GDPR – New Regulations Effective from 25th May 2018
In order to fulfil my legitimate, professional responsibilities as a counsellor and to fulfil my contract with you to provide counselling services, I need to record and store some personal data about you. In accordance with the new General Data Protection Regulations in force from May 25th 2018, this document summarises the type of information I will keep, how I will ensure it’s security and the rights of access to this information.
Personal Information about you.
I will need to record your name, address, date of birth, age, contact details and the details of your GP. Any written correspondence between us, or to and from other professionals for e.g. your GP or a psychiatrist, that I consider there is a legitimate professional reason to keep, will be attached to this record. This information along with signed contract forms will be stored in paper form in a locked cabinet, and kept separate from records made during the counselling process.
Use of Personal Information about you.
I will store and use your phone contact details on my business, passcode protected smart phone Your e-mail address will be on my business e-mail account on my computer/laptop which is protected by a password and by an up to date suite of security software. Unless I consider that there is legitimate professional reason to store specific phone, text or e-mail messages, all messages will be deleted either immediately or at the end of each calendar month. Your e-mail address and your phone number will be deleted at the end of the counselling relationship.
Other data, for example 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 your notes from yourself or a legitimate legal instrument such as a court order.
In the exceptional circumstance that I am seriously incapacitated and therefore unable to contact you myself, your contact details alone will be shared with a trusted professional colleague in order that they can contact you to explain the situation.
Personal Information about you, arising from counselling sessions
In order to provide you with a professional counselling service I will make brief assessment notes of 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 make a brief, factual note of the major theme(s) of each counselling session. Fees paid, receipts given and any agreements made with you or administrative matters that have arisen, eg, cancellations, holidays, changes to appointment times etc. will also be recorded.
These records will be stored under a unique identifying code which I will generate for you.
Paper notes will be kept secure in a locked filing cabinet and electronic records will be stored password protected on my computer/laptop, protected by an up to date security package and backed up securely onto cloud storage.
Where art work, writing or any other material is produced during our sessions, we will agree together what to do with this. It may be taken home by you, stored by me, securely under your unique code and returned to you at the end of counselling, or destroyed according to your wish.
Retention of records and your rights
I will keep the records described above for a period of 7 years after the cessation of our work together.
In the case of a minor, this time period will begin only after they have reached the age of 18. If there is a legitimate, professional reason to do so, notes may be shown to my supervisor or professional body.
I may make information from these notes available to you or to legitimate third parties, only under the following conditions:
- Receipt of a request from you and 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 so so e.g. to avoid serious harm to your self or another person, including the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults.
You have the right to ask to see any information held by me about you. To do this please either ask me or submit a request in writing. You also have the right to ask for information which you believe to be incorrect to be be rectified. I will endeavour to provide the information requested within four weeks. If I become aware of a situation where your personal information may have accidentally or maliciously been obtained by a third part I will notify you within three days where feasible.
If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held please discuss it with me. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’ Office http://ico.org.uk. I confirm that I am registered with the ICO.