Purpose of this policy
Neudle Psychology Pty Ltd (ABN 24 665 149 226) collects, works with, and retains its clients personal information as required for the provision of psychological services. At Neudle we are committed to protecting the privacy of our clients and providing a safe and secure environment for them. We understand the importance of personal information and the trust that is placed in us when it is shared.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information which identifies you or could reasonably be used to identify you.
We may collect personal information from clients, including but not limited to your:
• Name and date of birth
• Contact details
• Medical and health information
• Background information to the extent that it may inform current services
How do we collect personal information?
We collect personal information directly from clients through forms, assessments, and discussions during therapy sessions. We may also collect information from third parties with the clients consent, including but not limited to, family members, friends, or referring medical professionals.
Why do we collect personal information?
We collect personal information to provide effective psychological services and to ensure that our clients receive the best possible care. This information is used to develop treatment plans and to keep track of progress over time.
Disclosure of personal information
We may disclose personal information to third parties in the following circumstances, with the consent of the client:
• When required by law, for example, to comply with a subpoena or warrant
• When necessary for the provision of healthcare, such as sharing information with a referring medical professional
In some circumstances Neudle Psychology may be required to disclose personal information without the consent of the client. Specifically, we may disclose personal information if a “permitted general situation” exists such as to “lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety”. This threat does not need to be imminent.
Protection of personal information
In accordance with the APS Code of Ethics, electronic information containing personal information listed above will be stored and backed up securely, and paper documents containing personal information will be stored under lock.
Access to personal information
Clients have the right to access their personal information. Such requests need to be put in writing for security and recording purposes.
Neudle Psychology may refuse the request for such information, or limit the information provided, where it is legally entitled to do so. We will endeavour to provide reasons for refusal. For example, release of information may be denied or limited where such release may have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others or is considered frivolous or vexatious.
Psychologists duty of care
Neudle Psychology is guided by the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics. Section A.4. of the Code relates to the appropriate collection of private information related to the provision of psychological services. Sections A.5. to A.7. of the Code relate to Confidentiality, the Release of Information to Clients, and the Collection of client information from associated parties. Section B.2. of the Code relates to appropriate record-keeping. The APS Code of Ethics can be accessed on the APS website www.psychology.org.au
It is noted that under section A.5.2.(c) of the Code that psychologists disclose confidential information obtained in the course of their provision of psychological services, “if there is an immediate and specified risk of harm to an identifiable person or persons that can be averted only by disclosing information” (p.15).
Clients may also refer to the APS Charter for Clients of Psychologists, appended to this policy.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is responsible for the registration of psychologists throughout Australia. Through AHPRA, and under National Law, there are requirements for registered health practitioners to make mandatory notifications to prevent the public from being placed at risk of harm. Revised guidelines took effect from 17th March 2014.
Data breach plan
Neudle Psychology follows the national requirements found at www.oaic.gov.au
Clients have a right to make a complaint about the handing of their personal information.
Complaints can be made to Neudle Psychology by email at email@example.com. We will endeavour to respond appropriately to reasonable complaints within 30 days of the receipt of the email.
If you wish to make a complaint about the use of, disclosure of, or access to your personal information, you may do so with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by phone on 1300 363 992 or online at www.oaic.gov.au
Other agencies to which clients may bring complaints include:
• Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency ~ www.ahpra.gov.au
• Australian Psychological Society ~ www.psychology.org.au
Neudle Psychology acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to those who have passed before us and to the members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.