Privacy Policy

Leon Standing – Counselling/Therapy Privacy and Data Protection policy

This policy outlines Leon Standing’s procedures for collecting, storing and processing your personal data (‘personal data’ means data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data or from other information arising from that data.) in order to comply with the Data Protection Act (‘DPA’) 2018.

This policy covers all the principles under the DPA. These are known as the ‘data protection principles’ and ensures information is:
• used fairly and lawfully
• used for limited, specifically stated purposes
• used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
• kept for no longer than is necessary
• kept safe and secure
• not transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA) without adequate protection

Contact details of the person responsible for taking the lead on compliance:
Leon Standing will be responsible for personal data, information on procedures dealing with both internal and external access requests and how the information collected is used.

What is meant by privacy: 
Privacy is about the right of a person to be let alone. It can take two main forms, and these can be subject to different types of intrusion:
• Physical privacy – the ability of a person to maintain their own physical space or solitude. Intrusion can come in the form of unwelcome searches of a person’s home or personal possessions, bodily searches or other interference, acts of surveillance and the taking of biometric information
• Informational privacy – the ability of a person to control, edit, manage and delete information about themselves and to decide how and to what extent such information is communicated to others. Intrusion can come in the form of collection of excessive personal information, disclosure of personal information without consent and misuse of such information. It can include the collection of information through the surveillance or monitoring of how people act in public or private spaces and through the monitoring of communications whether by post, phone or online and extends to monitoring the records of senders and recipients as well as the content of messages

Why do I need the information I hold about an individual:
• I need to request and store your details in order to manage and deliver the service you have requested, and to comply with any legal or professional body responsibilities that ensue the appropriate delivering of that service.

The personal information that I will collect:
Date of Birth.

Relationships & family history.
Telephone/SMS number (plus permission to send SMS & leave voice message).
Email address.
Counselling History.
Medical conditions relevant to counselling.
Prescribed medication.
Session summary.

What I’m going to use it for:
• I will use this information to make personal contact with you, to record the relevant personal contact details you give me consent to hold, to record emergency contact information, where applicable to make clinical assessments & record clinical notes.
Is the information held securely?
• I store clients name and contact details in a paper file in a locked cabinet and/or on a mobile phone contact list (the mobile phone used is not my personal mobile phone, I do not store your whole name and the phone has a pin number lock). I use a diary but use a client code (example LS50) so you name is not shown.

  • Website sign-up contact forms I receive are deleted from my email systems once I have made contact with you.
  • Client notes showing date, and a brief outline of session content are recorded in a hand-written paper file format which has a client code (example LS50) and stored in a separate folder to the one with your personal details on it. The anonymized client notes are used for my own clinical supervision (to comply with my professional body and good ethical practice) I share details about the client case, but not the client’s personal details unless a legal or safeguarding requirement requires me to do so.
  • The anonymized client codes are used to identify income source in my accounts for HMRC tax return purposes.

How up to date the information is that I hold about you:
• The personal information stored is as given to me on initial contact, and updated as and when you inform me of any changes.
• Notes will be up to date usually on the day and no more than within fourteen days of delivery of such service.

When and how I delete the information, I hold about you:
When we have finished our work together, I will erase electronic copies of your information & correspondence within one month. I will hold onto your written information for up to five years past the end of our working together. This is so that I have a reference of our work in situations such as you returning to counselling in the future. This is also a requirement of my counselling insurance policy. Once this time has passed, I will shred the written information.

Your rights:
You have the following rights:
To be informed what information I hold (i.e. this document).
To see the information I hold about you (free of charge for the initial request).
To rectify any inaccurate or incomplete personal information.
To withdraw consent to me using your personal information.
To request your personal information be erased (although I can decline whilst the information is needed for me to practice lawfully & competently).

When I pass on personal information: I will only share personal information in the following circumstances:
• If during my contact time with you I become aware that there is a safeguarding risk to either you or another person. I will contact the emergency contact given and professional body/emergency services / social services where appropriate.
• My supervisor will be handed all my counselling related paperwork should I become indisposed, and will contact you and then destroy notes accordingly.
• Where you request me to do so (i.e. references or supervisory reports etc.)
• Where I need to comply with a legal requirement to do so (for example, a court order)
Personal information is limited only to those with a strict need to know
I do not use CCTV or recording equipment on my premises.

How you can obtain a copy of information I hold about you or have it removed? 
You have a right of access to and deletion of your records, please see the guidance on: March 2018

NB: I will discuss this statement when we first meet for therapy. If we agree to continue working together then we will both sign the printed copy of this statement to indicate our agreement.