Privacy Policy

Purpose of privacy notice

The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the GDPR). This legislation replaces current data privacy law, giving more rights to you as an individual and more obligations to organisations holding your personal data.

Who are we?

We are Love Community Acupuncture Community Interest Company. Our registered office is 9 Norfolk Street, York YO23 1JY. Our registered number is 09674885. Our website address is: http://www.lovecommunityacupuncture.net.

Love Community Acupuncture CIC is the data controller, and can be contacted at the registered office above. We decide how your personal data is processed and for what purposes. To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please contact us in the first instance.

You can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

What is personal data?

Personal data (“information”) relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. Examples of personal information we may hold about you include your contact and appointment details.

Special category data is a sub-category of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health, or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. Examples of special category data we may hold about you include your patient notes.

What personal information will we collect, and why?

This privacy notice applies to information we collect from:

  • patients;
  • prospective patients;
  • former patients;
  • people who subscribe to our communications;
  • visitors to our website;
  • job applicants and our current and former employees and sub-contractors.

For all patients: We use Acuity Scheduling to collect and store the initial information that you give us regarding your health. We use Microsoft Excel and OneDrive to store our notes on your diagnosis, treatment and ongoing health information, including the information that you share with us during your appointments. We use your email address and mobile telephone number, with your explicit consent, to send occasional marketing and communications items, sometimes manually and sometimes via our nominated online marketing communications platforms, which are GDPR-compliant. We use paper forms to collect clinical audit data. These are ‘pseudonymised’, meaning that your personal information is not linked with the forms. If you choose to leave us feedback in the form of a review on social media, or via our anonymised feedback form, the third parties operating those platforms may collect personal information from you with your authorisation. LCA is not responsible for any consequences arising from this third party use of your personal information.

For all other individuals: We collect information from you that you choose to share with us, such as the text of messages sent via our website, or information given in the process of applying for work. This information is equally subject to all stipulations laid out below.

 

How do we comply with our obligations under the GDPR?

We comply with our obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal information up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of information; by protecting personal information from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure, and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal information.

 

How do we process your personal information?

For patients, prospective patients, former patients and visitors to our clinics:

We use your name, address, telephone number and email address to make and rearrange appointments, sometimes manually and sometimes via our online scheduler, Acuity Scheduling. We are unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails we send or receive may not be protected in transit.

We may use your name, address, telephone number and email address, if we have your explicit consent, to send you marketing materials, sometimes manually and sometimes via our nominated marketing services, which are GDPR-compliant. We are unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails we send or receive may not be protected in transit.

We keep a permanent attendance register via our online scheduler, Acuity Scheduling, and also using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, which records all appointments for patients attending our clinic to keep a record of when you were treated for tax purposes and to secure potential evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution, civil litigation, insurance claim or complaint to our regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council.

We may use your date of birth, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, to help identify patients with the same name or initials to avoid mistakes being made as to safe and appropriate treatment, for identification purposes if referring a patient to another health practitioner, and for identification purposes if writing to a registered medical practitioner so that they correctly identify the patient.

We use your presenting conditions and symptoms, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, reported by you for the purposes of making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.

We use any relevant medical, personal and family history you have told us, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, for making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.

We use your GP’s name and address, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, in the event that we need to contact your GP including in an emergency and because it is a mandatory requirement in the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct.

We use our clinical findings about your health and wellbeing, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, for making a full traditional diagnosis, and formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning. We keep a record of and refer to that record of any treatment given and details of progress of your case, including reviews of treatment planning to enable us to: review the full traditional diagnosis, treatment strategy and planning; and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.

We record and use any information and advice that we have given, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, especially when referring patients to any other health professional, to help you to receive the most appropriate treatment and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.

We record any decisions made in conjunction with you, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, to help you to receive the most appropriate treatment and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.

We keep accident records for any patients, visitors or staff, stored using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneDrive, who are involved in accidents at our clinic in accordance with UK Health and Safety legislation including the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to comply with the law and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.

In the event of an adverse incident occurring to any of our patients we report the matter to the British Acupuncture Council and the our insurance company to enable the insurance company to deal with any potential claims and to help the British Acupuncture Council to develop its safe practice guidelines, as well as providing research data and information for the BAcC’s insurers and other interested parties. This is done using a combination of phone and email. Please note we are unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails we send or receive may not be protected in transit.

Where relevant we maintain records of your consent to treatment, or the consent of your next-of-kin in order to be able to prove that the patient (and/or parent/guardian/next of kin) has given informed consent to treatment to secure evidence in the event of a civil claim, criminal prosecution, insurance claim or complaint. This is stored via our online scheduler, Acuity Scheduling, and/or using paper forms that are securely stored in a locked cabinet.

We will keep your information up-to-date by enquiring as to its accuracy, from time to time, when you visit us.

For complainants: 

When we receive a complaint from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We are obliged to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. If a complainant does not want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that; however, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis. We may need to provide personal information collected and processed in relation to complaints to the British Acupuncture Council or our insurance company.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files for two years from closure of complaint. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.

For subscribers to our marketing and communications items: 

We maintain and use records of subscribers to our marketing and communications items, only with their consent, for marketing purposes.

We use nominated third party providers (which are GDPR-compliant), to deliver our e-newsletters. We gather statistics on email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our e-newsletter. For information, please see the third party’s privacy notices.

For our website users: 

When someone visits our website, we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is processed anonymously, in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be transparent about this by making it clear when we are collecting personal information and explaining what we intend to do with it.

We use website cookies to improve user experience of our website by enabling our website to ‘remember’ users, either for the duration of their visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).

Our website search is powered by WordPress. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help us improve our website and search functionality. No user-specific data is collected by us or any third party.

We use a third party service, WordPress, to host our website, which may include publishing our blog. We do not collect comments on posted items. We use WordPress and Google Analytics to collect anonymous information about users’ activity on the site, for example the number of users viewing pages on the site, to monitor and report on the effectiveness of the site and help us improve it.

For job applicants and sub-contractors:

Love Community Acupuncture CIC is the data controller for the information job applicants provide during the process.

All of the information you provide during the process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary.

We will not share any of the information you provide during the recruitment process with any third parties for marketing purposes or store any of your information outside of the European Economic Area. The information you provide will be held securely by us whether the information is in electronic or physical format.

We will use the contact details you provide to us to contact you to progress your application. We will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you have applied for.

We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary.

The information we ask for is used to assess your suitability for employment. You do not have to provide what we ask for but it might affect your application if you do not.

We ask you for your personal details including name and contact details. We will also ask you about your previous experience, education, referees and for answers to questions relevant to the role you have applied for.

We shortlist applications for interview.

If we make a conditional offer of employment we will ask you for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks to progress to a final offer. We are required to confirm the identity of our staff, their right to work in the United Kingdom and seek assurance as to their trustworthiness, integrity and reliability.

You will therefore be required to provide:

  • Proof of your identity – you will be asked to attend our clinic with original documents, and we will take copies.
  • Proof of your qualifications – you will be asked to attend our clinic with original documents, and we will take copies.
  • You will be asked to complete a criminal records declaration to declare any unspent convictions.
  • We will contact your referees, using the details you provide in your application, directly to obtain references.
  • If we make a job offer, we will also ask you for the following:
  • Bank details – to process salary payments
  • Emergency contact details – so we know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work.

If you are unsuccessful at any stage of the process, the information you have provided until that point will be retained for 6 months from the closure of the recruitment process.

If you are successful, the information you provide during the application process will be retained by us as part of your employee file for the duration of your employment plus 6 years following the end of your employment. This includes your criminal records declaration, fitness to work, records of any references.

Information generated throughout the assessment process, for example interview notes, is retained by us for 6 months following the closure of the recruitment process.

All of the information gathered during the application process is taken into account to make final recruitment decisions.

You are able to ask about decisions made about your application by speaking to Karen Charlesworth or by emailing hello@lovecommunityacupuncture.net.

Who do we share your information with?

Generally, your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential, and will only be shared:

  • with named third parties with your explicit consent;
  • with the relevant authority such as the police or a court, if necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject e.g. a court order;
  • with your doctor or the police if necessary to protect yours or another person’s life;
  • with the police or a local authority for the purpose of safeguarding a children or vulnerable adults; or
  • with our regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council, or my insurance company in the event of a complaint or insurance claim being brought against us; or
  • our solicitors in the event of any investigation or legal proceedings being brought against us.

For further details about the situations when information about you might be shared please see the Information Commissioner’s website.

For users that register on the Acuity Scheduling system, Acuity stores the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete this personal information at any time. All our staff can also see and edit that information.

The information that you share with us during your appointments can be seen and edited by all our staff. It is not shared with any external parties, except in the circumstances described in our Patient Information Leaflet where we may share information with your GP.

Please note that our staff are all either full or student members of the British Acupuncture Council, which has a strict policy on confidentiality that you can find in our Code of Professional Conduct.

How long do we store your information?

We keep all personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary.

We keep patient records for a period of 7 years in accordance with the British Acupuncture Council Code of Professional Conduct.

We keep employee and sub-contractor records for a period of 6 years following cessation of employment or period of sub-contracting in case of any legal claims/complaints and for safeguarding purposes.

 

What rights do you have over your information?

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have certain rights with respect to your personal data:

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which we hold about you.
  • The right to request that we correct any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date.
  • The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for us to retain such data.
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time. This right does not apply where we are processing information using a lawful purpose other than consent.
  • The right to request that we provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable).
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request that a restriction is placed on further processing.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data (where applicable) [Please note that this right only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority, direct marketing, and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics.
  • The right to be informed if your data is lost or its security is breached. We will also inform the Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the time limits in the GDPR.
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

For further details about these rights please see the Information Commissioner’s website.

What procedures are in place regarding data breach?

A data breach is the unauthorised disclosure, loss or theft of personal information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office and the GDPR place a duty on all organisations to report certain types of data breach to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach, where feasible.

If the breach is likely to result in a high risk of adversely affecting individuals’ rights and freedoms, those individuals must also be informed without undue delay.

We have processes in place that aim to prevent data breach. We know how to recognise a data breach, and have prepared a response plan for addressing any that occur. These are the responsibility of our data controller, Karen Charlesworth.

We will also keep records of any personal data breaches, regardless of whether or not we are required to notify the ICO.

Further processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose not covered by this Privacy Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

 

END OF PRIVACY NOTICE