On 25th May 2018 the law changed with regard to how organisations must protect your ‘data’ (personal details and records) and this is called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. The following summary highlights how GDPR is being implemented, by explaining why confidential information is being held and how this is protected; https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/
It is assumed that by engaging with the service you are consenting to records being kept.
- Keeping records is an essential component of healthcare
- Confidentiality is maintained at all times (i.e. your information is not shared) unless there are exceptional circumstances such as risk to yourself or others, when other services such as your GP or police may be contacted without your consent as this is a professional obligation.
- As part of our professional practice, psychologists are required to have regular supervision. Information shared in supervision will not include any personal, identifiable data and is subject to the same data protection principles.
- Consultation notes and questionnaires will be held for varying lengths of time (and then carefully disposed of)
E.g. some records may be held indefinitely if there are issues of concern that could lead to police investigation in the future
E.g. mental health records are subject to special legislation e.g. adult records are kept for 8 years after the last contact with the service: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/records-management-code-of-practice-for-health-and-social-care
- All information recorded on paper will be securely stored in a locked filing cabinet
- Confidential information sent by the psychologist via the internet will be encrypted using password protection with the password sent separately by email
- Letters sent to professionals such as GPs by surface mail, will be clearly marked confidential
- All electronic devices ( e.g.computer, laptop and phone) used to access stored information will be themselves password protected
- Right of access, a ‘subject access request’ or SAR can be made for copies of records but there may be an admin charge and these will be provided within 1 calendar month of the request being made
- In the event of death or incapacity of the therapist, arrangements will be have been made for records to be held by a named professional colleague who will continue with the above obligations