This policy explains how Solway Psychological Services uses your personal information or data, where we store it and who we share it with. The Partners of Solway Psychological Services are Dr Fionnuala Edgar, Dr Katie Whyte and Dr John Higgon.
Solway Psychological Services collect, store and process personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016 (“Data Protection Legislation”).
Our purposes for collecting your data
We collect your data for the purposes of communicating with you, administrating our contract with you and in order to provide our psychological and counselling services and medical reporting services as part of our agreed contract with you.
What data do we collect?
We collect your name, your contact details including your telephone number, email address and postal address.
We collect information directly from you relevant to providing our agreed service to you and for administrative purposes. This may include your background history, your social circumstances and your physical and mental health. Some of the data we may process about you is “special category data” (such as information about your physical or mental health, sexual orientation, religious or philosophical beliefs, racial or ethnic origin) in terms of the Data Protection Act 2018.
We may also collect information about you from third parties. For example, we may access your GP records or information from other health professionals. We will only do this with your agreed written consent, or where you have previously consented to sending this information to us via your legal advisor (e.g. your solicitor).
Where do we keep your personal data?
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to partners and authorised staff who have a legitimate need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
We keep a written record of our contact with you in a case file. The physical case file is kept in a locked filing cabinet in our secure office. Only Solway Psychological Services’ partners and authorised staff have access to this information. If we have received copies of your medical records for the purposes of completing a report, we will return these copies to your solicitor or destroy them on completion of your report.
Any typed reports or correspondence is stored on our computer systems. We have put appropriate physical, organisational and technical security measures in place to keep this information secure (such as password protection, firewalls etc).
How long do we keep your personal data for?
Our policy is to retain your case file for 6 years in accordance with guidance issued by our professional body, The British Psychological Society. After this time, we destroy written records and delete any electronic copies or correspondence, unless we are legally obliged to keep it for a longer period or unless we have good reason for keeping it for a longer period, such as for legal or regulatory reasons; for the purposes of protecting you or a third party from harm; or for establishing, exercising or defending legal claims of establishing; or for other health care or safeguarding reasons.
We keep records of invoices, payments and receipts for accounting purposes. We are required to retain this information for 6 years in line with HMRC requirements. After this time, we destroy this information and delete any electronic records.
Who do we share your data with?
We may share written reports as agreed by the terms of our service with you. For example, we will send written reports to your solicitor if this was the purpose of our contact. We will only send reports to other health care providers at your request with your written consent.
We use Gmail as our email correspondence. Gmail is a secure and encrypted email service and is fully GPDR compliant. We will always ask you to email us at your initial contact so we have the correct email address to correspond with you and we ask that you keep us up to date if your contact details change.
It is the requirement of our regulatory body that we ensure we seek suitable clinical supervision as this process enables us to practice safely and professionally. Therefore information relating to you may also be discussed within the context of this confidential supervisory relationship. The Clinical Psychologists at Solway Psychological Services provide peer supervision to each other. Dr John Higgon may also seek additional neuropsychological supervision from external peer specialists under suitable arrangements of confidentiality.
Our legal requirements to share your data
If we are concerned that you or another individual is at risk of harm, we have a duty of care to share this information with the relevant safeguarding and/or medical services, e.g. the Police, your GP and/or Social Services. In these circumstances we will usually advise you of this requirement and our reasons for sharing information in the first instance, unless we have a justifiable reason not to do so.
We do not typically transfer your information outside the European Economic Area. Where we do, we will only do so in compliance with the Data Protection Legislation, and we will put appropriate safeguards in place to protect your data and your rights.
Your legal rights
Under certain circumstances, you have rights under the Data Protection Legislation in relation to your personal data.
You have the right to:
· Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
· Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
· Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
· Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
· Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:
· If you want us to establish the data's accuracy.
· Where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it.
· Where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
· You have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
· Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
· Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
Please note that exceptions and restrictions may apply under the Data Protection Legislation to you excessing the legal rights set out above, for example, you may not be able to access all the information we may process about you if this might adversely impact your physical or mental health; or we may have to continue to process your data notwithstanding any objection you may have if we are obliged by law to do so or if our failing to do so might put you or another person at risk of harm.
Exercising your legal rights: No fee usually required
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we could refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
Exercising your legal rights: What we may need from you
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.
Exercising your legal rights: Time limit to respond
We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
Point of contact
If you have any queries, wish to exercise any of your legal rights or wish to make a complaint about the way your data has been processed by us, then please contact our Data Privacy Manager:
Dr Katie Whyte, Campbell House, The Cricthton, Bankend Rd., Dumfries, DG1 4UQ
How do I make a complaint?
If you wish to make a complaint about the way we have processed your personal data, or dealt with your request to exercise your legal rights, you have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk).
We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact our Data Privacy Manager in the first instance.
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.