In order to work as a clinical psychologist, it is part of my professional practice to collect personally identifiable information. This will include your name, address, email address, date of birth and phone number. I will also require your GP details and insurers details if applicable. This information will be recorded during the initial telephone contact if you wish to go ahead with an appointment or at the appointment. I require your GP details to allow me to contact them should I be concerned about your current level of risk. I require your contact details so I can reach you should an appointment need to be rearranged. In order for me to contact you by text I will store your first name and surname initial on my mobile phone. No other information will be stored about you in this format. This information is only accessible by me and is password protected. I will delete your details from my phone as soon as we finish working together. We will discuss if you do / do not wish to be contacted by phone and your privacy will always be respected.
I will take written clinical notes during our sessions in order to help me remember your important details, and to think about and plan our sessions. I am professionally required to keep these clinical notes which may contain sensitive information. A summary of these notes will be held in an individual electronic, secure, casenote record. Paper notes will be shredded upon your discharge from therapy.
As part of clinical psychology practice, it is common to use psychological assessment measures (questionnaire) in order to understand more about your difficulties and your progress within therapy. I may also collect brief information at the end of therapy verbally or by questionnaire to obtain feedback about your experience in therapy.
Storage of Information
Written information will be stored securely in a file to which only I will have access. Digital information and will be encrypted (e.g., emails, information databases etc) and will also be backed up regularly on an external disc drive which will be stored securely. Your information will be retained for 7 years as according to professional HCPC guidelines. Your information will be deleted at the end of these 7 years.
Confidentiality and Access to information
The information you provide is confidential and will not be shared unless certain circumstances arise where I have a duty of care to share your information. These are as follows:
if there are significant concerns regarding your own levels or risk and safety
to protect a child or vulnerable adult thought to be at risk
if I am asked to disclose your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation
I can share your information if you have given explicit consent that you want it to be shared (e.g. with another professional or family member). In order to reduce the risk of data breach it is strongly recommended that you do not disclose sensitive information via email or text message.
Clinical Psychologists must receive supervision in order to maintain their practise. This means that client's cases will be discussed with another clinical psychologist to ensure good practise. Any supervision discussions are anonymised meaning that your personal identifiable details are not disclosed to the supervisor.
If you have been referred by another health professionals (e.g., your GP) I will share a brief written summary of your difficulties and the outcome of therapy for the purposes of keeping your medical records up to date. In the case of self referral if you make a request that I do not write to your GP this can be considered unless I believe that it is necessary to do so for your own or others health and safety from harm. This will be discussed in detail with you prior to any contact with your GP.
Your right to access information held about you
You have a right to ask for a copy of your personal information (free of charge) to be provided in an electronic or paper format and within one month of your request.
You have the right to request changes to factually inaccurate information that I hold about you. If this is a change to a report, this change would be added in a further letter to highlight the inaccuracy.
GDPR guidance states that people have the right to 'be forgotten' i.e., for information held about them to be erased. However, within my practise as a clinical psychologist, and in line with guidance from the HCPC, I have a lawful basis to retain your information for 7 years. Therefore this right does not apply to health records and I would be unable to erase any part of your health records.
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Links to other websites
My website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave my site, please note that I do not have any control over the destination website. I therefore cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting other sites and such other sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.