I’d like to explain why I collect your personal data, and what I do with it. Also I wish to ensure that I am working in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
When you supply your personal details to me, when we communicate by email, and when I take notes in the clinic, this information is stored and processed for four reasons in line with the GDPR requirements:
- I need to collect personal information about your health in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and our agreement to provide that care constitutes in law an (unwritten) contract.
- I have a legitimate interest in collecting that information, because without it I cannot practice acupuncture effectively and safely.
- I keep records of your contact information, because I think it is important that I can contact you, in order to confirm your appointments with me or to update you on matters related to your medical care. This again constitutes a legitimate interest, but this time it is your legitimate interest.
- Provided I have your consent (and this only needs to be verbal consent), I may occasionally send you individualised health information by email in the form of articles or advice. I will not send out generalised leaflets or advertisements unless you specifically give consent for that. You may withdraw consent at any time – just let me know by any convenient method.
As a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) I have a legal obligation to retain your records for 7 years after your most recent appointment (or after you have reached age 25, if this is longer).
Your clinical records are stored only on paper, in individual paper files, and in a secure, locked cabinet. Your emails are stored on a password protected computer and are deleted within twelve months. I am the only person who has access to your records, receipt files and emails. I will never share your information with anyone who does not have a legal right of access without your consent.
You have the right to see what personal data of yours I hold, and you can also ask me to correct any factual errors. I am legally required to respond to any request from a client to see their personal data within a timescale of 30 days. However, I would ensure that I would respond, as soon as I possibly could, to any reasonable request for access to personal records.
I want you to be absolutely confident that I am treating your personal data responsibly, and that I will do everything I can to make sure that the only people who can access that data have a genuine need to do so. In the case of my practice this would most likely apply in the situation of me needing to make a referral to another health professional.
Obviously, if you feel that I am mishandling your personal data in some way, you have the right to complain. Please first raise your concern with me, as I hope, I will be able deal with any concerns you might have. However, you can also raise a concern directly with the Information Commissioner’s Office on https://ico.org.uk/concerns.
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