Privacy Statement May 2018

Focus Counselling was established in 1999 and we are Bath’s largest professional person-centred counselling charity (charity number 1108331). Focus Counselling is a Limited Company (number 04870759) and our registered address is The Crypt, St Michael’s Church, Broad St, Bath BA1 5LP.

Focus Counselling is passionate about person-centred counselling and is committed to promoting the emotional, mental and spiritual health to people in Bath and beyond. We work to transform people’s lives by providing a confidential, ethical and professional service. We campaign to fund vulnerable clients and financially support the work of Focus Counselling. We want everyone to have access to person-centred counselling, regardless of age, finances or circumstance and we strive to promote emotional well-being to make the Bath and beyond a healthier, better place to live.

At Focus Counselling we are committed to protecting your personal information and privacy. This Privacy Policy describes exactly how we collect and use your personal information.

By contacting us, using our services or visiting our website you’re agreeing to be bound by this policy.

Focus Counselling may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

If you have any queries about this Privacy Policy, or you need to update us if any of your personal information changes by emailing us at office@focusbath.com

Focus Counselling is the data controller and this statement explains to you how we collect and use your personal data in connection with the services we offer.

We only ask you for information in order to deliver the service you are requesting (counselling, working or volunteering for us or donating to us), and we do not use your details for marketing or fundraising, unless you have given us consent to do so. We do not use cookies on our website. We do not use cloud servers and all information is stored securely using passwords and by limiting access to these. Paper files are stored in locked filing cabinets. We work within the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.

Based on the criteria set out in the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) we have not appointed a Data Protection Officer but we have appointed a Data Compliance Officer and this person’s name is: Jayne Burgess.

What data do we collect?
  • Identity data: such as first and last name
  • Contact data: address, email address and telephone numbers
  • Financial data: this may include recent bank statements and National Insurance Number
  • Communication data: may include your preferred contact method
  • Sensitive data: this may include information about your health and mental health in relation to the services you are accessing.
How we use your data:

Counselling service

If you ask for counselling, we will ask you for contact details, and we record these on paper and / or an electronic system which is used solely for the purpose of making appointment bookings. You have the right to ask us what information we hold and to ask us to correct it if we have made a mistake. We cannot offer you a service without a means of contacting you but it is your choice how we do this.

We may ask for your financial details and National Insurance number in certain circumstances to access appropriate funding for your therapy, if required. However, if you choose to withhold requested information, we may not be able to provide you with certain services.

We keep notes of sessions, as a reminder for the counsellor to keep track of the things you are talking about, and this includes brief information relating to your life that you have told us.  The notes are handwritten and they are filed securely. They do not include your name or contact information. You have the right to ask to see these and to correct information that is not correct.

These notes are shredded one year after the end of counselling, in accordance with GDPR guidelines.

We may share information about you if we feel you are at risk of harm and we explain this in our Counselling Contract at the initial assessment session. There are also legal reasons which mean we are required to share information, these are;

The disclosure of information to third parties (such as the police or GP) when obliged to by law, for purposes of national security, safeguarding (in the protection of children, vulnerable adults and the public) and criminal investigations and the following:

In a medical emergency where it may be necessary to protect your vital interests (as detailed in article 9 (2) (c))

What rights do you have over your data?

 In certain circumstances, you have rights under GDPR in relation to your personal data.  These include the right to:

  • Request access to your personal data
  • Request correction of your personal data
  • Request erasure of your personal data
  • Object to processing of your personal data
  • Request restriction of your personal data
  • Request transfer of your personal data
  • Withdraw consent

Please note that some of the above may result in us being unable to provide you with the service you wish to access. We will make sure we explain to this you if this is the case.

Complaints:

You have the right to ask to see the data we hold on you and to have it corrected if it is incorrect. If you are not happy with any aspect of the way we collect and use your data we hope you will talk to us first.  We will do everything we can to put it right.  If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office and you can do this by using their website (http://ico.org.uk/) or by contacting them on 0303 123 1113.

Contacting Focus Counselling

If you wish to talk to us about anything in the policy or the information we hold about you please contact our office:

Focus Counselling
The Crypt
Broad Street
Bath
BA1 5LP

By telephone: 01225 330096

By email: office@focusbath.com