We value the privacy of our clients
Women’s Health West collects different kinds of personal information about service users, members or others who use our service. Information collected ranges from the name and address of a member to extensive case notes.
Women’s Health West is bound by legal obligations including the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and Heath Records Act 2001.
What information do we keep about you?
Women’s Health West members include individual women who live or work in the western region, as well as workers in the west and state-wide. We have a database of member and contact names, contact details and particular interests. This last category enables us to know what kind of information you may be interested in receiving.
What can happen to information about you?
Personal information about individual members and contacts is strictly confidential. This means we will not give out this information to any organisation or individual.
Publicly available information about services may be cross-referenced with like-minded organisations in the interests of keeping our records up-to-date.
Another example is if you are a family violence client and the person who hurt you or your children is charged with a crime in relation to that violence. Many forms of family violence are criminal acts. Our workers may occasionally be subpoenaed to give evidence in such cases.
Information sharing and risk management: family violence information sharing scheme
The Royal Commission into Family Violence recommended that a new specific family violence information sharing scheme be implemented in Victoria – this is called Part 5A.
The new information sharing scheme does not interfere with existing legislative provisions that already permit information to be shared (i.e. such as existing privacy legislation or under child protection legislation).
Instead, Part 5A provides additional powers to prescribed Information Sharing Entities (ISEs) to share and request information for the purpose of assessing and managing risk of family violence.
The Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017 removes the requirement in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001 that a serious threat to an individual must also be imminent before information can be lawfully shared without consent.
Any information that is relevant to assessing and managing risk of family violence can be shared under Part 5A as long as the consent requirements of the legislation have been met, sharing the information would not contravene another law and the information is not excluded information.
Excluded information includes (but is not limited to) information that, if shared, would prejudice an ongoing criminal investigation or a coronial inquest, be contrary to a court order, or would endanger a person’s life or result in physical injury.
For further details about Part 5A please visit the Victorian Government website.
If you are an Information Sharing Entity (ISE), please send your detailed requests to ISE (at) whwest.org.au.
If you believe your privacy has been unlawfully interfered with as a result of information sharing, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner or the Health Complaints Commissioner, as applicable.
Any other questions?
It is important that you understand their rights regarding your personal information. Women’s Health West encourage you to talk to our staff if you have any questions, concerns or complaints about what happens to your information.