Payment and Cancelation Policy.

Cancellations can be made up to 24 hours before a scheduled appointment. Two weeks notice of planned absence for holidays etc. is very much appreciated.

Sessions cancelled within 24 hrs will be subject to full payment.

 

Payment accepted by Direct Bank Transfer before the session.

Therapeutic Agreement.

 

The following is my contract for working with clients: 

1. Sessions start and finish on time and last for 1 hour. If you are unavoidably late we can still meet but your session will still end at the usual time. For example, if you are 15 minutes late you will have a 45 minute session. This is so that the next client starts their session on time. 

 

2. Payment for online sessions is by BACS in advance of each session. Bank details provided along with your first booking. 

 

3. Please give at least 24 hours notice of cancelation. You will be charged the full fee of £50 if you cancel with less than 24 hours notice. There are no exceptions to this. There is no charge for sessions cancelled prior to the 24 hour deadline. Two weeks notice of planned absence for holidays etc. is very much appreciated.

 

4. At the beginning of the therapeutic relationship, we will usually agree to meet at the same time each week. 

 

5. Therapy ending is best planned and prepared for in advance, therefore termination should be discussed to allow for closure with an ‘ending’ session to complete our work together.

 

6. Our work is confidential, the only exceptions are: 

  • If you are disclosing that you are thinking about seriously harming yourself or others. 

  • If you believe a child or protected adult is at risk of harm.

I will always discuss breaking confidentiality with you before I do so in the above circumstances. 

However I am legally required to report any handling or acquiring of proceeds of crime. The law also requires me to report any knowledge of terrorism. It is an offence for me to notify you if I need to report criminal activity.

If we are working face to face and I am diagnosed with coronavirus, or another contagious disease, the NHS will require that I divulge a list of people that I have come in contact with. In such circumstances I will need to inform the NHS of my contact with you, my client. 

As part of my ethical code of practice I see a supervisor once a month where I discuss my case load. No identifying information will be shared. I am happy to discuss this with you in further detail if you would like to.

During the pandemic I will work online with Zoom. This is the platform recommended by my governing body and insurance company for online work and currently offers a good amount of security and confidentiality. I need to let you know that I cannot guarantee complete confidentiality online due to the nature of the internet, the same goes for phone calls. If we are unable to connect via Zoom we can use WhatsApp or Whereby but these may not be as secure.

7. I receive clinical supervision every month and I am a member of the National Counselling Society (MNCS) which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. As per regulations, I partake in continuous professional development. 

 

8. If we’re ever in touch via social media or see each other in person, I will give no indication of the fact that you are or ever have been a client unless we agree verbally otherwise in a session. 

 

9. Any brief notes are held under strict procedural guidelines. All hand written information is kept secure and your contact details are coded and kept separately from the notes so as to ensure confidentiality. My professional executor securely holds phone numbers and names of my current clients for the purpose of notifying you in case I am suddenly unable to work (see privacy policy) 

 

10. Clients should be free from drugs or alcohol when they arrive. 

Privacy Policy.

For GDPR requirements, this policy refers to written documents, hard copy client notes, database entries, Emails, text messages, visits to the website and social media communication. 

Data is collected for the sole purpose of providing an appropriate service for the individual; Legally termed as ‘Legitimate Interests’. 

I collect the following information: client name, address and email address, GP details, relevant medication and medical and personal history. I keep brief sessional records and the initial assessment notes. 

Personal information is provided by you for referral and commencement of the service and online counselling for the duration of the current pandemic. Unless otherwise advised by clients, email addresses and or telephone numbers will only be used to update client appointments and/or send reminders for client appointments. However email will also be used to send out receipts for online counselling during the pandemic period. 

I will only shared data with a third party if you ask me to or, if possible with your consent, if I consider your life or others to be at risk or unless I am obliged to dose by a court of law.

I am the data processor for all printed/written paperwork. All hand written information is kept secure and your contact details are coded and kept separately from personal notes. All information is stored in a locked container, behind a locked door and stored for 5 years. Electronic data is password protected.

Emails are processed by Google and are therefore subject to their privacy policies. It is recommended that no sensitive information be shared via Email. 

My social media business page is processed by Facebook. Should you choose to use the instant messaging function via Facebook, data will be processed subject to their privacy policy. It is recommended that no sensitive data is sent via Facebook messenger. 

Phone calls and online counselling are not recorded; however, text messages and voice- mail may be stored for up to 90 days. I may use your phone number to return your call, as per standard business practice and if we care cut off during an online session. Current client names and phone numbers are shared with my professional executor in line with good practice in the profession. This person would contact you in the even of my death or being unable to work or contact you myself. These details are given in a sealed envelope or by email in this current pandemic.

The platform Zoom is recommended for online counselling by my governing body (National Counselling Society) and I will ask you to work with me via that platform. However if this should fail we may need to jump to FaceTime, WhatsApp or phone. As with all electronic means of communication, I cannot completely guarantee confidentiality of each session on any platform. 

All electronic devices which hold personal data are password protected and stored securely.

 

A Cookies tool is in use on the website (Hilary McMeeking | Counselling in Cheltenham) 

Google Analytics are used to monitor the website’s performance, but all information received is non-identifiable. 

On occasion, I may ask permission for client feedback to be used for marketing purposes. In this event, all data will be anonymised. 

In the unlikely event of a data breach, I will comply with GDPR regulations regarding reporting and action taken. I am based in the United Kingdom and governed under UK jurisdiction. Any disputes that may arise in relation to this agreement and my practice are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the British courts. 

To ensure uninterrupted client privacy in the event of death or an inability to continue in my role, my professional executor will assume data processing responsibility. 

These Policies are subject to amendment.