In order to comply with my obligations to properly look after your personal data I am obliged to make you aware of how I do that. There is a lot of information to read and I want to assure you that I keep your personal and sensitive information in order to provide the best treatment for you. This includes your name, address, date of birth, and contact details (phones and email). I also keep personal medical information that you tell me in your consultation and treatment sessions. I do not keep payment details (such as credit cards).
The safety of your information is very important to me - I do not share your information with anyone except other healthcare professionals, your insurance company, or anyone you give me explicit permission to share it with. I do not sell any information.
Why do I need this information?
My professional regulatory body (The British Acupuncture Council) requires me to keep personal data for all patients as a minimum standard, to allow correct patient identification and to ensure that everything that happens to you during a course of treatment is recorded in the right place.
I need your phone, email and address details to be able to contact you regarding appointments, forwarding information, communicating with you.
I have a legitimate interest in keeping your information for the best care of you as a patient. It is necessary for me to keep the information in order to comply with my legal obligations as a healthcare provider.
Here is the detail:
Purpose of privacy notice
The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the GDPR).
One of the rights is a right to be informed, which means I have to give you information about the way in which I use, share and store your personal information.
This new privacy notice comes into effect and will be published on my website on 25 May 2018.
Who are we?
Mark Guggiari is the data controller of Mark Guggiari Acupuncture. This means I decide how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
Whose information does this privacy notice apply to?
This privacy notice applies to information I collect from:
people who subscribe to my newsletters;
visitors to my website;
What is personal data?
Personal data 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 data I 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 I may hold about you include your patient notes.
How do I process your personal data?
I comply with my obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data. I use your personal data for the purposes set out below.
Sections 1 – 16 apply to my patients, prospective patients, former patients and visitors to my clinic
I use your name, address, telephone number and email address to make and rearrange appointments. I am unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. I will also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send me is within the bounds of the law.
I use your name, address, telephone number and email address, only if I have your explicit consent, to send you marketing materials. I am unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. I will also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send me is within the bounds of the law.
Some patients and prospective patients return pre- 1st appointment questionnaires or tell me about their medical conditions and medication by email or online enquiry forms. I am unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. I will also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send me is within the bounds of the law.
I keep a permanent attendance register which records all appointments for patients attending my 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 my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council.
I may use your date of birth to help identify patients with the same name 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.
I use your presenting complaint and symptoms reported by you for the purposes of making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.
I use any relevant medical and family history you have told me for making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.
I use your GP’s name and address in the event that I need to contact your GP including in an emergency and because it is a mandatory requirement in the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct.
I use my clinical findings about your health and wellbeing for making a full traditional diagnosis, and formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.
I 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 me 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.
I record and use any information and advice that I have given, 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.
I record any decisions made in conjunction with you 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.
I keep patient records on paper, in locked filing cabinets at my home address. Files are transported in a locked case that is kept with me at all times. They are taken to the clinic on the day of your appointment and then immediately returned to the locked filing cabinet. Patient phone records are stored on the practitioner’s phone which is password protected in the event of loss of phone.
I keep accident records for any patients, visitors or staff who are involved in accidents at my 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 my patients I report the matter to the British Acupuncture Council and to my 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.
Where relevant I maintain records of the patient’s consent to treatment, or the consent of their 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.
Section 17 applies to those who complain about my services
17. When I receive a complaint from a person I 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.
I will only use the personal information I collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service I provide. I usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, I will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis. I may need to provide personal information collected and processed in relation to complaints to the British Acupuncture Council or my insurance company.
I will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with my retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for two years from closure. 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 me I will only use the information supplied to me to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service I provide.
Section 18 to my website users
Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential, and will 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 I am 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 my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council, or my insurance company in the event of a complaint or insurance claim being brought against me; or
my solicitor in the event of any investigation or legal proceedings being brought against me.
Please note that I only hire room facilities at Elizabeth Curphey T/AS The Therapy Rooms to undertake my acupuncture practice. I do not share any personal data with any staff or other therapists, none of whom are involved in the collection or processing of my patients’ personal data. Any personal data patients reveal to The Therapy Rooms staff or other therapists falls under the Data Protection responsibility of Elizabeth Curphey or the individual therapists.
For further details about the situations when information about you might be shared please see the Information Commissioner’s website at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/personal-information/sharing-my-info/
How long do I keep your personal data?
I keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary.
I keep patient records for a period of 7 years in accordance with the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/effective-practice/bacc-professional-codes.html or until the age of 25 if this is longer.
After the 7 year period paper records are cross shredded and a record kept of files destroyed.
Patient notes are recorded on paper and updated at each appointment or if information is received by telephone or other communication that is appropriate to be recorded in the notes.
Patient notes are used to prepare for subsequent treatments or research health conditions.
Patient notes are recorded on paper, kept in alphabetical files, locked in a metal cabinet. Telephone numbers and email addresses are saved to icloud.com and protected by a personal identification number.
Patients emails are printed and placed in patient’s paper case notes, form part of the patients treatment record and are kept for 7 years or until age 25 in the case of a child.
Patient telephone numbers and email addresses are reviewed and if not attended clinic in the last year are deleted (they will still be recorded in the paper patient records for the relevant time).
Simple email enquiries resulting in no advice or appointment are deleted immediately.
Records for the purposes of complying with HM Revenue and Customers requirements are kept for a minimum of 5 years after the submission deadline for the relevant tax year: https://www.gov.uk/self-employed-records/how-long-to-keep-your-records
In the event of my death a fellow member of the BAcC Ms Pauline Moffatt will ensure the safe keeping of my patient notes (www.zoneacupuncture.co.uk).
At any time you may request that changes are made to your contact details.
Your rights and your personal data
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have certain rights with respect to your personal data as set out below.
The right to request a copy of your personal data which I hold about you.
The right to request that I 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 me to retain such data.
The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time. This right does not apply where I am processing information using a lawful purpose other than consent.
The right to request that I 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) [This right only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with you and in either case the I am processing the data by automated means].
The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing.
The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [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. I shall 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 at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/is-my-information-being-handled-correctly/
If I wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then I 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, I will seek your prior consent to the new processing.
To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact me at Mark Guggiari at
You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.
END OF PRIVACY NOTICE