Who we are

Virtually is an NHS run and NHS funded business created by NHS Clinical Professionals who recognise the challenges patients have in accessing digital healthcare.

This privacy policy sets out how Virtually uses and protects any information that you give us when you use this website. We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Any identifying information we ask you to provide will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

Your consent

By using this site, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and our Terms of use. Whenever you submit information via this site, you consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with those Terms of Use and this Privacy Policy.


What we collect

We may collect the following information:

  • Your email address
  • Your chosen password (which will always be encrypted)
  • Personal information, such as your postcode, your home address
  • Your age/date of birth
  • Your sex
  • Previous GP details
  • NHS number
  • Telephone number
  • a picture of your government-issued photo ID


What we do with the information we gather:

We will never pass on your information unless you specifically consent to us doing so or we are specifically required to by law. We only use it to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular:

  • for internal record keeping
  • to improve our services, and email you responses
  • to offer you, relevant information based on your location
  • to present you with occasional updates and marketing messages where you have not opted out, based on our legitimate interest in keeping you informed of our services subject to your right to opt-out at any time.

As part of providing you with high-quality preventative health care, we may contact you by SMS, email and/or other means to offer you helpful or important info about your care – this may include invitations to make in-person appointments.


Security

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical and electronic procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.


Passive information collection

As you navigate through this site, certain anonymous information can be passively collected (that is, gathered without your actively providing the information) using various technologies, such as cookies* and other navigational data collection (such as server logs). Your internet browser automatically transmits to this site some of this anonymous information, such as the URL of the website you just came from and the IP address and the browser version your computer is currently using.

This helps us analyse data about our site traffic, so we can improve virtually and tailor it more to our members’ needs. All information is anonymous and only used for operational purposes.

*A cookie is a small file which “asks permission” to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may, however, prevent you from taking full advantage of our website. Read more about our Cookies Policy.


Links to other websites

Our website may contain links or references to other websites e.g. the NHS site to which this Privacy Policy does not apply. If you click on these links to leave our site, you should note that we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information you provide whilst visiting those sites, nor can we be held responsible for the accuracy of this content. We suggest you always look at the privacy statement of any other website you visit.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to change or restrict the use of your personal information by going to your Profile and amending your registration details.

We will not give your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are specifically required to by law.

You may ask us to provide details of the personal information we hold about you, under the Data Protection Act 1998. To request this information, please email us at patientsupport@virtually.healthcare.

If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible. We will, of course, happily correct any information that’s found to be incorrect.


Content of Consultations

All clinical conversations and content entered within consultations remains confidential and will not be accessible by Virtually staff members. However, Virtually clinical staff reserves the right to access consultation information, for legitimate security and medical reasons.

Cookies

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.