Harmony Counselling Service

Privacy Notice

When you request counselling with Harmony Counselling Service you will be asked to consent to our obtaining, processing and storage of your data under the terms of this policy.
Any personal data provided by you to Harmony Counselling Service (HCS) through any means (verbal, 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 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us.


Introduction

Harmony Counselling Service (the ‘data controller’ being Jan Runham, is registered with the Information Commissioners Office, Registration reference ZA027011, and is referred to below as “HCS”, “us” or “we”) HCS is committed to protecting your privacy and has a legitimate interest in processing personal data in order to provide counselling services. Please read the following in order to learn more about HCS’s privacy policy and our information collection and use practices.
This policy only applies to data collected by HCS’s staff via our own forms. Third party agents, and websites which are linked to ours, are not covered by this policy. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact the Director by email to [email protected]


What information do we collect?

Counselling Requests– Registering with us to request access to our counselling service can be done online or by telephone. Our request process involves providing us either by telephone or email with your name, address, telephone numbers, GP, next of kin, and email address and for members of Bracknell Forest Council accessing the employee counselling service provided by HCS you will be asked your work department. We may also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which we deem relevant to processing your request.


Initial Assessment Appointments: At an initial appointment we ask about your current personal, social and any relevant medical issues. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide about our offer of counselling to you, to assign you to a counsellor, and to manage the service we provide to you.
Website: Anonymous data relating to user behaviour and ‘web traffic’ statistics is collected via the website host. The collection and use of this data is subject to their own Privacy Policies.


What do we use your information for?

We use information held about you in the following ways:
To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.
To offer suitable counselling appointments, and to allocate clients and counsellors for counselling.
To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.
To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us.
To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us.
To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes.
To fulfil our administrative, legal and professional obligations as directed by our professional bodies, BACP and insurers.

What information do we share?

We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:

Consent – HCS may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact.

Serious harm – HCS may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
Compliance with law – HCS may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject.


How do we keep your information safe?

All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets on our premises. All electronic records are stored securely, all access to which requires password-protected authentication.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 7 years after the end of counselling.


Your rights

You have the right to ask us to provide a copy of the information held by us in our records.
You also have the right to require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information. If you would like to do this, please contact the Director.
You may withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling at Harmony Counselling Service, your counselling would have to end.
You can withdraw your consent by contacting Jan Runham via email [email protected]
If you wish to exercise any of the rights mentioned above or make a complaint about how we have handles your personal data please contact the Director.
If you are not satisfied with the response to any query raised you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113.


Changes to this policy
We may edit this policy from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our website.





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