New Data Protection Law – May 2018
What this means for you – the basics
On the 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into law in the UK. The aim of the GDPR is to strengthen the rights of individuals to control the collection and use of their personal data, and place new requirements on companies who hold, control and/or process personal data. This is great news for all of us! As an acupuncturist, I hold and use personal data supplied by potential patients, patients and suppliers. So I am now required to take steps to identify, record, report, update, keep safe, and when appropriate destroy any data I hold on you.
Please be assured that all the information you give me, including your contact details, information about your medical history, health and treatment, is given in strictest confidence and not shared with any third parties without your express consent. In most instances, personal data provided is not passed on to anyone else. But there are some occasions when this might be beneficial to you. For example, I might suggest that you would benefit from going to see a physiotherapist or a chiropractor. In this scenario, I would discuss this with you and ask for your permission to provide details of your condition to the relevant practitioner.
I do not use your personal data for marketing purposes. I will never pass on your data to any third parties for marketing or promotional purposes. The contact data I hold on you, and other patients/prospective patients, is used to respond to enquiries, make, confirm and reschedule appointments and, from time to time, send you follow up information after an appointment. If you haven’t remembered to pay, I might send you an invoice in the post!
The only situations I can envisage where I might contact you ad hoc might be, for example, to warn you of local roadworks prior to an appointment or possibly to advise of a change in telephone number or clinic hours. Occasionally, I like to contact former or current patients, if I have learned some information which might be helpful to their condition.
I am required to keep records including information about patients and their treatments for a period of time to meet the requirements of the British Acupuncture Council and for legal reasons, such as for tax purposes or in case of a patient complaint.
What data do I keep about you and where? How is it protected?
Your name, date of birth and telephone number are logged in a paper-based Clinic Appointments diary under the time/date of your first appointment. Your name is entered in the diary for further appointments. Appointment diaries for previous years are stored securely with my tax records.
Your contact details, presenting condition, medical history, treatment notes and any other information discussed during your consultations are recorded on paper-based Patient notes. Patient notes for patients attending both Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough Clinics are stored in a locked filing cabinet at the Crowborough Clinic when not in use. Notes for patients attending the Tunbridge Wells clinic are taken by Judy by car to and from the Tunbridge Wells clinic on the day they are needed.
Your telephone number(s) are also stored on my mobile phone which is password protected.
Patient emails come to email addresses on my laptop and mobile phone either directly from patients or via the contact form on my website. Messages to my mobile phone which contain any clinical information are forwarded to my laptop. All patient emails on my laptop are then filed in a Patient Correspondence email folder. My laptop is both password protected and protected by security software.
I am required under the British Acupuncture Council regulations to keep your notes for 7 years after your final appointment. After that time any former patient notes will be shredded by me personally in batches every 6 months.
If would like to know more, please read my Privacy Notice. Click here for details
Please be assured that I take your data protection very seriously as part of your care.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.