privacy & cookie policy

National Institute for Health Research Research Design Service West Midlands

Privacy and Cookies

This page explains the National Institute for Health Research Research Design Service West Midlands (RDS WM) privacy policy and how we will use and protect any information about you that you give us when you visit this website.  This privacy statement only covers the RDS WM website.  It does not cover all sites that can be linked to from this site, so you should always be aware when you are moving to another site and read the privacy statement on that site.

What information do we collect?

The RDS WM website allows users the opportunity to submit personal information about yourself (e.g. name and email address) in order to receive or use services on our website.  Such services include newsletters, bulletins and feedback (via emails).

By entering your details in the fields requested you enable the RDS WM to provide you with the services you select.  Any information you provide to the RDS WM will only be used by us and will not be disclosed unless we are obliged or permitted by law to do so.
If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectional content anywhere on or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on, we may use whatever information is available to us, about you, stop such behaviour.  We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you use the service you have requested, and remove it in the event that the purpose has been met or when you no longer wish to continue your subscription. 

The Data Protection Act

Under the Data Protection Act, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you.  We do not pass your details to any third party.  Please see our Data Protection and Privacy Statement for further information.

Changes to our policy

If our privacy policy changes in any way, we will place an updated version on this page.  Regularly reviewing the page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with other parties.

The RDS WM website contains links to and from websites of other organisations.  This privacy policy applies only to the RDS WM website.

Following a link to another website

When you go to another website, read the privacy policy on that website if you want to know what it does with your information.  RDS WM does not pass on any of your personal information to other websites.

Following a link to RDS WM from another website

When you come to the RDS WM website from another website, RDS WM may get personal information about you from the other website.  You should read the privacy policy of websites you visit that link you to RDS WM if you want to know about this.

These policies will explain how they collect and use your personal information, and whether they pass this on to websites they link you to.

Social networking websites

The RDS WM website uses buttons so you can use Twitter/Facebook with the RDS WM website.  These websites are not controlled by RDS WM.  By using these buttons you accept the privacy policies of these websites.

Go to Twitter (Read the Twitter privacy policy)
Go to Facebook (Read the Facebook privacy policy)

Use of cookies

On the 26 May 2011, new rules came into force regarding cookies.  These rules require that cookies can only be placed on devices where the user has given their consent.  This notice is designed to provide you with more information about how the RDS WM uses cookies and adheres to these rules.

What are cookies?

‘Cookies’ are small pieces of information that a website sends to your computer’s hard drive while you are viewing a website.  These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:• enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with services so we can make them better
The RDS WM does not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.  You have the ability to accept or decline cookies using your web browser, but please be aware that for some parts of our website to work you will need to accept cookies, otherwise the functionality of our website may be impacted.  Cookies can be removed or declined by changing your web browser settings.  The ‘Help’ function within your browser should tell you how.  You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article - Internet Browswer cookies – what they are and how to manage them.

How does the RDS WM use cookies?

Cookies allow us to provide you with a more personal and interactive experience on our website.  RDS WM will use different types of cookies at various different pages of your use of our websites.  These cookies are:

Functionality (First-party)

  • The PHPSESSID cookie is set when the Support Request form is submitted.  This is necessary for the default functionality
  • Functionality (Third-party)
  • The AddThis cookie is set on visit, without an interaction requirement.  It wraps Tweet/Like buttons that the website features.  Twitter Tweet, Facebook Like and Google+ buttons use cookies only when the user is logged into the relevant service.  These cookies are the primary responsibility of Twitter/Facebook
  • Go to Twitter (Read the Twitter privacy policy)
  • Go to Facebook (Read the Facebook privacy policy)

Analytics Cookies

The RDS WM website uses Google Analytics to track page views, referrers, on-site interactions and campaigns.  The data is not shared with external sites.  Google will use information for cross-site tracking unless users have updated/modified their Google Data Sharing page.  Google has a data policy and options for the user to opt-out entirely.
  • Go to Google Analytics (Read the Google Analytics data policies)
If you have any questions, please contact

November 2013

Cookie name Category Purpose More Info
Session ID cookie 1 Standard ASP.NET cookie containing the user’s session ID. Expires as soon as user navigates away
Culture cookie 2 Utilised to store the users CMS culture Type: Culture Code, Expires: 1 year
Visitor Status Cookie 2 Sets the visitor status (unknown/first visit/more visits) Type: Integer, Expires: 1 year
Current Visit Status Cookie 2 Sets the current visit status (throughout current day) Type: Integer, Expires: 23 hours
URL Referrer Cookie 2 User URL referrer. Remembers the page the user last visited. Type: Url String, Expires: 1 day
Form State Cookie 2 Utilised for a check if the form state needs to be restored. Decides if the submitted fields in the form should be repopulated. fields in the form should be repopulated. Type: Integer - ID, Expires: 10 minutes
Google Analytics 2 Utilised by Google Analytics to track visitor’s data on the website.
Preferred Culture cookie 3 Storing details of the users preferred CMS culture Type: Culture Code, Expires: 1 year
CurrentTheme 3 Sets the current chosen theme Type: Integer - ID, Expires: 23 hours
VisitorStatus 3 Sets the visitor status (unknown/first visit/more visits). Type: Integer - ID, 1 year
Text Size 3 Used to store the text size selected by the user so as to display the site with the selected text size Type: String, Expires: as soon as user navigates away from the site