Taunton Osteopaths Privacy Notice
Taunton Osteopaths is registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) via our sister organisation Taunton Chiropractors Centre. We comply with the guidelines set out by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We also abide by a strict professional code of conduct as set out by our main governing body The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).
Your information is essential to us providing a professional service to you. We take our responsibilities very seriously and take various steps to ensure we protect your information to keep it safe and confidential.
The Basis for Processing Data
When you register with the clinic as a new patient we ask you to provide certain personal information. As a business we are responsible for processing and storing this information. Here are the main reasons we collect and use this information:
- When you arrive at the clinic we need to know details of the presenting complaint as well as other information about your general health. It’s important that our Osteopath has as much information as possible in order to provide you with the best assessment, diagnosis and treatment. In legal terms, the process by which you as a client request Osteopathic care from us and our agreement to provide it constitutes a “contract”.
- The GDPR requires that we state our “Legitimate Interest” in collecting this information because trying to provide Osteopathic care to you without information on your health would compromise our professional code of conduct. In other words in order to provide effective, safe and professional care to you, we need you to answer some questions on the New Patient Form about your health.
- You also have a “Legitimate Interest” in information from us such as appointment reminders and other communication regarding the health care provided to you by us. Therefore, we collect and use other personal details such as your address, email and telephone number/s.
- Consistent with our role as healthcare professionals, we may also occasionally send you general health information, including articles, newsletters or rehabilitation advice. For example, we may email you a link to a YouTube video with some exercises that would be beneficial to your recovery. This again falls under the category “Legitimate Interest”.
How we store your Information
Once you have completed your New Patient form, one of our reception team will transfer this information onto your Patient File. This is a paper form which your Osteopath will then write his notes during your initial consultation and examination. He will also write clinical notes on this form and attached pages each time you visit the clinic for treatment or re-examination. All patient files are stored in locked cabinets in the clinic. Information regarding your treatment with us is strictly confidential and we do not store this data electronically.
In addition to paper patient files we will transfer some information onto computer. This is limited to information we use in order to contact you (name, address, email etc.) for appointment reminders and other reasons mentioned above. We also collect and store some data electronically which is non-identifiable but will help us to look at statistics about patient care. For example, pain scores for different complaints at the start and end of a treatment plan. All electronic data is stored on a secure server which is password protected and backed up regularly.
Access to your Information
We do not share information regarding your examination or subsequent treatment with anyone else. In some circumstances you may request that we share medical information, but in order to do this we need your written and signed consent. For example, your Osteopath may refer you privately for an X-ray or MRI scan or we may refer you to another healthcare professional.
All clinicians are bound by a strict professional code of conduct which means that any information provided, either in writing or verbally will not be divulged to anyone unless we have your written consent. Occasionally our reception team may handle some patient healthcare information (for example when dealing with a radiology referral). All our staff members have signed a confidentiality agreement which prevents them from discussing any patient details outside of the clinic.
You have the right to see your patient file at any time. We ask clients to update us if any details have changed (for example change of address or phone number).
How long we keep for Information
As specified by our Governing Body, the General Osteopathic Council, we have the legal duty to retain your patient file for 8 years (or age 25, if this is longer). We may retain your records longer than 8 years in case you should require further treatment at a later date. Of course, if you wish us to destroy your patient file after 8 years we will carry out your request.
Patients, please note that during these unusual times we have had to take the step to ensure we fulfil our obligation to pass on your contact details to a third party. If we are required to pass on any names, email addresses & phone numbers to the NHS Test & Trace service in order that we help to keep everyone safe and help stop the spread of Covid-19 we will do so.
We hope you find the information on this page clear and useful. However, if you have any queries or questions please feel free to contact our reception team or clinic manager.