All of the help and support we offer remains confidential within the Counselling & Mental Health Team. This means we do not disclose verbal or written information about you to others without your consent. Details of your contact with the service are not recorded on your medical or student records, unless you ask us to do so.
There are rare instances when we are unable to maintain total confidentiality. In such circumstances we would aim to discuss with you first our reasons for considering an extension of confidentiality to include relevant others.
Limitations to complete confidentiality occur when:
A member of the Counselling & Mental Health Team has good reason to believe that you or others may be at risk of serious imminent harm. The practitioner may also have reason to believe that you are not in a position to take responsibility for your actions
A member of the team would be liable to civil or criminal court procedures if relevant information was not disclosed.
In such circumstances, additional information is kept to a minimum and only disclosed to relevant others on a 'need to know' basis.
Counsellors and psychological therapists keep brief notes that might include background information. All such notes are confidential and are only accessible by the team. Under the Data Protection Act, you have the right to access your records. If you wish to do so for any reason you should discuss this with the practitioner working with you. Where information from a third party is included, this cannot be disclosed without prior consent from that individual.
Records and notes are kept by the service for a period of 6 years before being destroyed. This is in line with the advice of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to retain notes only for as long as reasonably necessary.