Helen Long Counselling - Privacy Notice
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation came into effect on 25th May 2018. Under this law you have a right to know what information I collect, how I use it and the circumstances in which it may be shared. The personal information you provide to Helen Long Counselling will be used for legitimate business interests, that is, to provide you with a professional counselling service.
Your Personal Data
Information kept includes; your signed privacy notice, your signed counselling agreement, brief record of each counselling session (which may contain sensitive personal data – see below), and a personal information sheet.
Sensitive Personal Data (“Special Category Data”)
Some of the information collected may be sensitive personal data including ethnic origin, religious beliefs and physical and mental health. Such data will only be used to provide a counselling service in accordance with legal obligations. Sensitive personal data is stored as part of your clinical notes which are anonymised with a unique code. Your personal information links to your clinical notes using a unique code. This code is stored in a separate location and password protected.
Why I need your personal data?
Name, date of birth, occupation - basic information about you that helps me to get to know you.
Address, email address and telephone number - used to contact you about your sessions. Address is also kept in case I felt you were at risk and needed to request a police safety check.
Emergency contact - should you become unwell during a session and I need to contact someone.
GP Details - if I felt you were at risk then I may need to contact your GP. Where possible, and if appropriate, I will discuss this with you first.
Session Notes - standard professional procedure requires summary notes to be made of each session which refreshes your counsellor's memory of what was discussed in sessions.
Sensitive Personal Data ("Special Category Data") - this information helps me to get to know you and make an initial assessment of your circumstances including history of depression and anxiety.
Session Notes – Data I have a legal obligation to keep
You have a right to request to see or have amended any personal information I may keep about you. You also have the right to request that I delete information that I hold about you. You also have the right to object to the processing and use of your personal data.
What information do you share?
I will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
Consent – I may share your information with other professionals whom you have requested or agreed I should contact.
Serious harm – I may share your information with the relevant authorities if I have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
Clinical Executor – If for any reason I become incapacitated and unable to work your information will be passed onto my Clinical Executor so they can contact you and make suitable arrangements.
Compliance with the law – for instance if I am required by a court of law
How your data is stored?
Paper forms and correspondence are stored in a locked filing cabinet. All electronic records are encrypted and require password access. Your telephone number may be kept in my mobile phone which is also password protected. Your identifiable information is kept separately from any session notes and are linked by a unique number.
How long I keep it for?
For legal reasons I keep session notes for 7 years after the end of therapy which is the time frame my insurance company and HMRC requires. After this they are destroyed, either by shredding or deletion. The following will be shredded or deleted within 3 months of our work finishing; personal information form, your phone number from my mobile phone and emails regarding appointment arrangements
Data Protection Accountability
If you wish to complain about how your data is handled, in the first instance contact, Helen Long, who is the Data Controller at Helen Long Counselling.
Tel: 07840 553088
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you can contact the Information Commissions Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/handling/ or call 0303 123 1113.