Privacy Notice For Clients

In order for me to fulfil my professional responsibilities as a Counsellor & Psychotherapist and to fulfil my contract with you to provide therapy services, I will need to record and store some personal information about you.  In accordance with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in force from 25TH May 2018, this information summarises the nature of the information I will keep, your rights of access to this information and how I will ensure its security.

Personal information about you
I will need to record your name, address, age, date of birth, and both your and your GP’s contact details.  Where I deem it necessary for professional reasons, I will keep written correspondence between us or to and from other professionals e.g. GP, Psychiatrist etc.  This information in addition to signed contract forms, will be stored in paper form in a locked cabinet.

Use of Personal information about you
Your phone and email contact details will be stored in my password protected smart phone for ease of communication between us.  I will also store your e-mail address on my computer which is password protected and has virus protection software installed.  I will delete all messages along with your e-mail address and phone number at the end of our work together unless I deem it professionally necessary to retain these.

Other information such as your date of birth and address, will only be used to verify your identity if there is a need to contact your GP or other health professional or if there is a request for access to personal data from yourself or where I am legally required to submit this as in the case of a court order.

I have Clinical Supervision monthly and use your first name and age with my Supervisor who is ICO Registered and GDPR compliant.  In the exceptional circumstance that I am seriously incapacitated and therefore unable to contact you myself, I will share your contact details alone with either my supervisor or a trusted professional colleague in order for them to contact you to explain the situation.

Personal Information about you, arising from therapy sessions

In order to provide you with a professional therapy service I will make assessment notes which will include; the reason(s) you are coming to see me, any relevant medical information, risk assessments and a summary of any personal, social and family history that you choose to share with me.  I will also make brief, factual notes of each therapy session.  These notes will include a record of fees paid and any agreements made with you regarding cancellations, holidays, changes to appointment times etc.

These records will be stored under a unique identifying code that I will generate for you.  Paper notes will be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet and electronic records will be stored on my password protected computer.  This is protected by an up to date security package.

If, during the course of our work, art work, writing or other material is produced, we will agree the appropriate way to deal with this together.  It may be taken home by you, stored by me securely and either kept by me or returned to you at the end of our contract, or destroyed if you wish.
Retention of records and your rights

I will keep the personal information described above, for a period of 7 years from the date of our final session.  In the case of a minor, this time period will commence from the date they reach the age of 18. 
I may make the information from these notes available to you or to legitimate third parties, only under the following conditions:
•    Receipt of a request from you, where the release of notes is not judged by me as likely to cause you significant harm or harm to another person.
•    Where there is a specific legal requirement for me to do so.
•    Where there is an ethical duty for me to do so for example, to avoid serious harm to yourself or another person, including the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

You have the right to ask to see any information about you, held by me.  To do this, please submit a request to me in writing.  You also have the right to ask for information which you believe to be incorrect, to be rectified.  I will endeavour to provide the information requested within 4 weeks.  If I become aware of a situation where your personal information may have accidentally or maliciously been obtained by a third party, I will notify you within 3 days.
If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held please discuss it with me.  If you are still not satisfied, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk.  I confirm that I am registered with the ICO.

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