Privacy and GDPR
For environmental reasons and GDPR regulations, I endeavour to keep records to a minimum and those I do keep are stored electronically for extra security.
I am registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) and abide by their recommendations relating to data collection, storage and use. Further information can be found at https://ico.org.uk
In accordance with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), it is both a legal and ethical requirement for practitioners to keep records that are 'accurate, relevant and adequate. Records should be kept for a minimum of 3 years and should be destroyed after 7 years. However, you are entitled to request records to be anonymised or deleted within this time. You also have a right to request access to your records and have corrections to be made. Any such requests should be made in writing. Please note, however, that this may have implications, if, in the future any disputes or concerns are raised. Please also note that your above rights will not be exercised if it means contravening a court order or public interest.
The legal obligation to collect, process and store data is 'necessary for the performance of a contract' ie in the provision of counselling. As part of your initial assessment, personal details, such as name, date of birth and contact details are collected to enable me to correspond with you. Emergency contact details, GP details and brief medical history are taken for your safety in case an emergency situation were to arise. Other details regarding previous therapy, current reasons for seeking counselling and goals are taken to ensure I am able to provide an appropriate level of service to you.
All records are kept electronically on a system with a two stage high security authentication process to keep data as safe as possible and to the standard required of the NHS. My emails are encrypted and protected to a higher level than hotmail and gmail accounts and emails are deleted as soon as possible after being read. I use up to date anti-virus software and password protection on devices.
I do not record (audio and/or visual) any sessions, but I do keep brief session notes as an aid memoir.
Your information will not be used for any marketing purposes. Your information is not shared with any third party, except where you have given your prior consent ie in case of emergency to use your emergency / next of kin details and / or GP details; in cases where there may be harm to yourself or to someone else; where anonymised information is shared with my professional supervisor to ensure a high quality of counselling is being provided.
If you have any further enquiries relating to any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.