In line with European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), as a professional adhering to the principles as set down in The Data Protection Act 1988 and in compliance with guidance from the Information Commissioners office (ICO), I am obliged to share the following information regarding how client data is protected.
As a counsellor in private practice I collect the following information: client name; address; phone number; email address; date of birth and GP details.
How information is used:
The information a client gives me when we contract to work together is stored securely as a paper record. Names, email addresses and phone numbers of current clients are stored securely on my computer and anonymised phone numbers of current clients are stored on my dedicated counselling work mobile.
Paper records are held in a combination locked metal cabinet and both computer and mobile telephone are password protected. Electronically held information, on computer and mobile telephone, is deleted once the counselling has concluded. Paper records remain securely held for seven years after the client work has come to an end and are then securely destroyed.
In line with good practice in the profession, names and phone numbers of current clients are given in a sealed envelope to my professional executor. In the event of my death or my being unable to work and unable to contact clients myself my professional executor would then unseal the envelope and contact clients to discuss the way forward. This sealed envelope is returned to me each month in order that I can update the information therein before returning to my executor thus maintaining professional good practice.
I will use a clients phone number, email or address to make contact in regard to appointments, to reply to any contact initiated by a client and for anything else in connection with or regarding the therapeutic alliance.
I will never share client data with a third party unless a client specifically asks me to, or unless I am obliged to by a court of law. In this unlikely event I would always endeavour to inform clients before any disclosures are made.
· Clients have the right to access a copy of their personal data held by Robin Hogg Counselling.
· Clients have the right to request that Robin Hogg Counselling rectifies or corrects any personal data found to be inaccurate or out of date.
· The right to request that personal data is erased.
· The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The information within this privacy notice is shared and discussed with potential clients during the initial introductory consultation. If the potential client then decides to enter into a counselling agreement explicit consent to hold personal information (data) is also sought.