This document has been written to tell you about the confidentiality, data protection and information security processes within SCCPP.
It details the information that SCCPP holds about each child and family seen by SCCPP and is written in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1988) and ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) data protection guidelines. It also tells you how you can access the information we hold about you and your child.
Confidentiality and Safeguarding Children and Young People
SCCPP provides confidential child psychology services. No information about you or your family will be shared with others without your explicit permission (with the exception of issues of safety detailed below).
The well-being and safety of children and young people is paramount and if a child or young person is at risk of harm then we are obliged to liaise with the relevant agencies for the safeguarding of children and young people. All professionals who work with children are required to abide by this legislation.
In simple terms, this means that if we come across a situation where we think a child is being harmed or hurt, or is harming or hurting another child or vulnerable person (for example an adult with a learning disability), we are obliged to tell other professionals who can help to resolve, or monitor the situation. This may include your child’s teacher, school nurse, health visitor, SENCo, BECo, social worker, paediatrician etc. Your child’s GP will always be informed, and other professionals will be informed on a “need to know” basis.
Whenever possible, we do this with the knowledge and agreement of parents or carers. When working on the premises of another organisation (i.e. a school) we will also abide by the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy of the organisation.
What information do we collect about you and your child and why?
SCCPP collects information about you and your child to help us to give you the best possible care. We aim to maintain full and accurate records of the care we provide and to keep this information confidential and secure.
All the details we hold about your child and family are provided by you, or the people you give us your explicit permission to speak to (for example your child’s teacher); with the exception of concerns over safeguarding.
We collect your, and your child’s name and address, telephone number and e mail addresses. This allows us to contact you to make appointments, send reports, invoices, information etc.
We also require your child’s GP’s name and address. We need this to fulfil our statutory duties relating to the protection and safeguarding of children. Where there are safeguarding concerns, we will always inform your GP as per the good practice guidelines.
We also make notes of our discussion during appointments. We keep these records in order to help us remember details about your family and the particular issues you are facing. We may also use these notes to compile reports or write letters about your child, that you request, or as part of our routine service to you. We also keep reports sent to us by other professionals, about your child, and copies of any assessments we undertake with your child. This information makes up your child’s “Clinical notes/records”.
How do we store Clinical Notes?
Clinical notes are kept in a locked filing cabinet in our home office.
Contact details and copies of any letters/reports we write are also kept on our work computers which are separate from our personal computers. All information on our work computers are backed up online in a secure Dropbox.
All clinical records relating to your child and family will be destroyed 6 years after our last contact with you, unless you request otherwise.
Who can access your information?
SCCPP currently consists of two partners, Catherine Field and Stephanie Boyle, both of whom can access all client information. In the event that we employ other psychologists, they will have access to the full client records for children and families that they are working with, but not others.
Our client work maybe supervised by external supervisors, and children’s first names will be used during these sessions, but other details, such as your address and child’s school, will not be shared. Supervision sessions are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as detailed above.
From time to time, we need to seek advice from other professional fields, for example, IT, legal or financial services. It is possible that in very rare circumstances individuals from these professions may see your personal details (Name, address etc). For example, if we were to be audited by HMRC, they may wish to see our client invoices, or in the event of IT malfunction, the IT expert may view our client database during their recovery work. Lawyers can also access clinical notes if they are subpoenaed by a court. We cannot envisage any other circumstances where client notes would be seen by anyone else.
Transfer of clinical information
In the event that reports or letter need sending to families or other professionals, this will be done via Royal Mail, as we do not yet have a safe method of encrypting our e mails.
How to access your child’s clinical notes
3 Potter’s Close