Data Protection Legislation and Consent to Records
Information about you
The only information I will hold about you is your name, your contact details and your signature. Your contact details will be used to contact you and I will do this mainly by email and sometimes by phone. This information will be used only in circumstances where a request for access to personal data from yourself or your representative, or legitimate legal instrument such as a court order has been made. This information will be held for a period of up to three years after the cessation of our counselling relationship except where there is a mutually agreed decision to retain it for longer or where I believe that it is in my best professional interests to do so.
Information about counselling sessions and our work together
Your personal information will be used only to provide you with my services and to give you information relating to my services. This may include sharing information with my supervisor on occasions, as I am obliged to maintain a safe and ethical working practice. My supervisor and I adhere to the same ethical framework as set out by the BACP.
I will record the date and time you attended each session and a brief factual note of the theme of each session. This will include any agreements made about changes to the work, such as agreement for an end date, or change of fee. The notes are held on an Excel file in my laptop and are solely for the purpose of adhering to the terms of my insurance contract, which requires me to keep a record of attendance and general theme of the work.
These notes will be held for a period of three years after the cessation of counselling except where I agree with you to retain them for longer or where I believe it is in my best professional interests to do so.
There are certain rare circumstances where I can be compelled by law or adherence to my professional code of conduct to make information from these notes available to legitimate third parties, as follows:
- 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 or vulnerable adults.
Records of contact between us
I will hold your name and phone number on my mobile phone until our counselling relationship ends and I will then delete it from my contact list.
If we agree to communicate by text or email, these records may also be kept for the same duration as your notes. My mobile phone is a smartphone and could therefore also have your email and email address available on it. The phone is password protected and details are stored in ‘the Cloud’, so they can be restored if my phone is lost or stolen.
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 that you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. I will endeavour to provide you with the information requested within a reasonable period of time.
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 as soon as practically possible.
If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held, please discuss this with me. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.