Legitimate Interests Assessment for Brandon & Robertson Associates Ltd.
Brandon & Robertson Associates Ltd has undertaken a Legitimate Interests Assessment and this is documented below. The Assessment conforms to the
Guidance for Legitimate Interest Assessments provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’).
IDENTIFYING A LEGITIMATE INTEREST
It is our aim to provide an Internet based service (The Service) for healthcare professionals, including Pharmaceutical Companies and Researchers, Consultants, GPs and their Secretarial Staff and Patients, and those who need to work with healthcare professionals for healthcare purposes that enables us by means of processing data, to identify, locate and contact appropriate Consultants, GPs, GP Practice Managers and Nurses and CCG staff according to their qualifications, location, speciality, special interests and other information supplied by the doctors and others concerned.
Three groups have been identified as benefiting from this processing – 1) The data subjects themselves (Consultants, GPs, their secretaries and Practice Staff, Nurses and CCG Staff and their patients); 2) those healthcare professionals who need to contact the data subjects for professional healthcare purposes; and 3) The Wider Public, Pharmaceutical Companies and Researchers and the way they would all benefit is from the development of improved drugs and treatment methods.
There are wider public benefits including patients, both NHS and Private, who may use The Service to identify a conveniently located doctor with relevant expertise. The Service also helps 1) pharmaceutical and medical device companies to find Specialists or GPs interested in clinical trials and research and 2) law firms and insurance companies to find doctors to act as expert witnesses in medico-legal claims.
These benefits are very important for helping patients, researchers, personal injury and clinical negligence claimants and healthcare professionals.
If we could not collect, compile and process data in the way we do The Service would cease to the detriment of all concerned.
The use of the data we collate and the purpose to which it is put in providing The Service is not unethical or unlawful in any way.
THE NECESSITY TEST
The processing we do is vital to and an integral part of The Service.
Yes, the service uses Information Technology and the Internet for communicating with data subjects to obtain their up to date details and provide the service efficiently and cost-effectively to users for healthcare related purposes.
Our approach and methodology in providing The Service is reasonable and as in-obtrusive as possible, using Information Technology and the Internet for communicating with data subjects to obtain their up to date details and provide the service efficiently and cost-effectively to users for healthcare related purposes.
We make every effort to be as in obtrusive as possible in collecting and compiling data and the intrusion to data subjects is minimal, making full use of email, telephone, fax and postal methods of communication with data subjects. As a considerable number of healthcare organisations use The Service, there is less intrusion to data subjects as they supply the data once for use by many different healthcare users who would otherwise have to contact the data subjects individually themselves. This would be considerably more intrusive.
THE BALANCING TEST
Brandon & Robertson Associates Ltd is independent from both the users of The Service and the data subjects. We are regulated by the BHBIA and the ICO.
The data we collect and process is neither particularly sensitive nor private. It mainly consists of names, work contact details (telephone, fax, email and postal addresses), qualifications, where and when qualified, specialty and special interests.
As doctors, practice staff, nurses and CCG staff, the data subjects will expect their identity, which is often required to be anonymised, along with their location, qualifications, experience and areas of expertise to be made available to other healthcare professionals.
We are always happy to explain what we do with data to our data subjects, who are regularly contacted to inform them of the existing details we hold, to enable them to update these details where necessary and to re-iterate the use to which the details are put in The Service.
Inevitably some data subjects find the process obtrusive but experience has shown this to be a very small number (< 0.1%). In addition we pay for participation which many data subjects welcome.
The impact on any specific data subject is minimal and consists of regular contact by email, telephone, fax and post twice per year and often less.
We do not believe any of the individuals we contact are vulnerable other than in the case of patients where contact is only conducted through their GP so that specific vulnerabilities can be managed.
In order to minimise impact to data subjects, details of contact dates and responses are stored to avoid repetition of contact and deletions are marked as such to avoid contact again through subsequent research.
We offer an opt-out either on a project by project basis or on a blanket opt-out basis if the data subject does not wish to be included. Removal from The Service is avoided where possible as it could imply erroneously that the data subject was no longer practising.
OUTCOME OF ASSESSMENT
The above assessment shows that The Service is of considerable benefit not only to the Controller but also to the Data Subjects concerned (consisting of Consultants, GPs, Practice Managers, Nurses and CCG Staff and patients) in assisting them to provide their experience and expertise to the healthcare industry, medico-legal claimants and patients. The inclusion of Data Subjects in the Service may result in Data Subjects receiving postal, telephonic, fax or email (where they have provided it) communications from the Controller. Communications may also be received from users of The Service on a healthcare related topic. Users will normally use the location, specialty and special interests data provided by The Service to communicate with Data Subjects likely to be interested in the topic concerned. If the topic is of no interest to the Data Subject, it is easy to dispose of, or delete, the communication concerned. This minor inconvenience, which can easily be delegated to secretarial staff, is insignificant compared to the potential benefits of The Service to a) Data Subjects themselves by promoting their experience, expertise and interests to healthcare organisations, medico-legal claimants and patients and b) users of The Service for healthcare related purposes.
Douglas Robertson MIMCA
Position: Financial Director
Review Date: 18th May 2018