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Our Privacy Policy

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. 

 

PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

 

In order to provide you with the best service possible, we will hold your personal contact details and records of your therapy sessions. Please find below important information about how this information will be held and used.

We understand how important your privacy is. We take care to maintain your confidentiality in accordance with current data protection laws (GDPR, 2018) and the ethical guidelines of regulatory bodies including the NCS (National Counselling Society) and HCPC (The Health and Care Professions Society). These guidelines have been set up to protect your confidential material and ensure that your therapist always conducts themselves with professionalism and integrity.

In order to provide you with the best service possible, we will hold your personal contact details and records of your therapy sessions. Please find below important information about how this information will be held and used.

Your personal information

Our devices are all password protected, with strong passwords that are all different from each other, and which we change at suitable intervals. 

We do not share our devices or passwords with anyone else not associated with The Hope Space.

We do not have any personally identifying information of our clients on a mobile phone, except for your number and names are coded.

We do not record phone or Skype, Facetime or Zoom sessions. If you wish to record a session to help you remember, you're welcome to do so, as long as you acknowledge this data is then your responsibility. 

We do not keep your personal or sensitive information stored on any external hard drive or memory stick. While our work is active, we keep electronic information in the following two places only: 

  1. On our password protected apple laptop and Ipad- please https://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/en-ww/ for apple's GDPR policy relating to their products 

  2. Our password protected Gmail account (info@thehopespace.co.uk) please see Google's GDPR compliant security measures https://privacy.google.com/businesses/compliance/#?modal_active=none

We use Google Drive to collect and store your personal data. At the point of booking your initial consultation with us, you will be asked for your personal contact information, for example your name, address, email address and telephone number and you may also choose to share details of the issues you are looking for help with.

In order to be able to fulfil our duty of care to you, in your initial consultation or first treatment session, your therapist will ask you for contact information for your GP and elected Emergency Contact person. These details will be stored securely in Google Drive and will only be accessible to The Hope Space clinicians. 

Please note that will need to keep a record of your name and client reference number for seven years after the end of your therapy, so that we can respond effectively to any potential requests regarding your clinical notes and treatment.

We will never pass on your contact details to any third-party organisations for the purposes of sales, marketing or research and will never use your personal data for any purposes other than the administration of the counselling service we are providing to you i.e. to arrange, cancel and rearrange appointments and collect payment for sessions.

Online Bookings

When you make an online booking or payment, this will either be through the business whatsapp, business email, The Hope Space website and Calendly. 

Anonymised payment details are recorded in our financial income reports. These reports will only hold your initials. The HMRC requires that we retain this information for 5 years after the end of the financial year.

Cookies

Like many websites, we use cookies. A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your computer or mobile phone browser from a website’s computer and is stored on your device’s hard drive.

Cookies record information about your online preferences. They help us understand how visitors engage with our site so that we can improve your online experience with us. We do not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.

Each website you visit can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it. To protect your privacy, your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other websites.

How to control and delete cookies

You may restrict or block the cookies which are set by our website, or any other website, through your browser settings. You can also ask your browser to alert you when a cookie is issued.

For more information about cookies and how to manage them is available at www.aboutcookies.org

We use Google Analytics to understand how visitors engage with our website. It collects information anonymously and reports website trends without identifying individual visitors. For more information visit Google Analytics privacy and security information.

Your therapy sessions

Everything that you discuss with your therapist is confidential. Confidentiality will only be broken if there is concern about your safety or the safety of someone else or we are instructed to do so by a Court of Law. We will always endeavour to speak to you about this first.

During remote working your therapist will ensure that they are conducting online and telephone sessions in a quiet, private and confidential setting. We have selected video calling platforms that offer end to end encryption to ensure maximum privacy. Please note however that we cannot be held responsible for any breaches that occur due to failures in this technology.

Your therapists clinical work is discussed with a supervisor. This is to ensure that they are offering you the best service possible. These conversations are bound by confidentiality and you will only be referred to by your first name.

Your therapist will also keep notes of each session. These are anonymized and stored under password protection on Google Drive. These notes are for our therapist’s use only and help to keep a track of everything that is being discussed. In line with industry guidelines, these notes will be kept securely for up to seven years after your therapy comes to an end. After this time, they will be confidentially destroyed.

Who we may need to share your information with

Third parties
There may be occasions when we need to share personal or sensitive information about you with third parties, specifically, your insurance company or other health professionals involved in your care (see below). When we do so, we will comply with all aspects of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

Your insurance company
If you are claiming the cost of your sessions through your insurance company, your insurance company may request details of your treatment and progress from us in order to authorise further funding for your treatment.  We will share the minimum amount of information necessary with your insurance company.

Specialist healthcare providers 
If there is a specialist healthcare provider, such as a consultant physician or psychiatrist, NHS mental health service, dietician or nutritionist, psychologist or other therapist involved in your care, and your treatment with them could be negatively impacted if they did not know you were working with us, we will consider this very carefully. 

We will always ask you for your consent before sharing any personal or sensitive information when liaising with other health professionals who may be involved in your care. 

We will always ask you for your consent before making appropriate referrals to other healthcare providers.

We will also check with you what information you do and do not wish for us to share. We only share sensitive information that would be of direct importance to your healthcare i.e. directly relevant to you getting the most appropriate treatment for your needs. 

General practitioners (your GP)
It is not typically necessary for us to contact a client's General Practitioner, unless we have concerns about the medication or treatment that a general practitioner may be prescribing you, or if your GP is the gateway to enable you to access other healthcare that you need. 

If we share any information with your GP, it will be in written form, in explicit consultation and collaboration with you, with the purpose of you getting better quality health care. We would ensure you have the opportunity to edit before it is sent and that you have a copy of the final draft.

Responding to family members and concerned others
​Occasionally we get enquiries from people's family members or partners making initial enquiries that share sensitive information about their loved ones because they want to help. In these circumstances, if we have not had explicit written consent about information sharing from a potential client themselves, our policy is to not respond to such enquiries in order to ensure that we safeguard, rather than accidentally breach privacy rights, or compromise trust with a future client. 
If this applies to you, and you are concerned about a loved one, we recommend that you are transparent in sharing your care and concern for them, and encourage them to contact us directly, or else their GP wherever possible. You are of course welcome to forward them a link to our website and to share our public contact details with them.
 

Your communications with us

Platforms that we communicate via: email, business WhatsApp and the website. 

All of our email accounts use the secure GSuite server and are double password protected If you send an email to your therapist’s email address, only they will have access to it.

All phones, tablets and laptops used to respond to your emails are encrypted, fully protected with anti-virus software and password protected.

Data Usage

We will only use your email address and telephone number to contact you about your appointments. Your therapist may also contact you directly via email in order to share information with you that is pertinent to your therapeutic process.

Your phone number may also be used to issue appointment reminders via text message. You can opt in or out of text updates by letting us know via email.

Your rights

Any personal data retained by our service is kept in accordance with the GDPR, 2018.

Under these guidelines you have the following rights

 

The right to request access to your data

You can request to view the information that we hold about you (contact details, appointment logs etc.) at any time. If during therapy you would like to see your session notes, please make this request to your therapist directly. Should you require a copy of your notes after your therapy has come to an end you can make this request by emailing info@thehopespace.co.uk

 

The right of rectification

At any point during your time using our service or during the seven years thereafter, while we retain your records, you have the right to request amendments to your contact details or session notes. This right can be exercised either by speaking directly to your therapist or by contacting us in writing.

 

The right to be forgotten

You can request that we delete and confidentially destroy the information that we hold about you and your sessions at any time. This request can be made by contacting us at info@thehopespace.co.uk

Instances where we would not be able to comply with your request are as follows:

  1. a) It is necessary for us to retain these records in order to continue providing an effective service

  2. b) We are compelled to retain these records by a Court of Law

  3. c) We require these records in order to establish, exercise or defend legal claims

We make every effort to ensure that our clients' personal information is held securely and to safeguard against unauthorised access, whether we receive it via our website, emails, text, over Zoom, or phone or in person. At the same time, in agreeing to our privacy policy:

 

  1. You acknowledge that the privacy of your communications and personal information can never be completely guaranteed when it is being transmitted over the internet. 

  2. You acknowledge and agree that you share information via the internet at your own risk.

  3. You agree to take responsibility for your own role in safeguarding your data privacy in the email address you choose to use and whether or not you choose to password protect information you send to me. 

 

Our website's contact form
If you get in touch via our useful contact form, you've got options to choose what information you wish to share with us. Your contact form goes directly through to us via email. 

About your initial free phone consultation
If you make initial contact with us over the phone, or choose a free telephone consultation, you can choose how much you would like to share with us at this stage. The purpose of your initial free telephone consultation is about the practicalities: to find out if our schedules are mutually workable, for you to ask any questions about our approach, and for us to provide you with some information about the ways in which we could assist.  However, having a simple overview of your current issues, and what you want from sessions, can be helpful to ascertain if we are the right service providers for you.

Consent

When you book your first session with us you will be asked to sign our policies and procedure information pack to confirm that you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data for the purposes of providing therapeutic services.

You are entitled to withdraw this consent at any time and can do so by emailing our office at: info@thehopespace.co.uk  

 

Breaches of data protection

In the event of any breach of our data protection policies, we will notify you and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours and will seek to rectify this immediately.

 

Raising concerns

Should you have any concerns about our data protection practices, you can raise these directly with your therapist. If you believe that your rights under the GDPR regulation have been infringed, or that the processing of personal data relating to you does not comply with lawful regulation, visit the Information Commissioners Office to find out how such matters can be dealt with on your behalf. Their helpline is 0303 123 1113.

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