This policy explains how we use, collect, retain and disclose personal information we hold.
Who we are
In this document ‘you’ refers to the client (or their parent/carer) and ‘we’ means Hunter Speech Therapy Ltd, which is an Independent Speech & Language Therapy Service owned and directed by Estie Hunter, a fully qualified Speech & Language Therapist registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Hunter Speech Therapy Ltd operates a website at https://hunterspeechtherapy.com and is registered with Companies House no. 12211524. Hunter Speech Therapy delivers independent speech and language therapy to children and young people in the home and/or educational setting and is committed to protecting their confidential information. Estie Hunter is a registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Office (IC). Estie Hunter controls and processes all personal information for Hunter Speech Therapy.
How we collect information:
We may collect written information (e.g. from emails) and spoken information (e.g. from meetings or phone calls) from parents. With parental consent we may also collect information from other professionals, such as an NHS Speech and Language Therapist, teachers and nursery staff. We will collect information relevant for delivering speech and language therapy services; sometimes this might include information about family members (e.g. family history). Examples of some information we might collect:
• Basic details, e.g. date of birth, address, name and contact details of a child and their parents
• Information relating to enquiries
• Information about professionals working with children, such as their role and organisation
• Details about a client’s developmental/medical history
You can use the Hunter Speech Therapy website without giving personal information. If you want to enquire using the website, we will ask you to provide your name, email address and phone number so that we can get back to you. You may choose to give us more personal information in your enquiry.
If you contact us and this leads to arranging a session with Hunter Speech Therapy, we may add the information sent to us onto the client’s record. If it does not lead to arranging a session, we will delete your information after we have dealt with your enquiry.
How we use personal information
We store personal information using a secure, confidential system. The information is only collected and processed by us for the purpose of delivering speech and language therapy services.
With consent from a parent, we will share information about a client’s communication needs with other professionals, when it is in their best interest. We only give personal information to those who need to know, and will use practises that protect confidentiality (e.g. using initials instead of full names). We keep a record of consent with the client’s case notes.
The location of where a client is being seen for an appointment may be shared with a trusted person in order to protect the personal safety of the Speech and Language Therapist when attending appointments.
We are able to use personal information if we have an acceptable reason to do this. We must have at least one of these reasons:
• to fulfil a contract
• when we have consent from you
• when we have legitimate interest – if we have a business/commercial reason to use your information, known as legitimate interest, we will let you know what the reason is if we contact you.
Other than the reasons given above, we will not disclose any personal information unless we are required to do so by law. We do not sell client’s details to any third parties.
Ways we may use the information:
– plan and provide speech and language therapist services
– give guidance about our contract or service and manage contracts
– communicate with you via post, telephone, text or email to receive consent, arrange appointments and send you information (such as reports, invoices and resources)
– for administration purposes, for example if an agreement for services is in place we send invoices with minimal client details using a secure, password-protected accounting program called “Quickbooks”, and keep records of sessions in a secure cloud-based system called “Write-upp”
– audit the practice to help improve our service (any results of this would be presented with the client identities removed)
How we store personal information
We store all information about a client in strict confidence. We use a secure system in both paper and electronic formats:
Electronic format: If services have been agreed upon we store personal information using an encrypted USB stick and a secure cloud-based system called “Write-upp” which complies with general data protection regulations and we store minimal client details using a secure, password-protected accounting program called “Quickbooks”. With parental consent, sometimes photos or audio/video recordings may be taken. This is stored in our secure electronic systems in accordance with data regulation guidelines for the minimum amount of time required for therapeutic/assessment purposes (e.g. so that the therapist can write up notes from a video).
Paper format: Documents are stored securely in a locked filing cabinet, in compliance with Data Protection Regulations. If the Speech and Language Therapist needs to take client details out of the locked cabinet, the Speech and Language Therapist will keep the client’s details with them or in a locked location. When a client has been discharged, all paper-based information will be scanned and kept as an electronic record. The paper documents will then be shredded.
Client records need to be kept securely by law until a child reaches 25, when all records will be destroyed.
Our lawful basis for processing information
The information we collect about a client may include sensitive personal information, e.g. about a client’s disability or other health conditions. We collect this information because it helps us to deliver appropriate intervention to meet their needs.
All Speech and Language Therapists have to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and adhere to the code of conduct. We process information in accordance with these standards, which includes having a complete record of our service to the client.
We hold personal information in strict confidence, and are committed to ensuring that we comply with current data protection regulation. We put in place security measure and review these regularly. We do not give data to a third party without asking your consent first, unless this is required by law.
You can make a Subject Access Request and receive a free copy of all personal information held about your child. This will be given to you within 30 days of receipt of the request.
As the personal information is legitimately processed, parents are not able to request that their child’s data be deleted. However you have the right to request that the record be amended if you think something is wrong. You are also able to let us know which way you prefer us to communicate with you (e.g. email rather than phone call).
We will review our policies regularly, and will inform you if we make an update that it is material. If you have any further questions about how your data is processed, please contact Estie Hunter at: email@example.com. For more information about data protection please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office by calling 0303 123 1113 between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.