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Public Health privacy notice

Births and Records / Primary Care Mortality Database

This notice provides details of how Coventry City Council collects and uses information about births and deaths. 

What is this information?

Personal information about children born in Coventry and their parents and about deaths in the City of Coventry, deaths to Coventry residents or deaths to people registered with a Coventry GP practice is supplied to local authorities by NHS Digital.

The Primary Care Mortality Database is managed NHS Digital and is accessed securely using the secure Open Exeter system via an N3 connection. It contains both birth and death data provided at the time of registration of births or death along with additional GP details, geographic information and coroner details where applicable.  Coventry City Council has a Data Access Agreement with NHS Digital and data are supplied under section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.  Information held includes: 

  • Address
  • NI number of mother
  • Postcode of usual residence of the deceased, post code of place of death 
  • NHS number
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Death
  • Maiden name 
  • Name of certifier
  • Name of coroner 
  • Cause of death
  • Address of usual residence of mother 
  • Place of birth text 
  • Postcode of usual residence of the mother, 
  • Postcode of place of birth of child 
  • NHS number of child  
  • Date of Birth of child   

Births data tables – This dataset provides us with access to patient identifiable data about the number of births that occur within our geographical boundaries as the Upper Tier Local Authority for Coventry.

It includes the address of usual residence of mother, place of birth, postcode of usual residence of the mother, postcode of place of birth of child, NHS number of child and the date of birth of the child. This data is only supplied to us by NHS Digital under strict license and data disclosure controls.

Vital statistics tables – This dataset is aggregated together so that it does not identify individuals. It contains data on live and still births, fertility rates, maternity statistics, death registrations and cause of death analysis by our geographical boundaries as an Upper Tier Local Authority for Coventry. This data is only supplied to us by NHS Digital under strict license and data disclosure controls. 

Types of information we use

We work with many types of data to be able to promote health and support improvements in the delivery of health and care services in Coventry. This includes processing:

  1. Identifiable data – containing personal data that can identify individuals, such as those listed above
  2. Pseudonymised data – this contains information about individuals but with the identifiable details replaced with a unique code.
  3. Anonymised data – this information about individuals has had all identifying details removed.
  4. Aggregated data – this is when all anonymised information has been grouped together so that it doesn’t identify individuals.

Who uses this information?

The Public Health Team of Coventry City Council.

What do we do with this information?

All Local Authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. To help with this, our Public Health team use data and information from a range of sources including information collected at the registration of a birth or a death and client/customer use of provider services as commissioned by Coventry City Council. Although not direct care, this helps us to understand more about the health and care needs of the population/s in our area. We can use the data to measure the health, mortality, morbidity and care requirements of our population, allowing us to plan and deliver health and care services in a coordinated and efficient way.

This information is used for statistical analysis, the monitoring of population health, demographic change in the county, and the planning and commissioning of health services.

This information is used specifically to identify patterns and trends in mortality rates, life expectancy and premature death, highlighting differences between geographic areas, age, sex and other characteristics. It is also used to identify differences between areas and inform the targeting of healthcare and public health services. This information is used in the Annual Public Health Report, Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, and health needs assessments, as well as for the monitoring of seasonal patterns (excess seasonal mortality) and the monitoring of trends for particular causes of death.

No personal-identifiable information is published, and numbers and rates in published reports based on counts fewer than five are removed to further protect confidentiality and anonymity.

Coventry City Council acts as ‘data controller’ for this data. This means that The City Council determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be processed. 

In the case of suicides and deaths with an open verdict, an audit process is place to share information and gather further details with other public organisations. Under these arrangements relevant information would be shared and gathered from acute hospital trusts, mental health trusts, GP practices, local coroner’s offices and local emergency services through data sharing agreements and related processes.

How do we keep this information secure?

Information is held in a secure environment and is only accessible to Public Health Analysts within the Coventry Public Health Health Intelligence Team (PHIT).

What are your rights?

You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you. To obtain a copy of your personal information, please write to Data Protection Officer, Coventry City Council, The Council House, Earl Street, Coventry, West Midlands. CV1 5RR

The registration of births and deaths is a legal requirement, and the data are processed by Coventry City Council through a data access agreement with NHS Digital.

You have the right to opt out of Coventry City Council Public Health processing your personal identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues. The process for opting out will depend on what the specific data is and what programme it relates to. You can choose not to have information about you shared or used for any purpose beyond providing your own treatment or care. If you wish to have your personal identifiable information removed from the datasets used by Public Health for the purposes outlined above please write to Data Protection Officer, Coventry City Council, The Council House, Earl Street, Coventry, West Midlands. CV1 5RR

What is the legal basis for the flow of Public Health data?

We have different legal responsibilities for different types of information we hold and analyse in the Public Health Information team. We follow Section 42(4) of the SRSA (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social Care Act (2012) and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

How is my data kept safe and secure?

All the data we process and hold is kept safely and securely within our IT systems. When not in use our PCMD data is encrypted to AES standard 256 level.

We do not disclose any data to a third party who is not identified on our license agreement with NHS Digital. Any data requests received from a third party will only receive anonymised and aggregated data to a level that complies with the Office of National Statistics Disclosure Guidance or, we are required to do so for legal reasons

Who information may be shared with

We sometimes need to share information with the individuals we process information about and other organisations. Where this is necessary we are required to comply with all aspects of the data protection act. 

Access to your personal information

To make a request for personal information you will need to put the request in writing to:

Information Governance Team

Room 64

Council House

Earl Street



For independent advice about the use of your data, contact the Information Commissioners Office.

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