Privacy Notice GDPR 2018
This notice is to explain why I (Helen Robertson) collect your personal data, what I do with it, and to ensure I am working in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.
When you supply your personal details to me, when we communicate by email, and when I take notes in the clinic, this information is stored and processed for several reasons in accordance with the Data Protection Act requirements:
1. I need to collect personal information about you and your health in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and our agreement to provide that care constitutes in law an (unwritten) contract. You can, of course, refuse to provide the information, but if you were to do that I would not be able to provide treatment.
2. I have a 'Legitimate Interest' in collecting that information, because without it I couldn’t practice acupuncture effectively and safely.
3. I keep records of your contact information so that I can contact you in order to confirm your appointments with me or to update you on matters related to your medical care. I am unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. This includes prospective or current patients telling me about their medical conditions by email. Any emails sent to me, including file attachments, are monitored for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send me is within the bounds of the law. This again constitutes a 'legitimate interest', but this time it is your legitimate interest.
4. I may use your date of birth to help identify patients with the same name, so as to avoid mistakes being made as to safe and appropriate treatment, for identification purposes if referring a patient to another health practitioner, and for identification purposes if writing to a registered medical practitioner so that they correctly identify the patient.
5. I use your GP’s name and address in the event that we need to contact your GP including in an emergency, and because it is a mandatory requirement in the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct.
6. I keep a record of any treatment given and details of progress of your case, treatment reviews, information and advice, so as to enable me to: review the full diagnosis, treatment strategy and planning; make an informed referral to any other health professional (with your consent); and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
7. I keep accident records for any patients, visitors or staff who are involved in accidents at my clinic in accordance with UK Health and Safety legislation including the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), so as to comply with the law and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
8. I report any adverse incident occurrence to the British Acupuncture Council, to help the BAcC develop its safe practice guidelines, as well as to provide research data and information for the BAcC’s insurers and other interested parties.
9. I keep a diary which records all appointments for patients attending my clinic. This record of attendance is required both for tax purposes and to secure potential evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution, civil litigation, insurance claim or complaint to my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council.
10. Provided I have your consent (and this only needs to be verbal consent), I may occasionally send you individualised health information by email in the form of articles or advice. I will not send out generalised leaflets or advertisements. You may withdraw this consent at any time – just let me know by any convenient method.
I have a legal obligation to the British Acupuncture Council and the GDPR to retain your records for 7 years after your most recent appointment (or after you have reached age 25, if this is longer). After this period I will shred/delete your records.
Your clinical records are stored on paper, in individual paper files, and in a locked cabinet in my home office.
Your emails, invoices and receipts are stored within my firstname.lastname@example.org email or my email@example.com account, which are both password protected. Both my email account and my mobile are password protected and are used only by me.
I will never share your data with anyone who does not have a legal right of access without your written consent.
You have the right to see what personal data of yours I hold (Subject Access Request), and you can also ask me to correct any factual errors. I am legally required to respond to any request from a client to see their personal data within a timescale of 30 days.
On some occasions when I am not available I may refer you to an acupuncture colleague. In that case I will ask you whether you agree or object to information about your health being passed on to my colleague and will act accordingly.
I want you to be absolutely confident that I am treating your personal data responsibly, and that I will do everything I can to make sure that the only people who can access that data have a legal requirement to do so. In the case of my practice this would also apply when referring to another health professional. Other than for emergency treatment I will always ask you for your consent and will act accordingly.
If you feel that I am mishandling your personal data in some way, you have the right to complain. In the first instance, please contact myself, the 'Data Controller', as I very much hope I would be able to deal with any concerns you may have. However, you can also raise a concern directly with the Information Commissioner’s Office on https://ico.org.uk/concerns.