This notice is to help you understand how and why Cedars Online Counselling collects your personal information and what we do with that information. It also explains the decisions that you can make about your own information. Your privacy is important to us so we will always securely look after the information which you provide.
Any reference in this notice to “we” or “us” means Cedars Online Counselling
If you have any questions about this notice please email us at [email protected]
Cedars Online Therapy is a website platform that enables you to speak with a counsellor, this notice also explains how your personal information is used.
What is “personal information”?
Personal information is information about you from which you can be identified. This includes information such as your name, date of birth, gender, telephone number, email and postal addresses. As well as things like your GP’s details, appointment histories and the names of the mental health professionals who you have spoken with.
How is your personal information used through Cedars Online Counselling
When you sign up/register with Cedars Online Counselling we ask you to provide us with certain information, such as your name, email address and date of birth. You must provide this information so that we can enter into an agreement with you to give you access to the Cedars Online Counselling platform and ensure we can properly identify you.
You then provide further information including your post code, telephone number and details of your GP’s surgery when you book an appointment. We need this extra information because it makes it easier for us to look after you if you are at risk of harm.
How is your information used
During your appointment or via your email we anticipate that you may provide information about your health and wellbeing, mental history, family and personal circumstances and so on. This information is used as part of the therapy you have chosen. How much information you provide is your choice but the more you provide the easier it will be for the counsellor to support you.
The counsellor will keep a record of your consultation which will be held I their records. If you have a text based appointment or exchange messages with your counsellor will keep these stored in a password protected word file.
Your counsellor may discuss your case with their supervisor. This is to make sure that you are provided with good quality care.
How else is your information used?
We will use your information to confirm that you have booked appointments and to send you reminders about these appointments.
We will need to use your information if you choose to exercise any of your data protection rights. These are detailed in the section “what decisions can you make about your information?” below.
We may use anonymised information for research purposes. It will not be possible to identify you from this information.
Who else might see your information?
The information that you tell your mental health professional is kept confidential unless there is a very good reason for sharing it.
If we think that there is a severe risk that you might harm yourself, or someone else, we must tell the appropriate people such as your GP or another health professional. In most cases we try to tell you in advance that we need to share your information.
We may also need to share your information as may be required by law, a court of competent jurisdiction or any governmental or regulatory authority (including for the avoidance of doubt, the General Medical Council).
We may also need to share your information if you make a complaint against a mental health professional or raise a concern. We will investigate and as part of this investigation we may need to look at the notes the mental health professional has made about you and share some of the information with third parties such as the regulator, insurers or professional advisors.
For how long do we keep your information?
We keep your information for only as long as we need to in accordance with our legal and regulatory requirements, the professional bodies to which our mental health professionals belong and only if appropriate those of the General Medical Council (20 years).
Occasionally, we may retain your information for longer, for example, if there is an unresolved complaint.
Legal grounds for using your information
This section sets out the legal grounds for using your information:
Information about your health and wellbeing
Consent: your information is used by the counsellor to provide therapy because you have consented to this. You may withdraw this consent at any time. If you do withdraw consent then you will not be able to receive therapy through Cedars Online Counselling. If you withdraw your consent we may still need to use your personal data, for example, if we need to tell your GP because we have serious concerns about your wellbeing.
Your information is used where this is necessary in connection with the management of health care services. For example to make sure that we thoroughly deal with any complaints about the care that you have received.
We are allowed to use your information in an emergency, for example, if you require urgent medical attention.
If something goes wrong we may need to use your information in connection with legal disputes.
Information which is not about your health and wellbeing (such as your name and contact details)
We have an agreement with you to provide services. We are allowed to use information about you where this is necessary to perform our obligations under this agreement (for example to book and inform you about appointments).
What decisions can you make about your information?
Data Protection Legislation gives you a number of rights regarding your information. Your rights are as follows:
If information is incorrect you can ask us to correct it. By logging into your account you can access much of your personal information from your dashboard and update that information yourself.
You can also ask what information we hold about you and be provided with a copy. We will also give you extra information, such as why we use this information about you, where it came from and what types of people we have sent it to.
You can ask us to delete the information that we hold about you in certain circumstances. For example, where we no longer need the information.
You can ask us to send you, or another organisation, information that you have provided to us in a format that can be read by computer.
Our use of information about you may be restricted in some cases. For example, if you tell us that the information is inaccurate we can only use it for limited purposes while we check its accuracy.
If you have questions, suggestions or concerns about this policy, or about our use of your information, please contact us at [email protected]
Further information and guidance
This Privacy Notice is to explain how we look after your personal information.
Please email us at [email protected] if:
You would like to withdraw consent or
You object to us using your information for marketing purposes e.g. to send you post/emails about our services; or
You would like us to update the information we hold about you; or
If you have any questions about how we handle your personal data.
If you consider that we have not acted properly when using your personal information you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office: ico.org.uk.
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How to control cookies
You can control and/or delete cookies as you wish.
You can delete all cookies that are already stored on your computer and you can set most modern browsers to prevent them from being placed. If you do this however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionality may not work.
Changes to these policies