Your personal data
As part of the therapeutic process and to complete a referral form, it is necessary to take both personal and identifiable information along with some third party information. The details I take include personal contact details, your date of birth, any medical details, allergy information, medications you are taking that may affect our work together, GP practice details, emergency contact details, assessment and risk management information.
Storage of data
The above information and documentation such as hand signed contracts and agreements will be stored securely as paper documents in a locked filing system. Any brief notes I make after the session will be kept in accordance with data protection and will be securely stored without your identity attached to them and separately from referral information.
I may store your telephone details in my mobile phone using a unique client code to replace your name.
In the event of my death or sudden illness that means I am unable to contact you, I have appointed a Therapeutic Executor who will take care of contacting you on my behalf. They are a qualified counsellor/therapist and adhere to the same ethical values and confidentiality that I adhere to. They will only access your contact details in an emergency, and discuss with you appropriate onward arrangements.
Retention of data
Contact details may be kept after a client has ended therapy, in the event they wish to return. You have the right to ask me to erase any information that I hold about you. This includes your personal information that is no longer relevant to original purposes, or if you wish to withdraw consent. In all cases and when considering such requests, these rights are obligatory unless it’s information that I have a legal obligation to retain.
Right to access
You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal information, free of charge, in an electronic or paper format. You also have the right to ask me to amend or change any incorrect information about you. Session notes will be kept for a period of five years as stipulated by my insurance company and may also be required for ethical or legal purposes. After this period, all information will be erased.
I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). In the unlikely event of a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to personal data, I shall promptly assess the risk to people’s rights and freedoms and if appropriate, report this breach to the ICO. For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018, the data controller is Stuart Thomas at Stuart Thomas Counselling.
As the client, you have the right to receive your personal information which you previously provided, and also have the right to transfer that information to another party.
Stuart Thomas Counselling cannot be responsible for any breach of confidentiality around telephone or tablet devices or any network used for the call which is beyond our control.
This policy is written with the intention of providing transparent information regarding how your personal information and data is controlled by Stuart Thomas Counselling in order to provide counselling services. To find out more about General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and your rights, please go to https://ico.org.uk/