We regard the privacy of our staff, volunteers and clients as very important and any personal information which you provide to us will be dealt with in accordance with our data protection policies, and the terms and conditions of counselling.
Any personal information you provide to us will be treated in accordance to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Links Counselling Service is a member of ICO; the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. Links Counselling Service adheres to ICO guidelines to protect the data privacy of our service users.
We will not try to sell you anything and you will not receive unsolicited phone calls or mail from us or any third parties as a result of providing us with your personal information. We are committed to protecting your personal data and we recognise the importance of being clear about how we intend to use it.
what personal information so we collect?
All information is on a ‘need to know’ basis, and if you are a client, we obtain this information to inform our practice, keep you and our staff safe and work according to our safeguarding and confidentiality policies.
The making a referral for counselling to our service, we will collect contact details as well as ask for a brief reason for wanting to refer for counselling. We will also ask for GP Details and an emergency contact at this stage before setting up an assessment with a counsellor.
At the assessment process, we will collect and record confidentially the following data;
Your name and contact information (including home address, email address and phone number)
Date of birth
Doctor’s contact details
General demographic details - gender, age, employment, ethnicity etc
Next of kin or emergency contact details
Details of medication currently being taken to help with psychological problems
Other professional involvement and if relevant, their contact details
Records of any correspondence when you contacted us
Session record logs
Before collecting your information, we will ask if you agree to us recording and storing your personal information and rely to you the terms and conditions of data protection. If agreed, you will be asked to sign the terms and conditions. if disagreed, the assessor will decide whether or not we have sufficient information for the client to continue counselling safeguarding guidelines. the assessor may discuss this with their manager or supervisor.
We will not use your information for any other purpose other than to contact you, collect statistical data for reporting and provide evidence of work. Any notes that are made in accordance to client material and reporting purposes will be anonymised.
Personal information is kept separate from ongoing client session notes to limit the possibility of identification of client.
If we would like to use your information for any other purpose other than what is stated above, we will obtain your written consent.
If a person referring does not become an ongoing client of our service, we will shred their details.
HOW DO WE PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
We make every effort to ensure that your personal information is held securely and to safeguard against unauthorised access to your personal information. Any information collected on our database system is password protected, GDPR regulated and stored securely on the cloud. ECOM Software are responsible for managing the database security.
All technology devices used are encrypted and any written documents are stored in locked filing cabinets within a secure room on the Links premises, which uses passcodes for staff members only.
If you are a client of our service your case file will be archived for 7 years. After this time, all your personal information will be shredded. Your personal details and notes are archived separately to maintain confidentiality as outlined in our confidentiality policy.
Anyone who makes a referral online, has the option to anonymise their details.
Staff and volunteers have a personnel file which is stored in a locked filing cabinet in a secure room. This information will be shredded 1 year after service has ended. A record of your name and dates of service will be retained on the archives for 7 years. Volunteer information will be help during agreed breaks when there is an intention to return to the same role within the Agency.
Personal data about unsuccessful candidates who have applied for positions whiten Links Counselling Service will be kept for 6 months after the recruitment process is completed, at which point the will be shredded unless the candidate has agreed to be kept on a list of bank staff.
WILL MY PERSONAL DATA BE SHARED WITH ANOTHER ORGANISATION
Your personal data provided by you will only be used by Links Counselling Service to contact you regarding counselling appointments. The only time Links Counselling Service will share your information is if you have completed a Subject to Access report, which can be retrieved by contacting the main office in Lurgan. The Subject Access Report must be completed by you or someone legally acting on your behalf.
access to your personal data (subject access requests)
You have the right to know;
any information available as to the source of your personal data
the personal data of which you are the data subject
the purpose for which we are using it
the recipients to whom we have disclosed or may disclose your personal data
This can be done by making a clear, specific request and providing current identification as outlined below;
A clear, specific request
Links Counselling Service does not have to start working on a subject access request until you have provided enough information for us to find the personal data and have completed a Subject to Access request form supported by identification.
Links Counselling Service takes great care to ensure that personal data is only disclosed to those who are authorised to access it. For this reason, you will need to provide a form of ID from each of the lists below in order to request your personal information.
Examples of acceptable name identification;
Current drivers license
Examples of acceptable proof of address
Paper part of driving license
Address ID is necessary in order to ensure that your personal data is being posted to the right place. If you would rather pick up your data by hand, then please let us know.
We promise to make the best use of each donation to provide caring, confidential counselling support for anyone who could benefit from it, through service provision and team training.
We will keep you updated with our work if you have requested to receive updates. We will treat your personal information with respect in full accordance with your preferences and UK law.
We treat all communications, whether positive or negative, seriously and endeavour to ensure that we respond in a timely manner.
In response to your donations, we promise:
Your donation will be processed efficiently
Your donation will be promptly acknowledged and we are grateful for your support.
We will keep our administration cost to a minimum and provide clear, public financial reports in our annual review.
Your donations will be maximised through Gift Aid where possible
If you would like to allocate your donation to a particular area of our work, we will respect your wishes, and where this is not possible, we will advise you of this and proceed as you request.
We endeavour to provide quality supporter care and so when you contact us, we promise to;
Handle your enquiry in an honest and professional manner
Provide a response to your queries and questions as quickly as possible, and if we are delayed, let you know when you can expect a response
Treat all complaints seriously, investigate them fully and report back to you with a solution
Welcome and encourage feedback from you to improve our work
We strive to keep you fully updated on our work and communicate with you in the way you prefer and so we will;
Use our communications to inform you of the latest news and update you on how your support is making a difference.
Show you how you can further support us, unless you request us not to.
Maintain confidentiality at all times and ensure your data is protected under GDPR guidelines as outlined above
Communicate with you in the way that you prefer when you inform us of your preference for communication