Any personal data provided by you to the Enfield Counselling Service through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and to meet the legitimate interests of the charity.
What information do we collect?
- Counselling Requests– Registering with us to request access to our counselling service can be done online, on paper or in person. Our request process involves providing us with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. We may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which we deem relevant to processing your request.
- Initial Assessment Appointments– At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social, medical and financial circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide about our offer of counselling to you, to assign you to a counsellor, and to manage the service we provide to you.
- Employment – In order to apply for job opportunities advertised on our website and elsewhere, and to become an employee of the charity, you will be required to provide your contact details and other personal information contained in your CV (such as employment history and qualifications), as well as contact details of referees. This information is only processed for the purpose of considering your job application, making any offer of employment, and administering your contract of employment.
- Donors – The information you give us when making a donation may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number, amount donated, Gift Aid status, and messages.
- Training – The information you give us received relating to training applications and academic assignments and papers are securely stored in a designated locked storage facility. This information is stored and is only processed in relation to the academic requirements of the awarding body The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).
- Other Forms – The information you give us on our forms (including all enquiry and application forms) may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number and other messages to us.
What do we use your information for?
We use information held about you in the following ways:
- To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
- To enable us to offer appropriate service and support for our users from the office administration and our counsellors.
- To offer suitable counselling appointments, and to allocate clients and counsellors for counselling.
- To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
- To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
- To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments, the handling of donations, and for financial control.
- To keep in touch with those who consent to this, for the purposes of organisational, service and professional development.
- To fulfil our administrative, legal and contractual obligations as an employer and to comply with the training requirements of the BPC
What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:
- Consent – The ECS may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact.
- Serious harm – ECS may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
- Compliance with law – ECS may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject.
- It is necessary to provide your employee details to our payroll management company.
- As part of the backups of encrypted data processed and held by professional IT security companies.
How do we keep your information safe?
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets on our premises. All electronic records are stored on our own on-site computer server, all access to which requires password-protected authentication, or by reputable service providers using secure internet ‘cloud’ technology. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your
information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access. Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 3 years after the end of counselling. Gift Aid declarations are destroyed/deleted after 7 years, and personal contact details are destroyed/deleted after 10 years of no contact or updates.
You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact the Clinical Director using our contact form. You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling at the ECS, your counselling would have to end. You can withdraw your consent by submitting our Consent Withdrawal Form, or by contacting the Clinical Director.
Changes to this policy
We may edit this policy from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our website.