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Medical Services 
The Data Protection Act 
Version: 3 (final) 
22 August 2012 
Copyright © 2011 Atos Origin. 

Medical Services 
Document Control 
Version Date 
3 (final) 
22 Aug 2012 
make additions requested 
by DWP re: from ownership 
2 Final 
18 July 2012 
General Review 
1 Final 
14 February 2011 
Approved by CMMS 
Superseded Documents 
Changes since last version 
Outstanding issues and omissions 
Updates to Standards incorporated 
Author:  Process Design Team  
Owner and approver:  The Process Design Team Manager  
Date: 22 Aug 2012 
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About this document 
Purpose 5 
Applicability 5 
Owner 5 
References 5 
Introduction 6 
The Data Protection Act 1998 

The Principles of the Data Protection Act 

Subject Access Requests 

Definition 7 
Data Subject 

Data Controller 

Data Processor 

Data Protection officer 

Definition of ‘Processing’ 

Data Processing 
Use of Data 

Personal responsibilities for Processing Data 

Consent for Data Use 

Personnel 9 
Security and IT 

Retention 10 
The Data Protection System 
Monitoring Policy 
Register of Access Requests 
Requests for copies of documentation 
Process for Dealing with a Subject Access Request 
Generic Process 
Target Dates 
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Claimant Requests Data 
Process 13 
What happens if the request is received by the Data Processor 
Harmful Information 
Subject Access Requests made by Personnel working on the 
Medical Services Contract 
Subject Access Requests made in respect of Atos Healthcare’s 
occupational health DWP contract 
Third Party Data 
General 16 
Other Data 
Appendix A -  The Principles of the Data Protection Act 
Appendix B -  Process for Dealing with Subject Access Requests 
Appendix C -  Medical Services Data Protection Officer 
Appendix D -  DPT 1 
Observation form 
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1. About 
1.1 Purpose 
The purpose of this document is to ensure that all members of Atos Healthcare (AH) 
are aware of the Data Protection Act (DPA). The guidance will provide 
understanding on the processes and procedures to be followed to ensure 
compliance with the act and also during the process of a request from an individual 
for copies of their personal data. 
1.2 Applicability 
All Atos Healthcare Staff, Atos staff, contractors and third parties working on any 
DWP Medical Services contracts in place. 
1.3 Owner 
The Process Design Team Manager owns this document. 
The owner is responsible for approval of this document and all related feedback 
should be addressed to them. 
1.4 References 
1.  Document Processing and Retention Handbook (MED-DPRH01) 
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2. Introduction 
The Data Protection Act 1998 
The Data Protection Act became law on 1 March 2000.  A wide ranging review of 
personal data and their use throughout Atos Healthcare (AH) was undertaken at the 
time.  The objective was to ensure that all operational procedures were, or would be 
made, compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).  
In particular, the DPA contains eight Principles which define how personal 
information should be treated and gives individuals certain rights. 
Atos Healthcare (AH), as part of Atos IT Services UK Limited (Atos), is acting for 
Medical Services contracts in the role of Data Processor and the customer is the 
Data Controller.  However, AH is not always the Data Processor: depending on the 
situation AH can also be the Data Controller e.g. with regard to employee records.  
The Principles of the Data Protection Act 
Any organisation that controls the processing of personal data must comply with the 
DPA.  In this context ‘process’ means any action associated with data, including for 
example, the collection of data. 
The DPA contains 8 principles which define the key requirements of data protection.  
These are listed at Appendix A. 
The Company Data Privacy Policy provided senior management commitment to 
comply with all the requirements of the Act.  This can be obtained from the UKI 
Intranet, reference: SEC-POL050. 
2.3 Subject 
This guide will provide further in sight into a specific process, dealing with a Subject 
Access Request (a request from an individual for a copy of their own personal 
information). It explains how to deal with these requests, ensuring they comply with 
the DPA. It is important that this guide be read in conjunction with the Document 
Processing and Retention Handbook (MED-DPRH01). 
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3. Definition 
Below are the definitions of terms used in relation to the process of complying with 
the DPA. 
3.1 Data 
The Data Subject is a living individual who is the subject of personal data. 
3.2 Data 
The Data Controller is the organisation or person who determines the purposes for 
which information is processed and the manner in which this is done. The Data 
Controller may be a government department (such as the DWP) or a company (such 
as Atos). 
3.3 Data 
A Data Processor is an organisation or person that processes data on behalf of a 
data controller.  For example, in respect of Medical Services, AH acts as a data 
processor on behalf of the DWP. 
Data Protection officer 
The role of the Data Protection Officer for Medical Services is to ensure that fair and 
lawful processing is applied and that all data subject access requests are processed 
The Data Protection Officer will liaise, as necessary, with the Atos UK Data 
Protection Manager. 
Definition of ‘Processing’ 
In the DPA, ‘processing’ is defined in such a way that it encompasses every action 
that could be performed on data.  This includes data collection, data storage, data 
processing (in the conventional sense), data transmission, data output, data 
disclosure, data distribution and data archiving and deletion.  All these actions which 
an organisation will undertake must ‘line up’ with the stated purpose for processing. 
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4. Data 
Personal data requested by a Data Subject has to be released in full unless 
specifically exempted under the Act.  This includes any notes that may be “off the 
record” or marked “confidential” but do not fall under the definition of Harmful 
Medical Information.  A Data Subject may ask for historical information which, if in 
the possession of the Data Controller/Processor, has to be released. 
Exemptions relating to third party data are dealt with in section 6.  There are other 
exemptions, for example data that is subject to legal professional privilege.  If in 
doubt, guidance should be sought from the Data Protection Officer.    
Use of Data 
Personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully.  In particular, the processing 
must have a legal justification – as defined in the Act – for taking place; and more 
stringent rules apply to data of a more sensitive nature e.g. health related data or 
the indication in a record of ethnic origin.  There must be a purpose for processing, 
for example, storage is processing. 
Where AH is acting as the Data Processor, the legal justification for processing is 
given by the contract with the customer and not by the Act itself.  It will be for the 
customer to show compliance with all eight Principles of the Act and they cannot be 
absolved of responsibility for this.  However, they may and should specify certain 
contractual obligations associated with the terms of the Act. 
In cases where it is agreed that AH (strictly speaking Atos as AH is a branch of this 
company) is acting as the Data Controller, the legal justification for processing will 
need to be identified and documented for the purposes of notification under the Data 
Protection Act.  The Atos UK Data Protection Manager is responsible for all AH 
Personal responsibilities for Processing Data 
  The quality of output must be considered and personal data should be adequate, 
relevant and not excessive, e.g. information that is not needed should not be kept  
  Hand written notes must only contain factual information and keep it as brief as 
possible, do not add sarcastic or any other personal comments 
  Only hold information for as long as it is required for action to be taken and as 
long as there is a legal or business need for its retention.  Data must not be kept 
once the purpose for processing has lapsed.  
  Information should be accurate and kept up to date (see 4.4 for further details on 
  ‘Post-It’ notes should never be filed – destroy them when the message has been 
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  E-mails should only refer to ONE subject/person at a time and should not be 
added to a long string of replies about other matters or individuals (this would not 
apply to a straight forward list of names) 
  Emails should be deleted as soon as is practicable – if they are retained they 
must be made available on a data subject request.  Note: it should not be 
necessary to have any reference to a claimant made in emails.  However, if it is 
appropriate to do so, this should be printed and placed into the relevant file. 
  It is essential that nothing derogatory about an individual is ever enclosed in 
Consent for Data Use 
4.2.1 Personnel 
AH Personnel are responsible for compliance with the DPA in respect of employee 
personal data.  
Security and IT 
The DPA sets out requirements and good practice guidelines for handling personal 
information that has been computer-processed.  
The Act states that personal data must only be used for the purposes for which it 
has been collected and the purposes must have been registered with the 
Information Commissioner. 
  Access – Staff may only access the records of those claimants they have to 
process in the course of their work (this applies to both computer and hard copy 
records).  They have no right to access claimant records for any other reason 
and deliberately or carelessly doing so is a disciplinary offence. 
  Quality – Personal data must be accurate, up-to-date and relevant.  If in the 
course of their duties staff find data about a claimant that is obviously wrong for 
any reason, they should inform their Line Manager who will arrange for the 
record to be reviewed. 
  Security – Security measures must be in place to protect personal data from 
unauthorised access or disclosure.  It is vital to follow the security policies and 
procedures to ensure the confidentiality. 
Detailed procedures relating to Security can be found by accessing the Atos 
Healthcare Security area on Livelink.  
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4.3 Retention 
Ensure information or data is not held beyond the retention periods given in the 
Document Processing and Retention Handbook (MED-DPRH01). 
  Personal data should not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purpose(s) 
of processing 
  Information should be accurate and kept up to date.  Reasonable effort must be 
made to ensure that data is recorded accurately.  Once recorded, ensure that 
the data is kept up to date for changes in the personal circumstances of the 
individual or other business related data, which may be recorded.   
  Duplication of data – Information should be held in as few places and ways as 
possible e.g. avoid running clerical and IT systems for the same data.  Business 
efficiency can be gained by minimising data duplication where possible.  The 
more data is duplicated and used operationally, either electronically or manually, 
the more likely that useable data is not properly updated at the right time and 
becomes out of date.  The duplication of healthcare personal data must be 
carefully controlled. 

  Data collected by OHCSS on candidates who are subsequently rejected for 
employment should be deleted from the electronic file and paper records and 
forms should be shredded. 
The Data Protection System 
The Data Protection System will consist of all the mechanisms and procedures put 
in place to ensure compliance with the Act.  This will consist mainly of policies and 
procedures but will also include all the security protection. 
4.4.1 Monitoring 
Monitoring of internet use and investigation of email use may be undertaken in line 
with the Atos Computer Usage Policy (UKM-HR-0012).    Members of staff need to 
consider all their working paper records and any electronic data held on Atos 
Healthcare systems against the list of personal responsibilities in section 4.1.1.  
Register of Access Requests 
The Medical Services Data Protection Officer (DPO) will maintain a register of 
requests and will update it with information on the dates received and cleared, 
together with the date of the subject access request and the details of the requesting 
Requests for copies of documentation 
The ESA 85 or  any subsequent medical reports for any other medical referrals are 
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not the property of Atos Healthcare and any such requests must be forwarded to 
DWP Service Integration Team. 
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Process for Dealing with a Subject Access 

5.1 Generic 
This generic process refers to Subject Access Request’s made in respect of the 
Medical Services contract, provided on behalf of the Department for Work and 
Please see section 3 for definitions and Appendix B -for the flowchart on this 
When a Data Subject requires personal data held on themselves, they should issue 
a written request to the appropriate Data Controller.  When the request is received 
by the Data Controller, they will examine the request.  The Data Controller will then 
decide whether the request is valid, if it is not, they will return the request to the Data 
Subject with an explanation as to the reason for rejection.  There are a few 
instances were a SAR could be refused, for example; if the Data Subject had not 
made their request in writing; or if a request was made by a third party, on behalf of 
the Data Subject.  In these cases written consent must be sought from the Data 
Subject. If, however, this is accepted and there is a third party involved in holding 
information on the Data Subject the Controller will issue the request to the Data 
Processor.  When the request is received by the Data Processor it should be 
forwarded to the Data Protection Officer.  When all the data has been collected the 
Data Protection Officer will reply with any observations to the Data Controller who 
will then reply to the Subject Access Request with any relevant explanation about 
data that may have been withheld. 
5.1.1 Target 
There is a 40-day period that applies to the Data Controller, this starts from the date 
the request is received by the Controller and ends when the final reply is sent to the 
Data Subject.  Where the DWP is the Data Controller and AH, the Processor, there 
is a 10 working day target that applies to Medical Services.  The Subject Access 
Request (SAR) will be sent, by e-mail, from CMMS to AH containing name, address 
and NINO details.  The 10-day target starts when the e-mailed request is received 
by Medical Services and ends when Medical Services notify CMMS, by e-mail 
and/or any hard copy information has been forwarded to CMMS.      
Claimant Requests Data 
From 23 October 2001 all documents, those completed by Health Care 
Professionals (HCPs) and all information held on either systems or clerically, that 
concern a claimant such as responses to complaints, have to be released in full if 
requested.  This also includes those that may be “off the record” or marked 
“confidential” but do not fall under the definition of Harmful Medical Information.  A 
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Data Subject can make a Subject Access Request to any organisation (Atos, DWP 
or any other organisation) that holds personal information about themselves (Data 
Subject).  However, the data requested can only be shown to the claimant if the 
material is related directly to that particular person, known as the ‘data subject’.  
The claimant should issue a written request to the appropriate Data Controller, they 
may also be charged for information requested and provided to them.  However, it 
has been agreed that where Atos is the Data Controller, there will not be a charge.  
The DWP will also not charge for information provided. 
Please note: The ESA 85  or  any subsequent medical reports for any other medical 
referrals are not the property of Atos Healthcare and any such requests must be 
forwarded to DWP Service Integration Team. 
5.2.1 Process 
The DWP refers claimants to AH Medical Services for medical examination and 
assessment in support of their claim to benefit.  DWP is the Data Controller for this 
data.  When information is required by the claimant they should issue their request 
to the DWP (the Data Controller).  The DWP will examine the request to ensure that 
it is complete.  This will include proof of identity and an acceptable description of the 
data required.  When a complete request is received by DWP, the date of receipt is 
the first day of a 40 day period (calendar days, not working days) for a reply to be 
issued to the claimant, including the time it will take for DWP to send the request to 
Medical Services and receive the response.  
In this instance Medical Services is the ‘Data Processor’.  Once the request has 
been received in Medical Services, it should be forwarded to the Medical Services 
Data Protection Officer (details of the current Medical Services DPO can be found at 
Appendix C -).  Subject access requests from the Disability and Carers Service 
(DCS) will be referred to Medical Services via CMMS.  Jobcentre Plus (JCP) Benefit 
Centres (BC) will refer requests by written letter.  Medical Services Data protection Officer Action 
When the request is received by the DPO for Medical Services, the case will be 
registered on a log; the DPO will also check for any complaints received by/on 
behalf of the data subject.  If this is the case, the DPO will contact the relevant 
Customer Relations Manager and request copies of all: 
  complaints file documents,  
  other correspondence  
  any screen prints relating to the individual   
This information should be provided in hard copy.   
The Medical Services DPO will then: 
  update the comments section of the register 
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  review the contents to ensure it is relevant to the request  
  identify any potentially sensitive issues 
Once all investigations have been made and all of the above action has been taken, 
the Medical Services DPO will: 
  reply to the Data Controller, with any observations.  The Medical Services 
DPO will send the papers, with a cover note, explaining any concerns, to the 
Data Controller.  
  where there is information relating specifically to a third party e.g. a HCP 
home address, the Medical Services DPO will remove this information prior 
to issuing to the DWP Data Controller 
  keep a copy of those documents released to the Data Controller (in case of 
loss in the post, dispute of information provided etc.) 
  update the register 
The reply must be provided to CMMS within 10 working days of receiving the 
request (see 5.1.1).  
The Data Controller has the final decision on what is to be disclosed to the 
Data Subject. 

What happens if the request is received by the Data Processor 
If a request from the Data Subject is received by Medical Services directly, the 
request must be forwarded immediately to the appropriate Data Controller and a 
letter (DPT 1) issued to the claimant explaining what has happened.  An example of 
this letter is shown at Appendix D.  The 40-day period will not start until the request 
has been received by DWP Data Controller. 
5.3 Harmful 
An exemption was added to the subject access provisions in the DPA in respect of 
data relating to the mental/physical health or condition of the data subject.  This 
exemption covers data that is likely to cause serious harm to the physical/mental 
health or condition of the data subject. 
The arrangements that are in place to deal with harmful data are there to make sure 
that such data is clearly identified and that, where appropriate, a HCP will verify 
whether this restriction is still in place.  If so, the data should not be disclosed as 
part of a data subject access request.  This would include not telling the subject that 
certain data had been omitted – if something is exempt then it should be ignored. 
Where harmful information may be contained within an AH form (such as an ESA85) 
and a SAR is received from the subject, regarding information held within their file, 
the DWP must refer the file to Medical Services to ask if the information can be 
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released to the subject. 
When received at Medical Services, these cases will be referred to the Medical 
Adviser, for a decision on whether the information should be disclosed to the 
Subject Access Requests made by Personnel working on the 
Medical Services Contract 

All employees have the right over their own personal data held by AH.  Any requests 
for personnel data must be passed to AH HR . 
Atos is the Data Controller for data requested by an Atos employee, on themselves.   
It is important that you ensure your own personal records are accurate and up 
to date.  

Subject Access Requests made in respect of Atos 
Healthcare’s occupational health DWP contract 

Medical Services provide occupational health services (OHCSS) to the DWP and a 
number of other customers.  Atos is the Data Controller in respect of medical 
records that are obtained in the course of delivering these services. All such Subject 
Access Requests should be forwarded to:  
Atos Healthcare, Unit 2, Hayland Street, Meadow Court, Sheffield, S9 1BY, or:, or by internal address book ““Medical in Confidence 
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6. Third 
6.1.1 General 
Care must be taken, when responding to a subject access request, not to wrongly 
disclose information about other individuals (third parties).  This would clearly be 
contrary to the idea of protecting personal data. 
6.1.2 Other 
In some situations there may not be enough information, either in the record or 
otherwise available to the data subject, for the other individual to be identified.  In 
other cases it may be possible to change references to them in a way that protects 
their identity e.g. by referring to them as “X”.  However, the latter only makes sense 
if it is right that they should be anonymous and if just making this simple change 
actually means that they cannot be identified either directly or from other information 
available to the data subject. 
Otherwise, if the other individual has consented to disclosure then this would 
normally be acceptable.  
Otherwise it is for the Data Controller to decide whether it is right, in the 
circumstances, to disclose this information.  These cases should be submitted to the 
DPO for a decision.  The DPO will take into account: 
any duty of confidentiality owed to the other individual; 
any steps taken by the data controller with a view to seeking the consent of 
the other individual and whether any consent has been obtained; 
whether the other individual is capable of giving consent, and; 
any express refusal of consent by the other individual. 
In cases where consent by the other individual has been given for disclosure then 
normally the decision would be made to disclose.  But in all cases the Data 
Protection Officer will seek to balance the right of the other individual to privacy 
against the right of the data subject to disclosure. 
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Appendix A -  The Principles of the Data Protection 
Principle 1 
Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully, and only if one of a 
number of conditions is met (there is an additional, more restricted, list of 
acceptable conditions for processing sensitive data such as health data). 

Where AH is acting as the Data Processor, the legal justification for processing is 
given by the contract with the claimant and not by the Act itself.  In this situation it is 
Atos Healthcare’s responsibility to process the data only in accordance with the 
customer’s instructions and to ensure that it is protected against unauthorised use or 

In cases where it is agreed that AH (strictly speaking Atos) is acting as the Data 
Controller, then compliance with the DPA is our direct responsibility. 

When Atos processes personal data on its own behalf, then it needs to meet the 
condition for fair processing.  When it is acting as a data processor, it is the 
customer's responsibility to comply with this principle.  Atos' justification is that it has 
a contract with the customer. 

Principle 2 
Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful 
purpose(s) and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible 
with that purpose or those purposes. 

DWP tell the Information Commissioner, amongst other things, why DWP collects 
personal information, who we share it with and whether we transfer any personal 
information overseas.  These details are used by the Commissioner to make an 
entry describing the process in a register which is available to the public for 

DWP also have policy and guidance in place which sets out to staff how personal 
data is collected and used within the Department.  Data must not be used for 
unlawful or unspecified purposes. 

Principle 3 
Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the 
purposes for which they are processed. 

If it is considered that any data item is irrelevant or excessive to the purpose, the 
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matter should be reported to AH Senior Management.  If it is considered that the 
purpose is not properly satisfied without the use of some other, missing data this too 
should be highlighted.   

To meet this requirement DWP ensures we only collect and record personal 
information that is necessary to meet our business needs, nothing more.  The 
information we record must be based on fact and, where opinion is recorded, it must 
be relevant.  

Principle 4 
Personal data shall be accurate and where necessary, kept up to date. 
Data should be obtained and processed in a manner that promotes accuracy and 
ensures that it is kept up to date where required. 

Principle 5 
Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept longer 
than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes. 

Refer to Document Processing and Retention Handbook (MED-DPRH01). 
Principle 6  
Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data 
subjects under the DPA. 

Individuals have a right to have access to their personal data held by DWP or Atos 
Healthcare. There are procedures in place to handle subject access requests within 
40 calendar days. See Subject Access Procedures 

Individuals also have a right to the following:- 
a) right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress;  
b) right to prevent processing for the purposes of direct marketing; 
c) rights in relation to automated decision taking; 
d) right to take action for compensation if the individual suffers damage by any 
contravention of the Act by the data controller; 

e) right to take action to rectify, block, erase or destroy inaccurate data 
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Principle 7 
Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against 
unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental 
loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.  In particular, if 
processing is outsourced to a data processor, there must be a written 
contract that obliges the data processor to take appropriate security 

Security measures must be regularly reviewed.  All members of staff must handle 
personal data carefully, securely and in accordance with company policy. 

Principle 8 
Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the 
European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory ensures an 
adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in 
relation to the processing of personal data. 

AH currently operates only within the boundaries of the UK. 
[Note the EEA comprises the EU countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.] 
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Appendix B -  Process for Dealing with Subject 
Access Requests 
Data Controller receives request from 
Data Processor (MS) Receives request 
  Data Subject
direct from Data Subject
Data Subject requests
Data Processor receives request
personal data held from
from Data Subject direct
Data Controller
Data Processor returns
Data Controller receives request
request to Data Subject with
covering letter
Data Controller examines 
No further action
Data Controller writes to 
Any further
Data Subject for further 
Data Controller 
collates data held
Is data held by
Data Controller replies to
Data Subject
Data Controller constructs reply
to Data Subject
MS (Data Processor) 
approached for submission of 
data held on Data Subject 
Data Processor informs the
DPO collates relevant
DPO issues reply to
MS Data Protection Officer
data held and
Data Controller
of request
constructs reply
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Appendix C -  Medical Services Data Protection 
The Medical Services Data Protection Officer is: 
Brian Pepper 
Wing G, Block 1 
  Government Buildings 
  Otley Road 
  LS16 5PU 
0113 230 9156  
07733 310 250 
0113 230 9730 
Medical Services 
The Data Protection Act 
3 (final) 
Page  21 of 23 

Medical Services 
Appendix D -  DPT 1 

Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss ______________  
Re:  Request for personal data          
I am writing with ref erence to your request under the Data Protection Act for personal data 
held in connection with your benefit claim .  This request was stated in your letter dated 
________________________ to  ________________________ on _________________. 
I have now referred your request to the appropriate Data Controller as defined in the Data 
Protection Act, who is: 
Any further comm unication concerning this request should be m ade to the Data Controller. 
Yours Sincerely  
DPT 1  NOV 01
Medical Services 
The Data Protection Act 
3 (final) 
Page  22 of 23 

Medical Services 
Observation form 
Please photocopy this page and use it for any comments and observations on this 
document, its contents, or layout, or your experience of using it. If you are aware of 
other standards to which this document should refer, or a better standard, you are 
requested to indicate this on the form. Your comments will be taken into account at 
the next scheduled review. 
Name of sender: 
Location and telephone number:_________________________________________ 
Please return this form to Atos Healthcare, Process Design Team.  Email to R Process 
Medical Services 
The Data Protection Act 
3 (final) 
Page  23 of 23