that will be used to monitor all RSDATG areas in the country. These reports will never contain any personal or identifiable information.

Data protection legislation requires us to have a valid legal reason to process and use personal data about you. This is often called a ‘legal basis’.

UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) requires us to be clear with you about the legal basis we rely on to process information about you. Under the Articles 6 and 9 of the UK GDPR, the legal bases we rely on for processing your information are that it’s necessary:

  • in the public’s interest or the data controller’s official authority
  • for reasons of public interest in the area of public health (for example, to ensure high standards of quality and safety of care)
  • for archiving, scientific or historical research or statistical purposes

These legal bases only apply if we take suitable and specific measures to protect your rights, and we only use the data for the purposes described in this privacy notice.

Who we share your information with

We will not share anything about you as an individual, or information that might identify who you are, with any other government departments unless you give us specific permission to do so.

As part of an evaluation being carried out for the RSDATG, we will share some of your data with the Centre for Regional Economics and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University.

How long we keep your information

We will keep your personal information for as long as is needed for the purposes we describe in the section above on what we do with your information.

We need to keep your information because there are things we need to keep using it for, like monitoring the effectiveness of treatment provided to you and other people in RSDATG services.

How we protect your information and keep it secure

The personal information collected as part of the RSDATG is protected in several ways.

It is held on secure computer systems, which are kept up to date to protect them from viruses and hacking.

In 2021, OHID procured a case management system that will help process your personal data. This system is managed by ILLY Systems and has had a thorough review of IT and security elements of the contract to make sure it meets all information governance requirements.

Your anonymised information can only be seen by a limited number of staff at OHID that need to see it to process the data.

All OHID staff working on the RSDATG have been trained to protect service user confidentiality.

Your data is stored in the UK on a government server. It will not be transferred outside of the UK.

Your rights

By law, you have a number of rights and processing your data does not take away or reduce these rights under the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the UK Data Protection Act 2018.

You have the right to:

  • ask for and receive copies of information about you
  • get information about you corrected if you think it’s inaccurate
  • limit how your information is used, for example you can ask for it to be restricted, if you think it’s inaccurate
  • object to your information being used
  • get information deleted

Some of these rights might not apply when the data is being used for research. We will let you know if this is the case.

There are some circumstances in which we cannot delete your data. For example, if:

  • it has been anonymised and we cannot tell which data relates to you
  • research analysis has already started
  • we need to keep it for tasks that are in the public interest

We will let you know how we will be able to meet your request. If we cannot meet your request, we will explain why.

If you choose to share your information, you can change your mind at any time. If you choose not to share your information or change your mind about sharing, this will not change the treatment or support you receive. But, we really need your data to combine with other people’s data to help improve lives and the support for people who need it.

We will always try to respond to concerns or queries that you have about your data.

If you are unhappy about how your personal data is being used, or if you want to complain about how your data is used as part of this programme, you should email or write to:

Data Protection Officer

1st Floor North

39 Victoria Street



If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can find out how to contact them at the ICO website. Their postal address is:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under review and we will update it if necessary. All updated versions will be marked by a change note on this notice’s publication page.

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