Lawful basis for processing your information
The lawful basis for my holding and using your information is to enable the delivery of a contract to you as a health care professional.
As an accredited therapist I adhere to the BABCP ‘Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics’. You can view these along with useful information about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy on the association’s website: www.babcp.com.
Information I collect about you and how I use it
Upon starting therapy, basic personal information will be collected for contact and identification reasons. During our therapy meetings, I will take notes which will include personal and sensitive details about your health and life. The assessment and notes are used solely for the delivery of a therapy service to you. You have a right to request a copy of the information I hold about you. Also, you are welcome to see my notes in the session. It is in fact my usual practice to give you copies of any relevant session notes. If you disagree with any information I have written you may ask me to amend or remove information you think is inaccurate.
How long I keep your information for – data retention
Your information is kept for the time necessary to provide the therapy service requested, however I will hold your details and session notes for a period of ten years following the end of treatment to comply with legal obligations that are placed upon me by my insurers. Furthermore, it can be useful to have previous therapy notes to refer to in case you wish to return to therapy at a later point. You can be assured that these records will be safely stored and locked away. In case of my sudden death or incapacity, provisions are made for these records to be destroyed.
Sharing of data
Generally, information from and about you is kept strictly confidential. There are times when I would share information with others but there are stringent safeguards in place.
- For supervision: In order to ensure the quality of my work with you I may discuss aspects of it with my clinical supervisor. However, this will be done respectfully, only as clinically relevant and without any unnecessary identifying details. The supervisor is bound by the same rules of confidentiality.
- We might agree that it would be helpful if I spoke to someone who is involved in your care. In this case I would clarify with you in advance what the purpose and remit of the information sharing is and obtain your consent to give information. Alternatively, if someone requested information from me I would only release it if I knew that you had given your consent for me to do so.
- If you have been referred by a third party and/or your therapy is funded through an insurer or health care provider I may have to give information about you but this is on the basis of you giving your consent.
There are, however, two exceptions to confidentiality:
- If I am compelled to break confidence by a court of law.
- If the information you give me is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained, for example if there is a possibility of harm to yourself or others, or in some cases of serious crimes.
However, also in these instances I will endeavour to seek your consent before breaching confidentiality where possible.
I am registered with the ICO, Information Commissioner’s Office (Reference ZA318342) and I follow their guidelines on compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. If you have questions about any of the above or other aspects of confidentiality or data processing or you wish to see my full Privacy Notice which explains how I deal with information please let me know.