Helen Lowe MBACP
Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose for which it was given to me. I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. This privacy statement tells you what I will do with your personal information from initial point of contact through to after your therapy has ended and your rights in this regard. I am happy to discuss any questions you might have about my privacy statement and how I protect your data.
‘Data controller’ is the term used to describe the person/organisation that collects, stores and has responsibility for people’s personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me. I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. My phone number is 07876 641924 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I need to hold information about you?
In providing you with counselling services, I will need to hold personal information about you. Personal information is details about you from which you can be identified, such as your name, address, and contact details. This information is essential to inform, facilitate and provide assessment and counselling services which are appropriate to your individual needs. It is solely used for this purpose. Under the requirements of the BACP, my professional body, I am obliged, according to the legitimate interests of provision of my services, to keep this information.
What information will I hold?
I will hold information about you in the form of written notes, emails, text messages, assessments, letters and invoices. This information could be collected at any point during my contact with you whilst you are receiving counselling services from me. Your information will be collected, managed and stored solely for the purpose of providing you with therapy. Information could also be collected from your initial contact with me, whether or not I go on to provide counselling services to you. It could also be provided by your GP or other health professional who may send me your details when making a referral. A parent or trusted individual may give me your details when making an enquiry on your behalf. If you decide not to proceed with counselling, I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within three days. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.
How do I use this information?
I use the information that I collect to:
communicate with you about appointments. I use your name and your preferred contact details, such as your telephone number, your name, email address or postal address.
create your invoice. I use your name and may use your email address.
Where do I keep the information?
Information is kept on my laptop. I use a laptop to make records to ensure that the counselling process runs smoothly. Invoices and anonymised attendance records are stored here. Email messages are also stored here and I may make a paper copy if I feel there is important information that pertains to your wellbeing or our work together, in order to store it with your notes. These email messages may come directly to me at email@example.com or via a third party link such as The Counselling Directory or the BACP’s therapist directory, or Welldoing.org. My laptop is password protected and I change the password monthly. The password is not shared.
Information is kept on my phone. If we communicate via text message, these will be stored on my phone. I store your details using a coded system and your first initial only. I delete all text messages after one week. If there is important information contained in a text message that pertains to your wellbeing or our work together, I will take a screenshot of it and add a printed copy to my client notes. This will then be treated in line with my client notes as per below.
Information is kept as a paper copy. I take hand written notes after our meetings. These serve as an aide memoire to ensure continuity of treatment over time. They are coded, anonymised and stored in a locked cabinet. These are stored separately from your contact details.
The confidentiality of your information is very important to me. Everything that you discuss with me is confidential and I will not share your information unless I believe that there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or others, or with your written consent, or when I am legally obliged to do so. I would always try to speak to you about this first unless there are safeguarding issues.
How long will you store my information for? Can I have it erased? What if it is incorrect?
I will hold information about you for as long as you receive counselling services from me and for 3 years following the date of your last contact with me. You have the right to ask for the information I hold for you to be erased by contacting me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are circumstances under which I would need to retain some information. For example, HMRC may wish to inspect my records. In addition, my professional organisation, the BACP requires that I keep records for 3 years. If information is to be deleted, I will do so without delay.
Whilst you are receiving counselling services from me, I will aim to keep the information I hold for you up to date. Please let me know if any changes need to be made to this information as they arise. I will aim to update your information within 72 hours.
Protecting your information
I take the security of the information that I hold for you very seriously. To protect your personal data, I follow the guidelines of my professional body the BACP, and the Information Commissioner’s office. In the unlikely event of my security processes being compromised, leading to a breach of your data, I will endeavour to inform you within 72 hours.
Should you have any concerns about the management of your information, please contact me in the first instance. If I am unable to resolve your concerns, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/raisingconcerns.
Helen Lowe 27/2/20
MBACP Reg’d (374308)
Additional information for website owners and employers visitors to my website when someone visits my website, I use a third party service, Wix and Google Analytics to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Wix and Google Analytics to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. I use Legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.
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