Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

To Our Residents’ Families…

We continue to fully restrict visitors to our homes. This extends to all contractors who are not essential to our services, and we have ceased all building works at this time.

These and other measures are taken in the interest of protecting our residents. The risks posed by Covid-19 to older people, especially those who have underlying medical conditions, is well understood. These risks place an important additional responsibility on us as their carers.

We want to assure all families and friends of our residents that we are relentless in our focus on the care and protection of your loved ones. No effort is being spared in our attempts to keep our residents safe;

      • We are following all HSE and Public Health guidelines
      • We are supplying all staff with as much of the recommended PPE as we can
      • We are keeping a very close eye on all our residents, including taking temperatures twice daily, so that we can screen early onset of any flu like symptoms
      • We have a very active recruitment drive underway to help have as many back-up staff as we can possibly have, to cover for those who are sick or having to self-isolate.

If you have specific queries about your relative you should communicate directly with us in the normal way. Please be understanding with our staff if the response is not always as quick as we would normally like it to be.

We want to reassure you that we are doing our very best to provide all the love and care and protection that your loved one needs. We hope that you and yours stay safe and well and we are very much looking forward to the days when normal visiting and normal life returns to the home.

To Our Staff…

We cannot thank you enough. You are doing a truly fantastic job and we are very proud of you.

We also want to thank the families of our staff for the sacrifices they are making, and the support that they are giving to our team.

Like all frontline staff in the health services, our nurses, carers and support staff are selflessly putting themselves in harm’s way, in order to provide care and protection for those who are most vulnerable. This crisis is bringing out the best in people, and this is most certainly true in the case of our staff.

On top of the increased clinical needs around infection control, we would like to especially thank the staff for going above and beyond their usual duties to care for all our residents. A huge effort is being put in to ensure that our residents do not feel isolated or lonely, whether this be getting creative with activities or facilitating calls/video calls with families.

Our admiration and appreciation knows no bounds at this time.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) PRIVACY NOTICE

This Privacy Notice is in response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. It supports the CareChoice overarching Privacy Notices to explain how we will collect, use, and protect personal data in relation to the extraordinary challenges we are all facing during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The CareChoice Group already holds data regarding residents, employees, and other individuals. You may have provided this information for a specific reason. Normally, the CareChoice Group would seek to inform you that the data provided would be used for a different purpose. However, due to the rapidly emerging situation regarding the current pandemic this will not always be possible.

Monitoring the COVID-19 situation necessitates the processing of more health data relating to residents, employees, and other individuals. We may in this current crisis need to ask you for personal information including sensitive personal information.

Your Personal Data

The CareChoice Group is taking the necessary steps to contain the spread and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in accordance with the guidance of the Public Health Authorities and the Government. Many of these steps will involve the processing of personal data. This may for example entail taking your temperature, asking whether you are part of an ‘at risk group’, information about your symptoms, whether you or a close contact has been exposed to a known case of COVID-19, if you are or need to self-isolate and the length of time you self-isolate. It may also include the processing of your name, address, phone number, email address, workplace details, travel details, details of absence from work and the reason for same. Some of your personal data is classed as ‘special categories of personal data’ because it is the information that is considered to be more sensitive and therefore requires more protection. This includes your health information including results of testing for COVID-19 and other health related data.

Such information will be limited to what is proportionate and necessary, taking into account the latest guidance issued by the Government and Public Health Authorities, to manage and contain the virus.

Our Lawful Basis for Processing Your Personal Data

The General Data Protection Regulation requires specific conditions to be met to ensure that the processing of personal data is lawful. These relevant conditions are below:

  • Article 6(1)(d) – processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person.
  • Article 6(1)(c) – processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subjectEmployers also have a legal obligation to protect their employees under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (as amended)

The processing of special categories of personal data, which includes data concerning a person’s health, are prohibited unless specific further conditions can be met. These further relevant conditions are below:

  • Article 9(2)(i) – processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against serious cross-border threats to health.
  • Article 9(2)(b) – processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising the specific rights of the controller or the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law.

Data Security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used, or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered, or disclosed. We limit access to your personal data to those employees, contractors and other third parties on a need-to-know basis.

All employees are subject to a duty of confidentiality, and they are required to be compliant and demonstrate compliance with Personal Data Protection.

Sharing Your Personal Data

In this current pandemic we may share your information with Public Health Authorities, Emergency Services, the HSE (Community Health Organisation) and other stakeholders as necessary and proportionate to do.

Retention of Data

We will only keep your information for as long as it necessary, considering the advice of Government and the Public Health Authorities and the on-going risk presented by COVID-19.

When the information is no longer needed for this purpose, it will be securely deleted.

Questions About This Notice

If there is anything in this notice that you are unclear about, please contact the CareChoice Group Data Protection Officer at dpo@carechoice.ie.

The Data Protection Officer will answer any queries you may have concerning this Privacy Notice or the way in which we process your personal data.

Should you not be satisfied with our response to your concerns or believe that we have not complied with our data protection obligations you may lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commission at info@dataprotection.ie.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice is kept under regular review and we will provide you with a new Privacy Notice when we make any substantial updates. This Privacy Notice was published on May 14th, 2020.

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