This page explains why we collect information about our clients and the ways it may be used. It tells you what happens to the personal information held about you in our centre.
This is our duty under the Data Protection Act 1998. We follow the Department of Health guidelines on “the protection and use of client information”.
Why do you need information about me?
We need to keep information about you to give you the best possible standards of healthcare. Our records are stored on paper and on computers.
Our guiding principle is that we are holding your records in strict confidence. We will not disclose your information to third parties (which can include your relatives) without your consent unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Anyone who receives any personal information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
How are my records used to help me?
The information in your records is used to make sure that:
- The therapist involved in your care has accurate and up to date information to assess your health, and decide what care you need now and in the future.
- Full information is available if you see another therapist.
- There is a clear record to assess the type and quality of care you have received.
- Your concerns can be properly investigated if you have a complaint.
How are my records used to help Accept Consortium?
Your records help clinical staff provide the right healthcare for you. Your information may also be used to help us:
- review the care we provide to ensure it is of the highest standard
- prepare statistics on Accept Consortium performance
- make sure our services meet client needs in the future
- manage and plan within Accept Consortium.
If your information is used for a statistical purpose, we make sure clients cannot be identified.
Who else may see my records?
- Social Services and Benefits Agencies may require medical reports on you from time to time, and requests for these will be disclosed only when accompanied by your signed consent.
- The police in matters of overriding public interest, for example where serious criminal offences have been committed.
- Law courts can insist that therapist centres disclose records to them. Therapists cannot refuse to co-operate with the court without risking serious punishment.
- Solicitors may ask for reports. These will be supplied only with your consent.
- Insurance companies may ask for reports on prospective clients or in pursuit of claims but client consent is required.
Can my therapist give information to my employer?
Therapists cannot give information about you to an employer without your permission. If your therapist writes a report with your permission, you can see it before it is passed on to your employer, unless your therapist decides it could be harmful for you to see it. You can refuse to let your employer or insurance company see the report or you can add your own written comments.
How do we keep your records confidential?
Everyone working at Accept Consortium has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about your personal information. This includes volunteers. Anyone receiving confidential information about you is also under a duty of confidence, which is written into contracts of employment at Accept Consortium.
What if I do not want my personal information to be shared with other people or organisations?
If you do not want your information to be shared, let your therapist know. If you make your decision after visiting Accept Consortium, contact our Clinical Services Manager on 020 7263 6947.
Where there is a legal requirement to share the information, Accept Consortium must comply with the law.
What are my rights?
Seeing your medical records
You have the right to see your medical records, unless the information is deemed harmful to you.
You should begin by asking the person treating you if you can see your notes and if they will go through them with you. There is no charge for this. If your request cannot be granted for any reason, or if you require a copy of your notes, you can apply in writing or by phone.
Who can apply?
You can apply to see your own records. If you have been appointed by a court to access someone else’s records, you can apply:
- to see the record of a client who has died, if you are acting as their personal representative, or if you have a claim resulting from their death
- on behalf of someone who is not capable of giving their permission because of age or illness
How do I apply?
Requests need to be made to Accept Consortium, Unit 4 Lysander Mews, Lysander Grove, London N19 3QP.
What does it cost?
For copies of your medical (paper) records you will be charged a fee up to a maximum of £50. For copies of your computerised records, the maximum fee is £10.
How long will it take?
We must provide a copy of your records within 40 days from:
- receipt of your request in writing
- verification of your identity
- payment of the fee.
How will my records be shown to me?
If you are given access, you will be sent a copy of the relevant parts of your medical records by post. If you require an explanation of any medical terms or abbreviations which are not clear to you, or entries which are difficult to read, then you may request an appointment with a member of staff to have these explained.
Can I change my records?
If you think the record is inaccurate you can ask for it to be corrected. Accept Consortium is not obliged to accept your corrections, but a note about why you think the information is inaccurate will be added to your records. You will be sent an amended copy free of charge.
Can I be refused access to my records?
You can be refused access to records, or part of them, if:
- your therapist thinks you, or someone else, could be seriously harmed as a result
- the information relates to, or was provided by, an identified individual apart from the client or health professional.
How can I find out more?
If you have other questions or concerns please contact Accept Consortium on 020 7263 6947 or in writing to Unit 4 Lysander Mews, Lysander Grove, London N19 3QP.