Purpose of privacy notice
The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the GDPR). This legislation will replace current data privacy law and comes into effect on 25 May 2018.
Whose information does this privacy notice apply to?
This privacy notice applies to information I collect from:
- patients - prospective patients - former patients - visitors to my website
What is personal data?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. Examples of personal data I may hold about you include your contact and appointment details.
Special category data is a sub-category of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health, or data concerning a person’s sex life or sexual orientation. Examples of special category data I may hold about you include your patient notes.
How do I process your personal data?
I comply with my obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data. I use your personal data for the purposes set out below.
1. I use your name, address, telephone number and email address to make and rearrange appointments. Some patients and prospective patients tell me about their medical conditions and medication by email or online enquiry forms. 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. I will also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, 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.
2. I keep a permanent attendance register which records all appointments in my clinic for tax purposes and to secure potential evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution, civil litigation, insurance claim or complaint to the British Acupuncture Council.
3. I may use your date of birth to help identify patients with the same name 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.
4. I use your presenting complaint and symptoms, any relevant medical and family history reported by you and my clinical findings for the purposes of making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint. I keep a record of any treatment given. I periodically review these records to ascertain how treatment is progressing.
5. I use your GP’s name and address in the event that I 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 accident records for any patients or visitors 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) to comply with the law and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
7. In the unlikely event of an adverse incident occurring to any of my patients I report the matter to the British Acupuncture Council and my insurance company to enable the insurance company to deal with any potential claims and to help the British Acupuncture Council to develop its safe practice guidelines, as well as providing research data and information for the BAcC’s insurers and other interested parties.
8. I maintain a record of the patient’s consent to treatment, or the consent of their next-of-kin stored in the patient file to secure evidence in the event of a civil claim, criminal prosecution, insurance claim or complaint.
9. I keep hard copy (ie. paper) records only which are always in my possession or stored in a locked cabinet.
10. Should I receive a complaint from a person I will make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint. I will only use the personal information I collect to process the complaint but I may have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying them to be disclosed, I will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis. I may need to provide personal information collected and processed in relation to complaints to the British Acupuncture Council or my insurance company.
11. I will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with my retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for two years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.
12. My website provider is ‘Webhealer’. They act for me as provider and host and help maintain the security and performance of my website. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help me improve my website and search functionality. No user-specific data is collected by me or any third party including Webhealer. Webhealer and myself have access to Google Analytics which collects standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. If you contacted me via my website, enquiries submitted through the contact form are sent directly to me by email and then deleted from Webhealer’s systems. They are retained by Webhealer only until they are confident they have been successfully delivered and no cookies are captured.
13. I use website cookies to improve user experience of my website by enabling my website to 'remember' users, see further information including how to disable cookies at the bottom of this page.
Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential, and will be shared:
· with named third parties with your explicit consent;
· with the relevant authority such as the police or a court, if necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject e.g. a
· with your doctor or the police if necessary to protect yours or another person’s life;
· with the police or a local authority for the purpose of safeguarding a children or vulnerable adults;
· with my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council, or my insurance company in the event of a complaint or insurance claim being
brought against me;
· my solicitor in the event of any investigation or legal proceedings being brought against me.
For further details about the situations when information about you might be shared please see the Information Commissioner's website.
How long do I keep your personal data?
I keep patient records for a period of 7 years in accordance with the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct and after that time period, the file will be securely destroyed.
I keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary. When you cease to receive acupuncture treatment from me this will be when I will securely destroy or delete contact details except for your signed consent form which will be stored in your patient file. If you have agreed, by opting in, to receive ‘newsletter’ type information from me by post or email, these contact details will be securely stored in your patient file. Communications by email and/or text whilst receiving treatment will be kept to a minimum and messages deleted after their use has expired. Special category data, should there be any, will only ever be stored in the patient file and kept in a secure environment.
Should I be unable to safely store and destroy records by shredding (for example due to illness or death), I have made provision for a trusted colleague to store and destroy my records as appropriate.
At any time you may request that changes are made to your contact details and I will endeavour to keep these up to date at all times.
Your rights and your personal data
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have certain rights with respect to your personal data. For details about these rights please see the Information Commissioner's website.
Please contact me in the first instance if you have any query about your personal data:
Yvonne Cook at [email protected] - 07843 174474