Drug and Alcohol Service privacy notice

We keep this privacy notice under regular review and was last updated in September 2023.

Kent County Council respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

Who we are

We are Kent County Council. Kent County Council (KCC) collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (‘UK GDPR’) and the Data Protection Act 2018. We are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.

Under section 2B of the National Health Service Act 2006, KCC is under a duty to take such steps as it considers appropriate for improving the health of the people in its area.

As part of its response to this duty, KCC commissions specialist drug and alcohol treatment services on behalf of Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) in Kent. These services offer harm reduction advice, assessments and recovery plans. When individuals present to the service for help and support with their drug and alcohol use, information about them is collected by the drug and alcohol treatment service during the referral, assessment and throughout the course of their treatment. This includes personal information, information about the treatment they receive, drug and alcohol status and health and wellbeing information. This is shared with OHID via a system called National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) and is kept securely.

Personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

When an individual presents to drug and alcohol services and throughout their journey, they are asked a series of questions which the services keep as a record of their treatment.

Our contractual arrangements with our service providers ensure that the grounds on which they may collect and process data are clear, there are appropriate arrangements for data security (including a process for dealing with any data breaches) and for the deletion of data when it is no longer required.

Please refer to our providers’ own Privacy Notices via the links below or contact them, if you wish to know more.

If the service user agrees, some partially identifiable information is shared with KCC and OHID via NDTMS. Your data may be shared with other organisations and combined with other datasets for further analyses such as system and service planning, and research. Data will de-identified (or depersonalised) at source, where appropriate, before it is shared elsewhere, to protect confidentiality. KCC is the data controller here as we determine the manner and processing of the data on behalf of the supplier. If you do not agree then no data will be shared.

KCC and OHID never use NDTMS to collect or store full names and addresses. KCC and OHID never publishes any NDTMS information that could be used to identify individual people. KCC does not share any personal information with OHID, this is done by your provider to the extent described in this notice. The data collected is specified by the OHID guidance on Alcohol and Drug misuse treatment core dataset collection, which can be viewed on the National Government website.

How we use your personal information

On behalf of OHID we use the personal data and other information collected to:

  • monitor how effective drug and alcohol treatment services are
  • plan and develop services that best meet local needs
  • produce statistics and support research about drug and alcohol use and treatment.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal data

When we collect your personal data, we rely on the following legal bases:

  • Article 6(1)(e) - processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller

When we collect your ‘special categories of personal data’, (such as health, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) we rely on the following legal bases:

  • Article (9)(2)(h) - processing is necessary for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services
  • Article (9)(2)(j) - processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes

We rely on the Public Health and Research conditions from Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when relying on Article(9)(2)(h) to process your special category data.

We take the following appropriate safeguards in respect of your special category data when relying on the conditions above:

  • We have a retention schedule which explains how long data is retained.

We maintain a record of our processing in our ‘Record of Processing Activities’ and record for any reasons deviating from the periods in our retention schedule.

How long your personal data will be kept

We will only hold your personal information for as long as necessary. To work out how long we need to keep your information for we use our retention schedule (AS4.4).

View Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ privacy notice.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law or in connection with legal proceedings.

We will share personal information with our legal and professional advisers in the event of a dispute, complaint or claim. We rely on Article 9(2)(f) where the processing of special category data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

NHS and care services

We have processes in place for considering requests for data disclosures for purposes beyond direct care which is consistent with national data opt-out policy. Our organisation is compliant with the national data opt-out policy.

To find out more about the NHS’ wider use of confidential personal information and to register your choice to opt out if you do not want your data to be used in this way, visit the NHS website. If you do choose to opt out you can still consent to your data being used for specific purposes.

Your rights

Under GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:

  • know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
  • ask to see what information we hold about you (subject access request)
  • ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
  • object to direct marketing
  • make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office

Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

  • ask us to delete information we hold about you
  • have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
  • object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
  • object to how we are using your information
  • stop us using your information in certain ways

We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note, your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under GDPR.

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.


Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at data.protection@kent.gov.uk to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at dpo@kent.gov.uk.

UK GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complaint with Information Commissioner, who may be contacted via the Information Commissioner's website or call 03031 231113.

Read our corporate privacy statement.