This notice is to explain why I collect your personal data, and what I do with it, and to ensure I am working in accordance with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); terms from the regulation are indicated in bold.
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:
1. I need to collect personal information about your health in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and my agreement to provide that care constitutes in law an (unwritten) contract.
2. I have a legitimate interest in collecting that information, because without it I couldn’t practice acupuncture effectively and safely.
3. I keep records of your contact information because I think that 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.
4. 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. You may also subscribe to receive occasional newsletters. You may withdraw this consent at any time – just let me know by any convenient method.
Katharine Agnew is the data controller. The data controller decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
Whose information does this privacy notice apply to?
This privacy notice applies to information I collect from:
- prospective patients;
- former patients;
- people who subscribe to my newsletters;
- visitors to my websites;
- students using my online courses.
What is personal data?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. Examples of personal data I may hold about you include your contact and appointment details.
Special category data is a sub-category of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. Examples of special category data I may hold about you include your clinical notes.
How do I process your personal data?
I comply with my obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data. I use your personal data for the purposes set out below.
Sections 1 – 13 apply to my patients, prospective patients, former patients and visitors to our clinic
- Some patients and prospective patients tell me about their medical conditions and medication by email or online enquiry forms.
I am unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. I may also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send me is within the bounds of the law.
- I may use your date of birth to help identify patients with the same name to avoid mistakes being made as to safe and appropriate treatment, for identification purposes if referring a patient to another health practitioner, and for identification purposes if writing to a registered medical practitioner so that they correctly identify the patient.
- I keep a record of all appointments for patients attending my clinic for tax purposes and to secure potential evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution, civil litigation, insurance claim or complaint to my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council.
- I use health information, including your presenting complaint, symptoms reported by you, any relevant medical and family history, and my clinical findings for the purposes of making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.
- I keep a record (and refer to that record) of any treatment given, details of progress of your case, including reviews of treatment planning to enable me to review the full traditional diagnosis, treatment strategy and planning; and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
- I record and use any information and advice that I have given, especially when referring patients to any other health professional, to help you to receive the most appropriate treatment and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
- I use your GP’s name and address in the event that I need to contact your GP, including in an emergency, and because it is a mandatory requirement in the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct.
- In the event of an adverse incident occurring to any of my patients I report the matter to the British Acupuncture Council and my insurance company to enable the insurance company to deal with any potential claims and to help the British Acupuncture Council to develop its safe practice guidelines, as well as providing research data and information for the BAcC’s insurers and other interested parties.
- Where relevant I maintain records of the patient’s consent to treatment, or the consent of their next-of-kin in order to be able to prove that the patient (and/or parent/guardian/next of kin) has given informed consent to treatment to secure evidence in the event of a civil claim, criminal prosecution, insurance claim or complaint.
- I store your clinical notes, including your contact details, GP’s details, health records, and treatment information either:
a) on paper, in an individual paper file, stored in a secure cabinet in my home, or
- I keep accident records for any patients or visitors who are involved in accidents at my clinic in accordance with UK Health and Safety legislation including the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to comply with the law and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
Sections 14 and 15 apply to subscribers to my newsletters
- I maintain and use records of subscribers to my newsletters, only with their consent, for informational and marketing purposes.
Sections 16 – 18 apply to my website users
- I use website cookies to improve user experience of my website by enabling my website to ‘remember’ users, either for the duration of their visit – using a ‘session cookie’ – or for repeat visits – using a ‘persistent cookie’.
Sections 19 and 20 apply to my online course students
- I use your name and email to give you access to your online courses, send you updates about the courses and to let you know of new lessons as they become available.
Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential, and will be shared:
- with named third parties with your explicit consent;
- with the relevant authority such as the police or a court, if necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which I am subject e.g. a court order;
- with your doctor or the police if necessary to protect yours or another person’s life;
- with the police or a local authority for the purpose of safeguarding a child or vulnerable adult;
- with my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council, or my insurance company in the event of a complaint or insurance claim being brought against me; or
- my solicitor in the event of any investigation or legal proceedings being brought against me;
- with another acupuncturist who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council and has agreed to manage my patient notes, only in the event of my death or serious injury.
For further details about the situations when information about you might be shared please see the Information Commissioner’s website at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/personal-information/sharing-my-info/
How long do I keep your personal data?
I keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary.
I have an obligation to keep patient records for a period of 7 years (or in the case of patients under 18 years of age records must be kept until the patient reaches the age of 25), in accordance with the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/effective-practice/bacc-professional-codes.html. After this period you can ask me to delete your records if you wish. Otherwise, I will retain your records for up to 10 years after your last treatment in order that I can provide you with the best possible care should you wish to see me at some future date.
In the event of my death or serious injury, my patient notes will be transferred to another practitioner. This practitioner will be a member of the British Acupuncture Council and will be bound by the same confidentiality and privacy rules as me. They will be required to retain these notes for 7 years from your last appointment with me (or age 25, if they are under 18).
Other personal data will be retained as follows:
Website – Our user and event data retention period is set to 26 months via Google Analytics.
Online courses – We retain your data on our online learning platform for the duration of the course’s existence so that you can log in to your account and view your courses.
Emails – The retention period will depend on the content of the email. Appointment and enquiry emails will usually be deleted when they are no longer required, and in any case retained for no longer than one year. Some emails may be retained for longer if their contents may be required to secure potential evidence in the event of legal action against the practitioner or against a third party where the patient requires evidence concerning his medical condition from the practitioner to support their case. In these circumstances, we would retain emails for a period of up to 10 years, in line with patient notes.
Your rights and your personal data
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have certain rights with respect to your personal data as set out below.
- The right to request a copy of your personal data which I hold about you.
- The right to request that I correct any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date.
- The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for me to retain such data.
- The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time. This right does not apply where I am processing information using a lawful purpose other than consent.
- The right to request that I provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [This right only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with you and in either case when I am processing the data by automated means].
- The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing.
- The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [This right only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics].
- The right to be informed if your data is lost. I shall also inform the Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the time limits in the GDPR.
- The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
For further details about these rights please see the Information Commissioner’s website at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/is-my-information-being-handled-correctly/
If I wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then I will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, I will seek your prior consent to the new processing.
To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact me at email@example.com or Katharine Agnew, 47 Sutton Park, Blunsdon, SN26 7BB;
You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.