Pharmacists in Scotland have been reassured that companies delivering their prescriptions will not be breaking new data protection rules.
Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS), which represents community pharmacy owners throughout Scotland, said it had received several enquiries seeking assurances around data protection from Parcelforce, which is entrusted by contractors to handle large volumes of personal data in the form of prescriptions.
However, CPS advised that “in the eyes of the ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office], as a courier/delivery service provider Parcelforce are merely moving an object from one place to another and the fact that the object contains personal data is of no relevance as they have no access to the data and thus do not process it in any way”.
“It is the data controller [pharmacy business] who chooses the delivery service who must be content that the company selected is able to carry out the delivery securely,” said CPS.
SPGC Property Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CPS, arranges the courier service on behalf of contractors. The CPS assured its contractor members who use this service that “the reputation and operational processes of those who we look to contract with are always taken into account in the selection process when we are drawing up a new agreement”.
“The current arrangement with Parcelforce is no different, with a site visit to their depot having been carried out and their processes worked through with CPS staff prior to signing the contract.”