We know that confidentiality is really important to the people we work with
Our staff will talk to you about confidentiality and what it means and how it may affect you.
We aim to keep everything discussed between us confidential. However, if we’re very worried about your safety, we may share your personal data with other people to protect you. For example, a hospital if you are in need of urgent medical care and cannot decide for yourself. This happens very rarely and we’ll always aim to let you know first. If you want to know more about this then just ask your key worker, or contact our Data Protection Officer directly at email@example.com
We have a robust and comprehensive Safeguarding Policy in place to protect all of the people we work with, their families and our staff. We firmly believe that safeguarding is everyone’s business.
We will need to keep information about you for the following reasons:
- so that we can remember what is talked about with you
- so that we can keep you safe from harm
- so that we can comply with any legal or regulatory obligations that we may have as a healthcare provider.
Who else sees your information
We also need to collect information to send to statutory agencies and we’ll discuss this with you. This information won’t identify you but will be used to write reports and to show how drug, alcohol and mental health treatment is working and inform future funding from the government.
The funders for services also want to know how many people come to see us so they can tell other people what is happening about drugs, alcohol and mental health in local areas. Again, the information will not identify you.
Confidentiality and our Talking Therapies services
This section covers how our Talking Therapies services in Kent and Surrey handle your information.
We ask you for information so that we can provide you with the best possible care to help you achieve your goals.
The records we keep about you are only seen by people who are involved in your care (including the NHS) unless you have agreed with us that we can share it with others as well (see Sharing your information). To support this we routinely share key information with your GP as they are involved in your care. We always update your GP following your assessment and when you finish treatment, but may send updates should there be any key changes in your treatment.
Sometimes there may be reasons why we would like to share information with other services who support you, but we would seek to talk to you before we share this information.
We will keep information about you safe and secure. We keep data for as long as it is necessary to provide you with the care and treatment that you need, and to make sure we are compliant with the law, and then will securely destroy it.
Learning what worked for you can help us meet other people’s needs, so sometimes we may retain some data just for statistical purposes. When we do this, we anonymise it which means that you cannot be identified eg. removing your personal data such as name, DOB, NHS number etc. We also use anonymised data to help staff during training, and for audit purposes, so we can improve services if necessary.
If we do want to use data that identifies you, for example in research projects, we will always ask you first and we will not use it without your consent.
Your right to see your records
You have the right to see records kept about you. This includes paper-based records and those kept on a computer.
If you would like to see your records your worker will be able to help you. If you prefer, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will arrange for you to see or get a copy of your records within one month. You can also decide to go through your record with a worker, in case you have any questions. There is no charge for this service.
There may be parts of your personal records that we may not be able to share with you if we feel that it could cause harm to you or someone else.
You can ask someone else to request your data for you, and if that happens we will always check with you first that you have agreed to this, unless we are prevented under the law from asking for your consent, for example if law enforcement agencies are investigating a crime.
If you are helping someone else with their request, we will always ask for their consent first, to make sure they agree to you contacting us about their personal data. You may not be allowed to see the record if we believe that the person did not wish this to happen.
If you feel there are parts of your record which are not accurate then you can ask us to correct it. We will either make the correction, or put a note on the file with your comments.
Under the law, you also have other rights about how and when your personal records are used. You can find out more information about your rights, or what to do if you are concerned about how we have processed your personal data, on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website.
Sharing your information
We share key information with your GP and the NHS as part of your care. We encourage everyone who uses our services to be open with others, whether professionals or family and friends.
When we share your personal information with the NHS we pseudonymise it, which means that only people who have access to other systems and information will be able to understand it. We use an identifier instead of your full name and protect your personal information while it’s being transferred by uploading it directly to the NHS through a secure portal.
The sharing of special category data in healthcare is strictly controlled by law. Anyone who gets data from us is also under a legal duty to only use it for agreed purposes and keep it safe and strictly confidential. If we work with other organisations regularly, we both sign an Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) which sets out what, why and how we will share your data.
We have determined that our data usage is out of scope of the NHS National Data Opt-Out, which gives patients a choice about how their identifiable data and health records are used other than to provide them with the direct care and treatment they need.
If we change the way that we use personal and healthcare data of the people we help and support, we will reconsider and decide whether the NHS National Data Opt-Out starts applying to the use we make of data.
If you are concerned about your data being shared, you can speak to your worker at any time.
Sometimes there are exceptional circumstances when we would share information about you without your consent, but this would only usually be for very serious reasons involving your safety or that of other people.
There are also times when the law says we must share your personal information, for example:
- when a court orders us to
- if we have knowledge of very serious crimes
- sharing with the NHS
There may be other cases when we may have to share your personal information, but where possible we will let you know.
You can find out more information here about how the NHS uses your personal data.
You can also find out here how the NHS looks after your personal data.
Under the law, you have rights about how and when your personal data is used.
You can find out more information about your rights, or what to do if you are concerned, or you are not happy, about how we have processed your personal data, on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website.
For more information about how we look after your records, or use your personal data, you can speak to your worker or contact:
Data Protection Officer
We Are With You, Central Office
Part Lower Ground Floor
1-3 St Johns Square