Privacy & Dignity Policy & Procedure
Purpose and Scope
Morgan, Leigh Francis will manage and provide the participant access to services and supports that respect and protect their dignity and right to privacy.
This document describes the Policy of Morgan, Leigh Francis for the Management of Clients’ Information. The psychological services provided are bound by the legal requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles on the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector Act 2000.) and by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Ethical Guidelines.
PURPOSE OF HOLDING INFORMATION
Information about clients is gathered as part of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the individual’s condition. The information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions and enables the psychologist to provide relevant and informed psychological services. No information that is not specifically required in the treatment process will be gathered. This information, once gathered, is stored in the client file and updated regularly
Morgan, Leigh Francis is committed to protecting and upholding all stakeholders right to privacy and dignity, including participants, staff, management and representatives of agencies we deal with.
Morgan, Leigh Francis will ensure that each participant understands, and agrees to, what personal information will be collected and why, including recorded material in an audio and/or visual format.
Morgan, Leigh Francis will ensure that:
· It meets its legal and ethical obligations as an employer and service provider
· All staff, management and volunteers understand what is required in meeting these obligations.
This policy will apply to all records containing personal information about individuals.
All personal information gathered by the psychologist during the provision of the psychological service will remain confidential and secure except when:
1. It is subpoenaed by a court; or
2. Failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at risk;
3. Your prior approval has been obtained to
a. provide a written report to another professional or agency e.g. a GP or a Lawyer; or
b. Discuss the material with another person, e.g., GP, employer, parent, or teacher.
Dealing with personal information
Organisational staff will:
Ensure privacy for the participants, workers or management when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature.
Only collect and store personal information that is necessary
Use fair and lawful ways to collect personal information.
Collect personal information only with consent from the individual.
Take reasonable steps to protect all personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Ensure that participants understand and agree with what personal information will be collected and why.
Participant records will be kept confidential, securely locked and only handled by staff directly engaged in the delivery of service to the participant.
AGREEMENTS AND GRANTS
We must obtain from all participants:
Consent to their personal information being used by the Federal and State Authorities or their nominee for the purpose of managing or evaluating our performance of Agreements or Grants and the operation of these programs, including the resolution of any complaints about the provision of these services.
CONSENT / RELEASE FORM
As part of the provision of psychological services, your psychologist will need to collect and record personal information from you that is relevant to your current situation as a necessary part of the psychological assessment and treatment conducted. This is needed in the event that your/your child's case requires liaison with any third party. Written consent for such liaison is essential. The psychologist will discuss this portion of the form with you and advise if third party liaison (such as with a school, doctor or other party) is indicated. De-identification will apply for research.
FOR MEDICARE CLIENTS ONLY
If you have been referred by your doctor through the Better Access to Mental Health Scheme, it is a Medicare requirement that contact be made with your doctor to detail the outcome or your assessment and treatment with your psychologist.
NDIS Funded Clients
Meetings will be held with you and your team members at times to be decided upon in compliance with your NDIS Plan.
Reports and letters will be written in compliance with the requirements of your NDIS plan.
Responsibilities for Managing Privacy
All staff is responsible for the management of personal information to which they have access. Whereas, the Director is responsible for the content in publications, communications and on the website and must ensure:
Appropriate consent is obtained for the inclusion of any personal information about an individual
Information being provided by other agencies or external individuals conforms to privacy principles
That the website contains a Privacy statement
Privacy Information for Participants
At the first interview, participants will be notified of the type of information is being collected about them, how their privacy will be protected, and their rights in relation to this data.
Privacy for Interviews and Personal Discussions
To ensure privacy for participants or staff when discussing sensitive or personal matters, Morgan, Leigh Francis will only collect personal information which is necessary for the provision of supports and services and which is given voluntarily.
For information regarding the charter for clients of APS psychologists please click on the link below.