What is the General Data Protection Regulations, 2018 (GDPR) and how does it affect me?
The GDPR replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act to ensure your personal and sensitive, confidential data is kept private and held securely, being processed in the way that you have agreed to. It is there to protect your rights as a consumer of a service or product that might involve your identifiable data, e.g. your name and address or whether you have a specific condition. It also covers any session notes, text messages or emails we exchange. For more information you can read the policy documents available as stated at the end of this document.
How long will you hold my information for?
I am required for insurance purposes to hold your data for 7 years after your final session, except if you are a child, in which case I must hold your data until your 25th birthday, unless you are 17 when treatment ends and then I must keep it until your 26th birthday. Therefore, all records will be deleted in the January after the above retention scales. This is in line with NHS regulations for holding data. Hard copies will be cross-shredded and electronic data will be permanently deleted.
Why do you need to record this information?
I collect information about why you are using the service, a small amount of medical information and a small amount of information about your important others, alongside brief session notes. This information enables me to contact you to discuss your requirements, provide a high-quality service to you, ensuring I am equipped with the knowledge of our previous discussions prior to each session and enabling me to tailor your therapy sessions. Your contact details / address and Doctors details will only be used with your explicit consent via a consent form.
What lengths are made to ensure my information is held securely?
Hardcopy documents – Are all stored in a locked cabinet in a locked room.
Text messages – My mobile phone is secured with a pin code.
Emails – My email account requires a user name and password.
Electronic documents – Any electronic documents containing personal or sensitive information e.g. A letter to your GP, or an invoice, are held within a password protected folder, stored on a password protected computer.
Is what we discuss kept confidential?
Everything we talk about during our sessions is strictly confidential between you and me. To ensure I am doing my job effectively and that I have the right support, I may discuss elements of our sessions with my supervisor or peer support group. During these discussions I do not disclose any details that may identify you. The sharing of anonymous case histories in these circumstances is not a breach of confidentiality.
What if I see you outside of the session?
If we see each other outside of a session I may smile but will not engage in any further conversation to ensure your confidentiality. You are welcome to share with other people about the therapy you are receiving, but I am obligated by GDPR law to ensure your confidentiality is protected. I would request that to ensure the success of your treatment, that you refrain from discussing your treatment with me outside of your sessions.
What about other Health and Social Care Professionals?
As I adhere to the GDPR, any contact relating to you with other health care professionals, would only be made with your signed consent. E.g. If I were to write to your GP to notify them of your treatment with me, and then notify them of the treatment ending, I would only do this if you were to sign the specific consent for this.
To safeguard you and the people around you, if you were to disclose that you were going to carry out harm to yourself or someone else, then I am bound by a ‘duty of care’ and by law I must inform the relevant authorities. This is to support you to live well, and I would always aim to discuss this with you prior to contacting anyone.
If I was issued with a police warrant or court order for your information, by law I would also have to provide them with your information.
You can access my full list of Policies and Procedures at the place of your appointment or contact me in advance of your appointment.