‘It is my privilege to work as your acupuncturist. All information you provide is respected, kept confidential and protected. Never will it be shared.’
Collecting your information
As part of your treatment plan it is necessary to collect information from you. For example, your contact details. It is also necessary to collect more sensitive information on your health and lifestyle so that I can understand how I can help you.
Here is a list of the types of information I might ask you about and record on your file, this is not an exhaustive list:
- Date of birth
- Doctors surgery
- Phone number and email
- Job role
- Health history
- Medications taken
- Details of any surgery
- Sleep patterns
- Food intolerances
- Emotional patterns
- Digestive patterns
The types of things we talk about and the things that I record on your written file will vary person to person. That’s because every patient has a very different requirement from me.
Giving consent and ‘Legitimate interest’
I do not need for you to sign a consent form to hold your information on your file. This is because I have a contract with you to provide an acupuncture service and taking a case history is necessary to fulfill my part of this contract.
Also, under General Data Protection Regulations it is of legitimate interest for both of us for your medical history to be taken for your treatment.
You can of course, refuse to provide the information.
I have a ‘Legitimate interest’ in collecting this information, because without it I cannot do my job effectively or safely.
It will be important from time to time for me to contact you in order to confirm appointments or to check on your progress or to offer additional advice and support. Once again, this constitutes ‘Legitimate interest’ under the verbal contract to provide you with acupuncture treatment and care.
How I hold your information is outlined below:
Your handwritten case file– when we first meet I will fill out a diagnosis sheet. This is your central file that holds everything I need to know to provide you with acupuncture treatment. The file will then be added to each time I see you regarding your progress and the treatment you receive from me.
This file is held in a locked cabinet and is only accessed by me.
Nothing within this file is shared with another person or party, ever. This is unless you specifically request, in writing, for me to share this information.
Your written case file is held for seven years in my secure filing facility. This is to meet the requirements set by my regulating body, the British Acupuncture Council. Provided the legal minimum period has elapsed you can ask to have your file destroyed.
You have the right to request rectification of any errors held on your written file. To view this file, simply ask and I will provide access.
In the event of my death, instructions have been left with a single family member on continuing the protection and storage of your data. You are advised to phone 07747 080895 with regard to this situation.
Electronic Booking/Reminder System– In addition to this handwritten case file I will hold your name and/or email and mobile number on my booking system. This booking system is called 10to8.com. Many patients use this system to book and rearrange their treatments via my website and add their own contact details to the system themselves. To enable an efficient acupuncture practice, I will add your details to this system to reserve your appointment and initiate a reminder service.
I have contacted 10to8.com and they have assured me in writing that they are in compliance with the new data protection regulations.
At your Initial Consultation I will seek permission to add your name and mobile and/or your email address to the 10to8.com system. Most patients comment on how useful this reminder service is in helping them keep their appointment.
The data held on the 10to8.com system (name, email, mobile) is not used for marketing purposes. It is never shared or sold on by me. Inactive patients (patients who have not had treatment in over twelve months are deleted from the system at quarterly intervals)
You do not have to be added to this system, but as I use an electronic booking diary, I will add your name to my calendar to reserve your appointment slot. You will not receive reminders if you choose to only appear on my electronic booking dairy.
Emails and texts
If we make contact via email or text these messages will be held on my mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
After I have responded to your message I will delete the thread for these devices. In some instances it may be necessary for me to print off information you have provided in these messages for your case file. This will be done after seeking your permission. After the information is added to your case file, the electronic message will be deleted.
All devices I use are password protected.
My preferred mode of contact is in the following order:
- Text to mobile phone (including WhatsApp)
- Facebook messenger – only if you contact me first via this method.
Your information is not used to market my business or any other business. I do not produce newsletters or send out to mailing lists. Your information is passed to no one, ever.
All emails and texts received from you are deleted to protect your privacy. This includes all private messages on social media platforms, my booking system and my contact form on my website.
My website does not collect cookies.
My marketing effort is undertaken face to face or via my Facebook page and Instagram account. It is your choice to follow these social media platforms.
Treating Children under 16
In general I do not treat children under 16. From time to time by special arrangement I may offer treatment to a child. This is usually following a request from an existing adult patient. Parental consent, plus that of the child, will be required. A nominated chaperone (usually a parent) will be required to be present during treatments at all times.
You have the right to complain if you feel your information has been misused or improperly held by myself. Initially you can put this complaint to myself:
Alex Lochhead (Data Controller)
1 Priory Green
YO26 5 BP
If you feel that this complaint is unresolved or not dealt with to your satisfaction you have the right to refer it to the:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Your personal information is important. You are advised to use caution when sharing it with any organisation.
If you have questions regarding my Data Protection Policy, then please get in touch.