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Professional survey privacy statement - NHS e-Referral Service

This is a privacy statement for the NHS e-Referral Service user survey for use by professionals that have used the NHS e-Referral Service professional web application for managing patient referrals.


This privacy statement relates to services provided by NHS Digital. 

This is a privacy statement for the NHS e-Referral Service user survey for use by professionals that have used the NHS e-Referral Service professional web application for managing patient referrals. 

This privacy statement is also for professionals that choose to take part in the NHS e-Referral Service user research panel. As a research panel member, you will have the opportunity to take part in online surveys, one-to-one interviews, web usability tests and discussion groups. We may follow up with you to ask about how your particular experience was of using the NHS e-Referral Service as a professional user. 

The NHS e-Referral Service user research team understands your needs as an individual to ensure that your data is being held in a responsible way and we aim to reassure you that every reasonable step is being taken to secure your personal information. 

Please ensure that you have read this statement carefully and contact the NHS e-Referral Service programme team at if you have any questions or concerns relating to this privacy statement. 

This privacy statement explains the following:

  • who we are
  • what information we collect
  • how we use your information
  • what legal basis we have for processing your personal data
  • when we share your personal data
  • where we store and process personal data
  • how we secure personal data
  • how long we keep your personal data for
  • your rights in relation to personal data
  • how to contact us

Who we are

The NHS e-Referral Service is a programme service of NHS Digital. NHS Digital is the controller for the NHS e-Referral Service. 

The Data Protection Officer for NHS Digital can be contacted at:

What information do we collect?

When you complete the NHS e-Referral Service professional survey, we collect:

  • the address of the website you visited from
  • your smartcard role(s)
  • your organisation
  • the type of device you have used
  • operating system
  • web browser type and version
  • IP address
  • screen resolution
  • flash version

If you choose to participate in future user research, we will collect further information, which may include:

  • your name 
  • your email address
  • a contact telephone number

How we use your information

We use your information so that the NHS e-Referral Service can be improved. We use the data we collect to:

  • inform developments to our products
  • understand how different professionals use the NHS e-Referral Service and what their experiences are
  • gain knowledge of how referral are managed by NHS organisation types in different locations (for example, hospitals, GP surgeries, Clinical Commissioning Groups)
  • help us improve the user experience of the services we provide

When we share your personal data

For members of the professional user research panel, we may request to share your details with other research teams within NHS Digital, if we feel that you would be a suitable candidate for their user research. Details would only be shared with authorised members of the NHS Digital research team, but only with your permission. 

We won't share your information with any other organisations for marketing, research or commercial purposes. We will not pass on your information to any organisation outside of NHS Digital. 

We will not identify you personally in any findings or reports. 

The results of the surveys may be published by NHS Digital in partnership with NHS England and Improvement to support NHS services to improve how referrals are managed. Published results will remain anonymous - nobody will be able to identify you in any results. 

Where we store and process personal data

We store your data on servers in the UK. Currently, there are no plans for this to change.

How we secure personal data

We take the security of your personal information seriously. We have set up security measures, policies and procedures such as:

  • all our survey data is stored securely in line with the General Data Protection Regulations
  • only allowing access to survey data to specific NHS Digital staff
  • compulsory information governance training completed every year for all NHS Digital staff members and contractors

While in transit, the information you share with us by completing a survey is done so using a secure, encrypted HTTPS connection. We have procedures in place to keep your information secure once we have it. 

However, no software or application can be completely secure, and we are unable to guarantee the security of your information while it is in transit. If you have any concerns that your information could have been compromised, please contact

How long we keep your personal data for

We store your personal data from our servers for a maximum of three years, after this time it will be deleted. 

If you wish to have your data omitted, restricted, erased, rectified or if you wish to have a copy of your response from the results of this survey then please contact

Your rights in relation to personal data

We respect your rights to access and control the personal data that we hold about you, as required by Data Protection Legislation. This includes:

  • right to be informed
  • right to get access to it
  • right to rectify or change it
  • right to restrict or stop processing it

You can exercise these rights at any time by emailing the NHS e-Referral Service programme team on Any requests for information will be acknowledged within one working day. 

If you no longer want to take part in the patient user panel, you can withdraw your information by contacting us on You do not have to provide a reason to withdraw. 

If you wish to make a complaint about how we have managed your data, contact details for the Regulator are provided below:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House 

Water Lane



How to contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about this privacy statement or the way in which we process your data, please contact us on

To know how your data will be collected, processed, and stored, and for what purposes, you can contact our Data Protection Office:

By email:

By post:

Information Governance Compliance Team
NHS Digital
7 and 8 Wellington Place
West Yorkshire

We ask that you try to resolve any issues with us first, although you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) at any time about our processing of your personal information. 

The ICO is the UK regulator for data protection and upholds information rights.

Contact the ICO.

Last edited: 7 September 2021 7:46 am