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NHS Dental Services privacy notice

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is responsible for this service.

Why we process your information

When you complete a course of NHS dental treatment, your dentist submits some of your treatment details to us. You agreed to this when you signed the dental treatment form, which is required as part of your dentist’s contract terms.

By law, we must process this information on behalf of the NHS.

We use the information to:

  • pay the dental practice
  • secure effective and efficient delivery of NHS services
  • analyse with other patients' information to understand patterns and trends that will be used to plan and make improvements to NHS services and direct patient care
  • check for fraud and errors
  • survey NHS dentistry experience

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic where dental practices are conducting telephone triage as an alternative to face-to-face dental activity, we may gather additional personal data such as coronavirus status and symptoms, and whether a patient is part of a ‘high risk’ group. We use this information to:

  • help UK Health Security Agency to monitor and manage the response to coronavirus in relation to dental activity and triage
  • plan in relation to coronavirus

We may also use the information to:

Information that identifies you will not be transferred outside the UK or European Economic Area.

Sharing your personal information

To support more effective planning and improvements to NHS services and patient care, we may share our understanding of patterns and trends gained from patient information with:

  • NHS Commissioners and service providers
  • UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
  • Health Education England
  • NHS Digital
  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • NHS Counter Fraud Authority
  • Care & Quality Commission (CQC)
  • The General Dental Council
  • The Office of the Chief Dental Officer
  • Welsh Government
  • Public Health Wales

To prevent, detect and investigate fraud and errors, we may share your information with:

  • NHS Counter Fraud Authority
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • NHS England
  • NHS Service Commissioners and bodies performing functions on their behalf
  • The General Dental Council

When necessary, we will only share information that can identify you with those:

  • directly involved in your NHS care
  • reviewing you NHS care
  • with a legal right to it
  • who you have given us permission to share with

This includes the General Dental Council, who are responsible for ensuring dentists act in the best interests of their patients.

We may share anonymised information relating to your treatment with DHSC, and NHS England. This helps to develop new ways of delivering and paying for NHS dental services.

We also share anonymised information with other public sector health bodies, such as the CQC, NHS Digital and UKHSA. This helps to inform and develop improvements to healthcare.

Our data is published, subject to strict governance controls, by ourselves and NHS Digital. This keeps our data transparent and provides important statistical information to the public.

If an investigation into errors with state benefit entitlement is needed, we:

  • may receive or share your information with DWP
  • will share pseudonymised information with DHSC so a decision can be made about any errors found

If appropriate, we will then implement the decision made by DHSC.

These investigations may require information over several years. This means we will need to keep your information until we have completed any changes needed.

Keeping your personal information

We will anonymise the information we have used from your NHS dental treatment form no later than 8 years after the month we receive it.

We only hold an copy of your dental records with the originals being held by your dental practice.

Your rights

The information you provided will be managed as required by Data Protection law.

You have the right to:

  • receive a copy of the information the NHSBSA hold about you
  • request your information be changed if you believe it was not correct at the time you provided it
  • that your information be deleted if you believe we are keeping it for longer than necessary
  • a review of the automated decision to issue you with a Penalty Charge Notice

Find out more about your rights and how we process information. You can also download our A4 privacy notice poster: NHS Dental Services privacy notice poster (PDF: 556KB)

Child-friendly privacy notice

For more information on how we handle your data, download our child-friendly privacy notice presentation (PowerPoint: 493KB).