Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Any personal data provided by our clients to Wolverhampton and South Staffs Counselling Services through any means – spoken, 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 (GDPR) for the purposes for which clients have given consent, to provide the services that have been requested from us.

 

Introduction

Wolverhampton and South Staffs Counselling Services (WSSCS) is committed to protecting our clients’ privacy. The following sets out WSSCS’s privacy policy and information collection and use practices.

This policy only applies to data collected by WSSCS staff and via our own forms and website. If you have any queries concerning personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact Melanie Whyatt at info@wsscs.co.uk

When you request counselling with WSSCS, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.

 

What information is collected by WSSCS?

  • Counselling Requests – The request process involves providing WSSCS with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. We may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which could be relevant to your counselling

  • Initial Appointments– At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social and medical circumstances. We may also ask about the issues that are affecting you now. This information is required to inform the counselling service you receive

 

What is your information used for?

Information held about our clients is used in the following ways:

  • To provide the professional counselling service requested

  • To notify clients about changes to appointments and other changes to the counselling service

  • To seek feedback from clients on their counselling experience

  • To improve services

  • To administer the service, including the arrangement of appointments, for financial control, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes

 

What information is shared?

Our clients’ information will not be shared with other organisations or people except in the following situations:

  • Consent – client information may be shared with professional carers or others whom the client has requested or agreed we should contact

  • Serious harm – we may share a client’s information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to the client or another person

  • Compliance with law – we may share a client’s information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject

 

How do we keep clients’ information safe?

All information clients provide to us is stored as securely as possible:

  • All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets on the premises

  • All electronic records are stored on FIPS USB Memory Stick

Although we will do our best to protect clients’ information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted to us via email (though we use an encrypted email service) – any transmission is at the client’s own risk. Once we have received the client’s information, strict procedures and security features will be used to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed five years after the end of counselling (in line with the requirement of indemnity insurers). 

 

Your rights

Clients have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records. Clients also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in their information. If you would like to do this, please contact WSSCS partner, Melanie Whyatt at info@wsscs.co.uk

Clients may withdraw their consent for us to hold and process their data at any time.  However, if they do this while actively receiving counselling, the counselling would have to end. Clients can withdraw their consent by contacting WSSCS partner Melanie Whyatt at info@wsscs.co.uk

 

Changes to this policy

We may edit this policy from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify clients personally.