GDPR: Your Information and Your Rights

What you need to know
In order for you to receive the best possible care from Derwent Rural Counselling Service, we must process information provided by our service users in the best and most responsible way possible.  In order to do this we must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.  The data held must only be used for specific purposes allowed by law.  This document gives a brief guide on:

  • What information we collect about you.
  • Why we record information about you.
  • How we record your information.
  • How we keep your information Safe.
  • How and when we share your Information.
  • How you can access your records.
  • How to obtain further information.

What Information do we collect about you?
We must keep accurate information in paper and electronic records as follows:

Basic details about you, such as your address, date of birth, NHS number if provided, and emergency contacts.

Dates, times and places of contact which we have with you, such as appointments, or other scheduled contacts.

Notes, reports and letter which give information about your personal circumstances and treatment.

Relevant information from other health professionals, or those who care for you and you have disclosed to us.

Why do we record information about you?

  • We must keep good records of your care and treatment with us to ensure:
  • We are able to contact you as soon as possible to provide the best service for you we can provide.
  • People involved in your care can assess your needs and provide appropriate treatment.
  • We can work effectively if different team members are providing you with care.
  • We can assess the quality of care you have received.
  • Your concerns and complaints can be properly investigated.
  • Your information may be used to help us with the management of our service, and research into how our Service is performing.  This will only be done if certain conditions are met. We remove any identifiable information for you, so the information used is anonymous.  IF we need to identify you for any reason we will ask your permission first, if you refuse this we WILL NOT use your information and this WILL NOT affect your treatment. We can work effectively if different team members are providing you with care.
  • We can assess the quality of care you have received.
  • Your concerns and complaints can be properly investigated.

How do we record your information?
All records we keep are kept either in secured paper form, or encrypted electronic formats.

How do we keep your information safe?
We have a legal duty to keep records secure confidential and accurate.  Paper records are held in locked cabinets and rooms if the records are to be kept.  Anything not to be kept is either Cross-Shredded or Burnt.

Electronic records are kept on password protected files, on an encrypted and restricted hard drive.  Only members of DRCS can access this hard drive from DRCS Sites, and only the members with the password can access the storage file.

All employees and consultancy workers who access our systems are bound by legal, professional and contractual requirements to maintain confidentiality of information.  This requires they only access information where they are involved in the care of an individual.

Confidentiality and consent.
We have a legal duty to keep your information confidential.  We may need to share information about you with other health and social care providers involved in your care to give you the best possible treatment.  We also have a duty of care in which, if we believe you our someone else is at risk, to break confidentiality to ensure the safety of those at risk.

The information you give us will be available to everyone involved directly in your care.  You do have a right to object to us sharing your information however this may result in you being seen less seamlessly than usual.

Who do we share your information with?
Your information will be shared with the professionals involved in your care within our organisation, to ensure we work together for your benefit.  We will only ever pass on information if others involved in your care have a genuine need for it.  If you have any concerns about this please speak to the person responsible for your care.

We can provide information with carers or relatives, however this is ONLY with your permission.  Unless permission is given we will not provide any information to an outside party unless it is tyour benefit, or with your consent.  If consent is not given we will only share if there is an urgent or important need to do so in your or the public interest.

Within our organisation any information that is shared that isn’t related to your care is anonymised for example, John Smith would be referred to as JS123 when using any form of communication.

We will only disclose your information to someone not involved in your care without your consent in exceptional circumstances, such as when the health or safety of others is at risk, or where the Law requires us to pass on information.  An example of this is to report an abuser who has access to people they can abuse.  We cannot give information about you to other organisations without your consent.

How do we share your information?
Depending on the circumstances we will share your information by writing to others involved in your care.  All communications involving confidential information are handled either directly, or via specially secures means, e.g. NHS.NET email.  All other communications use anonymised information.

Do you have any worries about how we share or hold your information?

Any attempt by other parties to access unauthorised information in your record will create an alert and will be investigated.
If you have any concerns about your information being held or shared, please speak to the person involved in your care immediately.  Please note that if you have asked us to restrict the sharing of information in any way, this may adversely affect the  care we are able to provide, and in some extreme cases we may not be able to offer care.

How do you access your records?
You have the right under the Data Protection Act 1988 to find out what information we hold about you and also to access your records.

If you wish to access your records, please contact the person in charge of your care or contact our Clinical Lead.  You will be asked to complete an application form and a fee may be charged, unless you are a current service user.  Please let us know if you need any support or advice when you access your records.

If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16, you can ask to see their records in the same way.

The people responsible for your care may decide that seeing your records might be detrimental to your physical or mental health.  In this instance, you may only be shown certain parts of your records.  Information which relates to a third person may be withheld but information provided about you by a third party will usually be disclosed.

You also have a right, if you wish, to be copied into letters with information about you.  Please ask for further information from the person in charge of your care, although this will usually be mentioned to you first if we are intending to contact someone.

Your personal details.
It is very important that the details we have about you are up-to-date.  If you change your name, address or telephone number, please remember to tell us to update these details on your medical records.  If you think the information in your record in incorrect, please speak to the person responsible for your care, and ask them to amend the record.

Do you have any other questions?
If you have any queries or concerns about how we use your information, please speak to the therapist involved in your care.  You can also leave queries with, or call us on 0800 047 6861 and request a manager or supervisor contact you.

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