The Royal Free Charity Support Hub was set up in 2018 to provide information and support to Royal Free London patients and carers affected by long term health conditions.

One of the services we offer is welfare rights advice and assistance.  Our advisors support with an array of things including benefit applications and appeals, and housing advice. Please see the ‘terms of engagement’ you will receive from your advisor following your first appointment with them, which includes detail of the service including where and how we can support.

The Royal Free Charity fully funds the service so there is no extra cost to you.

If you have any questions, please email: [email protected]

Privacy information

The below information lets you know about how we handle your personal information.

If you have any questions about this, wish to make a request to see your information, exercise any of your other data protection rights, or have a complaint please contact the Support hub lead, Liz Fowler: [email protected].

Where is my information kept?

We record and hold your information in your client file in our secure client case work database, called Advice Pro.

We hold the information you provide on your Registration Questionnaire (completed over the phone with our administrator, or in person in the Hub).

We may also receive information from government departments and other agencies as we work to support you. We will tell you of this information and where it has come from.

Do you need my consent?

We need your personal information to understand your situation.

We use it to help with your enquiry or case.

We are an advice service and will be working on your behalf, so we need this information – we cannot run the service or support you without it.

We believe both you and the Support Hub have an interest in us collecting and using your personal information in this way. We have a “legitimate interest” and we consider that our interests do not override your interests. If you think we have got this wrong, please let us know.

We also need personal information about your health and sometimes other sensitive matters. Again, we need this sensitive personal information in order to provide the service, either to:

  • support individuals with a particular disability or medical condition,
  • provide confidential advice or support, or
  • ensure we can safeguard the economic wellbeing of individuals at risk because of physical or mental injury, illness or disability.

We can do this because of the conditions outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018.

Who can see my personal information?

It can only be accessed and used by the Support hub team (including welfare benefit advisors, support hub lead and administrator).

Third parties:   We will share some information with other agencies (for example the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), your council, NHS Business Services Authority) so that we can help you and act on your behalf. This will only be the minimum we need to share in order to support you.  We will ask for your agreement before we do this: we will ask you to provide your consent via a separate authorisation and consent form.

Will my personal information always remain confidential?

We protect your confidentiality. However, we can share your personal information in the following circumstances:

  • When there is a legal requirement – because of a law or a court order
  • Where there is an overriding public interest (e.g. to prevent serious crime or serious harm to self or other person)
  • To prevent a vulnerable adult from abuse (e.g. physical, sexual, psychological, financial)

We will also feed back to the medical professional at the Royal Free hospital who initially referred you about the outcome of our support with you.

How long will you keep my personal information?

The RFC Support hub retains your personal information for the advice industry standard of 6 years.

What if I want more detail?

Full details can be found on the Royal Free Charity Privacy Policy.