The Silver Chain Group is a charitable organisation that provides health and aged care services to people in need in the community. As such we routinely collect and use individuals' personal and sensitive information to ensure delivery of appropriate, timely and quality health and aged care services.
Disclosure of this information to Silver Chain Group places the organisation in a position of trust within the community and as such we seek to protect the privacy of individuals in accordance with the National Privacy Principles within the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 (Privacy Act). The following Privacy Statement seeks to identify how we manage and protect the information provided to us in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Primary purpose for collection of information
The primary purpose that Silver Chain Group collects personal information is to ensure delivery of appropriate health and aged care services that are tailored to the needs of the individual.
The Silver Chain Group is a charitable organisation that receives government funding. Public fundraising helps us to enhance the provision of health and aged care services. As such we also use the names and addresses of the people for whom we care and those who donate to forward a regular organisation newsletter. This newsletter contains information on the array of services available and also provides details as to how people can support the organisation in its fundraising activity. People receiving care can elect not to receive this newsletter however most find it helpful.
Information we collect, use and store
To enable delivery of health and aged care services we collect the following types of personal information:
- Name and address of client.
- Health status and services provided.
- Relevant demographic and social information.
- Name and contact number of any carers or relevant family members.
- Name and contact number of the client’s general practitioner and other relevant health care providers.
To deliver holistic palliative care services to clients with a life limiting illness, we also request information on client’s religious affiliations to better support the delivery of chaplaincy services as and when required by the client.
To inform our donors of Silver Chain Group news and updates, we collect the following types of personal information.
- Name, address and contact number.
- Donation amount.
- Date donation is banked.
Disclosure of personal information to others
There are several instances under which the Silver Chain Group needs to provide personal information to other agencies.
The first instance is where we need to provide another agency with information to enable care to be delivered to the client. The client’s consent is sought prior to this release of information.
A second instance occurs where for legal reasons we are obligated to provide information under subpoena, the Privacy Act establishes guidelines for the release of information under these circumstances.
The third instance is where we provide de-identified information to funding agencies and government departments to meet contractual requirements. De-identified information cannot be linked directly back to an individual.
In all other situations, the release of personal information relating to the client may only occur with the written consent of the client or legal guardian of the client.
Notwithstanding the above, the client has the right to withdraw consent to release personal information at any time. Ideally such communication should be in writing.
Silver Chain Group is contractually obligated to provide reports to various funding bodies and government departments. These reports usually provide de-identified information on the amount of care provided and the types of clients supported. Under the funding provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for Community Nursing and Veterans’ Health Care Programs, reporting information is provided to the Health Insurance Commission on the amount of care provided and the Department of Veterans' Affairs pension numbers of the veteran clients supported.
Legal requirements for release of information
In the absence of the consent of the person to whom the information refers, or a person authorised to act on their behalf, under the Privacy Act, information can only be released to another if:
- There is a statutory obligation to disclose certain information. (For example, subpoenas, warrants, coronial inquiries, provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Guardianship Act).
- The public interest requires the release of confidential information.
Use of contractors
At times the Silver Chain Group uses contractors to provide aspects of care to clients. Contractors are required to abide by the same confidentiality and privacy requirements as Silver Chain Group employees and this is clearly stated within their contract.
Keeping information up to date and accurate
The Silver Chain Group makes every effort to keep personal information up to date and accurate. This may mean that at times our staff will review the personal information held and request verification as to its accuracy.
An 'updates' slip is enclosed with each edition of our newsletter. This is to provide the opportunity for readers to update their personal contact details. To request access to aspects of your personal information that we might hold or to notify us of any changes or correction please contact the Customer Centre:
WA – (08) 9242 0242 (Perth only) or 1300 650 803 (Country)
SA / QLD – 1300 364 264
Access to individual personal information
Individuals can request access to all the personal information held by the Silver Chain Group by contacting our Client Care Centre. This request will be evaluated as per the requirements and conditions of the Privacy Act. There may be instances where access is denied to certain record or aspects of records in accordance with the Privacy Act.
The Chief Executive Officer’s office will ensure the request is handled in a timely manner. It is reasonable to expect that extraction of the personal information required may then take up to fifteen working days due to the need to access both paper based and computerised information systems. A nominal fee may be charged to meet the costs of extracting the information. This is at the discretion of our Chief Executive Officer.
Privacy concerns, complaints and suggestions
The Silver Chain Group is keen to ensure it adheres to the National Privacy Principles and protects the individual’s right to privacy. If you have any concerns, complaints or suggestions as to how we might improve in this area please contact the Customer Centre in WA on (08) 9242 0242 (Perth only) or 1300 650 803 (Country) or the Client Care Centre for our SA/QLD clients on 1300 364 264. It is reasonable to expect a response to your complaint, concern or suggestion within three working days. Where a complaint requires investigation, we seek to provide the findings of the investigation and discuss these with the complainant within ten working days.