Why do we keep client information?
Break the Silence keeps information about you so that we may provide safe, effective and relevant services.
We need to collect demographic information such as:
- your Postal Town
and clinical information such as:
- type of service accessed
- scores on clinical measures
- health conditions
Your information is stored either in paper form, in locked filing cabinets in a secure location, or electronically on a secure server with restricted access via username and password.
How do we use your information?
Your counsellor/support worker, their supervisor/manager and admin worker will usually be the only people authorised to access your information. These workers are authorised so they can record data in the relevant place and system that will help us ensure we are providing an effective service for you.
Other members of the management team may need to access your information to investigate complaints, incidents or to audit services.
Information is also used more generally to monitor performance and evaluate the effectiveness of services; in these circumstances your name and any other details which may identify you will be removed prior to analysis and publication.
An example of when we would use this type of data would be in our annual report, which we are required to submit every year to the Charity Commission; or when we are reporting to our funders on the activities we have delivered, however, as mentioned above, this is totally anonymised and cannot be traced back to you.
When can we share your information?
Sometimes we will need to share information to people outside of Break the Silence who are involved in your care. This would include people like your GP or agencies and organisations within your care plan that are there to help you safeguard your health and wellbeing.
We will discuss with you about sharing information with these people and seek your permission first. You will be informed of the type of information shared in this way the reasons for it.
However, there are times when we may have to share information without your permission. These situations would be when:
- there is a serious and immediate risk of harm to you or others (e.g. children and vulnerable adults); or
- information is required to be used in court and a court order has been issued by a judge
We always aim to discuss any breach of confidentiality with you when we need to share information, however we cannot guarantee this. It is important to us that we make this transparent as possible.
Your information will not be shared with anyone else without your written consent, which is why we ask you specifically during assessment if there is anyone or any agency you would like adding to the list of ‘consent to share information’.
All our staff and volunteers are required to adhere to our confidentiality and information security policies. If anyone breaches our data and confidentiality policies, we will inform you and we will take appropriate action.
How do you see the information we keep on you?
You have the absolute right to view the information we keep about you. It is good practice for us to show you this information and explain it if necessary.
You should ask your counsellor/support worker if you can see a record of your access to the service.
You may also obtain a copy of the information we keep about you or authorise a third party to be provided with your information.
Please note also that we cannot provide private reports.
For further information please contact the office.