Purpose of this Policy
As a provider of relationship counselling and sex therapy services we are bound by the legal requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), in so far as we deal with your personal information.
The types of personal information we collect may include:
- Name, date of birth, address(es), contact numbers, email address and other contact details;
- Medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors;
- Details of other health service providers involved in your care and copies of any referral letters and/or medical reports and test results;
- Financial payment details (such as your credit card number);
- Other information disclosed by you, if relevant when providing our services directly to you (such as your relationships with other persons, employment information and qualifications, gender, race, sexuality or religion); and
- Information or opinion (including our clinical treatment notes) about your health and expressed wishes about future care.
How clients’ personal information is collected
We are committed to using lawful and fair means to collect personal information.
Your personal information may be collected in a number of ways:
- Via hard copy or electronic forms, correspondence (including via email) and text messages;
- In the course of providing our services during consultation sessions;
- From a responsible person, such as parents and guardians; and
- From other health service providers who provide personal information to Alinda Small Counselling, via referrals, correspondence and medical reports.
Why we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information as is reasonably necessary to provide our services, including for the following purposes:
- to contact and communicate with you;
- for the purpose of providing our counselling services;
- when communicating with other healthcare providers involved in your care- only if you give authority to do do.
- when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to your life, health or safety or public health or safety or when it is impractical to obtain your consent;
- to handle a complaint or respond to anticipated or existing legal action;
- when required for administrative and internal record keeping for a minimum of 7 years after our last contact (or if the client is under 18, until they turn 25);
- as required by law.
Your personal information is not disclosed to overseas recipients, unless you consent, or such disclosure is otherwise required by law. Your personal information will not be used, sold, rented or disclosed for any other purpose.
Requests for access and correction to personal information
Access: You can request details of personal information that we hold about you in certain circumstances set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act). We may refuse to provide you with information that we hold in certain circumstances set out in the Act. Otherwise, we will provide access to the information if it’s reasonable and practicable to do so. In most cases we’ll do this free of charge, but if your request requires significant effort or expense on our part, we might ask for compensation for that.
Correction: If you believes that any information we hold about you is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, please contact us using the details set out below. We rely in part on clients advising us when their personal information changes. We will endeavour to promptly correct any information found to be inaccurate, incomplete or out of date and to notify of the correction, unless it is impracticable or unlawful to do so.
Deletion: If you want us to delete personal information we hold about you, or to not collect information from them for a specific purpose, please contact us using the details set out below. Please note that if we agree to delete your information, because of backups and records of deletions, it may be impossible to completely delete your information without retaining some residual information.
We will respond to any request to access, correct or delete information within a reasonable time.
Maintaining the security of personal information
We are committed to ensuring that the personal information we hold is secure and protected from misuse, interference, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We undertake the following precautions to protect personal information we hold:
- we limit access to personal information to a “need-to-know” basis;
- Devices we use to collect, hold, use and disclose personal information are protected with passwords and are stored in secure premises;
- data is securely stored on cloud servers;
- all hard copies of personal information are kept in secure storage with access by authorised personnel only;
- all conversations involving the discussion of personal information take place in private, where conversations are unable to be overheard by unauthorised personnel; and
- if we no longer need personal information, we take reasonable steps to delete or de-identify the information.
If a data breach occurs involving personal information and the breach is likely to cause harm, we will notify that client as soon as possible after the occurrence in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act and related legislation.
If you have a concern about the management of your personal information, contact Alinda Small using the contact details on our website www.alindasmall.com
If you are not satisfied with our response, you may lodge a formal complaint about the use of, disclosure of, or access to, their personal information, with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by phone on 1300 363 992, online at https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-complaints/ or by post to: Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 2001