Data Protection

Data Protection Policy  

Introduction  

Your privacy is very important to us and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to us.  

Beacon Psychotherapy and Counselling Cheshire adheres to current data protection legislation and is fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (EU/2016/679 (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, as such we have a legal duty to maintain your data in a safe and confidential manner.  

This data protection policy tells you what we will do with your personal information from initial point of contact through to after your therapy has ended, including: • Why we are able to process your information and what purpose we are processing it for • Whether you have to provide it to us • How long we store it for • Whether there are other recipients of your personal information and • Your data protection rights.  

Our Data Controller is happy to chat through any questions you might have about our data protection policy and you can contact them via the details found at the end of this policy. ‘Data Controller’ is the term used to describe the person/organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the Data Controller is Carol Broad. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, registration number A8492977. 

 

Our Lawful Basis For Holding and Using Your Personal Information 

The GDPR states that we must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which we are processing your data. We have explained these below:  

If you have had therapy with us and it has now ended, we will use legitimate interest as our lawful basis for holding and using your personal information.  

If you are currently having therapy or if you are in contact with us to consider therapy, we will process your personal data where it is necessary for the performance of our contract. The GDPR also makes sure that we look after any sensitive personal information that you may disclose to us appropriately. This type of information is called ‘special category personal information’. The lawful basis for us processing any special categories of personal information is that it is for provision of health treatment (in this case counselling and psychotherapy) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (in this case, a contract between us and you). 

 

Initial Contact  

When you contact Beacon Psychotherapy and Counselling Cheshire with an enquiry about our counselling services we will collect information to help us satisfy your enquiry. This will include your personal information, name, address, and contact details. Alternatively, your GP or other health professional may send us your details when making a referral or a parent or trusted individual may give us your details when making an enquiry on your behalf. If you decide not to proceed we will ensure all your personal data is deleted within 3 months. 

 

While You Are Accessing Counselling 

Rest assured that everything you discuss with us is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken if the law requires us to do so, there are safeguarding concerns or you give us permission. We will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.  

 

How We Use Your Information 

We will keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling services run smoothly. These details are kept securely and are not shared with any third party.  

We will keep written notes of each session, likewise these are kept securely.  

For security reasons we do not retain text messages for more than one month. If there is relevant information contained in a text message we will record this either electronically or in manual form and it will be stored securely. Likewise, any email correspondence will be deleted after 6 months if it is not important. If necessary and relevant to your ongoing care it will be retained securely.  

 These records ensure that you receive the best possible care. They may be written down (manual records) or held upon a computer. All data held on a computer is stored with password protection and all paper data is locked away at the clinic.  

These records may include your name, address, and contact information, contact we have had with you: e.g.: your clinic visits, notes, reports, details and records about your treatment. 

 

Your records are used to guide and administer the care you receive to ensure that:  

We hold accurate and up to date information to assess your health and well-being and decide what care you need.  

There is a good information base to assess the type of psychological therapy and quality of care you receive. 

Your concerns can be properly investigated if a complaint is raised. 

We can also ensure that full information is available if we felt there was a risk of harm to yourself or others and we needed to discuss your case with other appropriate professionals. 

While you are accessing counselling rest assured that everything you discuss with us is confidential. We hold records in the strictest confidence and the law requires us to keep your information safe. 

The law strictly controls the sharing of confidential information and we will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as safeguarding concerns which prevent this. 

Except for safeguarding concerns we do not share such details with any other individuals or organisation without the prior request and consent of the person involved. An example of this would be a letter or report required for a GP or employer. We would discuss if any such transfer of information was required with you to ensure all data is accurate.  

 

We will store theses records either electronically or in written form. 

 

 All computerised data is held on secure computerised systems which is password protected.  

Any manual data is kept to a minimum and is held in a locked container either at the clinic rooms or at our off-site office. These will not be removed from these locations without the prior consent of the individuals concerned.  

 

After Counselling Has Ended  

We aim to maintain clinical records for a period of 5 years after therapy has ended, after which it is will be destroyed securely.  

 

Third Party Recipients of Personal Data  

There are however occasions, when it is necessary to share your information with relevant third parties, if we feel that there is a risk of harm to yourself or others or if the law requires us to pass on information. This may include: NHS services, Police, safeguarding teams, education services, local authorities and social services, though we would try and discuss this with you beforehand, however this is not always possible. 

 

Sometimes it is necessary to share personal data with third parties, for example, where we have been contracted to carry out specific tasks. In such cases we have carefully selected which partners we work with. We take great care to ensure that we have a contract with the third party that states what they are allowed to do with the data we share with them. 

Likewise, in some circumstances other agencies can seek permission to access your records, in certain cases we cannot prevent this, however we would discuss this with you if we can.  

We will only ever pass on information if there is a genuine need to do so and we either have permission to do so or a legal requirement to do so. 

Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential. 

 

Your Rights  

We try to be as open as we can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information.  

You have a right to ask us to limit how we use your personal information, or to stop processing your personal information. You have a right to ask us to delete your data. You also have a right to ask for a copy of any information that we hold about you and to object to the use of your personal data in some circumstances. You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.  

If we do hold information about you we will: • give you a description of it and where it came from • tell you why we are holding its, tell you how long we will store your data and how we made this decision • tell you who it could be disclosed to • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form. You can also ask us at any time to correct any mistakes there may be in the personal information we hold about you.  

 

You can access your records or copies of your records subject to making a written request to us, these will be provided within one month at no cost (unless there is a substantial amount). 

 

If you have any complaint about how we handle your personal data please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by writing or emailing the contact details given below. I would welcome any suggestions for improving our data protection procedures. If you want to make a formal complaint about the way we have processed your personal information you can contact the ICO which is the statutory body that oversees data protection law in the UK. For more information go to ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint. 

 

Data Security  

We take the security of the data we hold about you very seriously and as such we take every effort to make sure it is kept secure. 

All computerised data is held on secure computerised systems which is password protected.  

Any manual data is kept to a minimum and is held in a locked container either at the clinic rooms or at our off-site office. These will not be removed from these locations without the prior consent of the individuals concerned.  

 

Additional Information 

Visitors to my website:  

 No data generated through contact with Beacon Psychotherapy and Counselling Cheshire will ever be used for the purpose of direct marketing, or shared with any organisations without the express consent of the relevant person subject to the above policies. Any serious breach of data protection will be notified within 72 hours to the ICO.  

 

We do not collect any data from visitors to our website www.Beaconpsychotherapycheshire.co.uk unless they make contact with us. We only keep data from any contacts made to Beacon Psychotherapy and counselling Cheshire, e.g.: phone, letter or email contact. 

 

If you fill in a form on my website, that data will be temporarily stored on the web host before being sent to me. 

 

Our Data Controller Carol Broad can be contacted via email at: Info@beaconpsychotherapycheshire.co.uk, or in writing at: Beacon Psychotherapy and Counselling Cheshire, Suite 1, Regents Business Park, London Road, Nantwich, CW5 6LW.

Connect with Beacon Psychotherapy and Counselling Cheshire

Suite 1

Regents Park
London Road

Nantwich

CW5 6LW

 07944 413299

info@beaconpsychotherapycheshire.co.uk