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Confidentiality and Data protection

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GamCare Treatment Services

 

National Gambling HelpLine and NetLine

Is your service confidential?

Confidentiality means not sharing information with anyone else about what you tell us. Whatever you say will be just between you and GamCare, unless you request otherwise in writing. You can feel safe talking to us, knowing that we will not pass on personal information without letting you know.

But sometimes, if we’re worried about your safety, we may need to get you help. We'd only need to get help or take action if:

  • you ask us to;
  • we believe your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger;
  • you're being hurt by someone in a position of trust, like a partner, carer or friend;
  • you tell us that you're seriously harming another person / people.

Our team of Advisers work to a standard code of practice, which includes strict confidentiality within the team. Advisers need to discuss their work with their supervisor, and may need to pass information to their colleagues to ensure we are providing the most appropriate help, but no information about callers is disclosed to third parties outside GamCare without your consent, except in the circumstances stated above.

What information are you collecting about me?

When you call the HelpLine or chat via the NetLine, you can remain anonymous if you wish - you don't have to let us know any of your personal information if you'd rather not. Our system will automatically store your phone number or your IP address (unless you have blocked this), in case of an emergency, however you do not have to let us know any other details if you don’t want to, unless you would like a referral into a treatment service within the GamCare network. At this stage we would need to record more information to make sure your referral can be passed over to the right team, which may include personal data such as your name and contact details.

If you are happy to share more information during your call or chat, we will collect non-identifying demographic information to get a better idea of who is using our services and why, and to understand how our services may be able to adapt to meet changing needs. We will record data about your gambling issues, and information about how we are helping you. We may also collect some sensitive data, for example information about your health, ethnic origin and any criminal record you may disclose to us. If you would rather we didn’t record this, just let us know.

We record calls to the National Gambling Helpline, and we store transcripts of chats on the NetLine. These records are primarily to ensure that we can monitor the quality of calls and chats and pick up on areas where we can improve our service to you. Unless we have a serious concern (as described in the confidentiality section above) which means the Police may need access to these recordings or transcripts, or we require a recording for training purposes, we delete these records completely after 28 days.

Why are you collecting information about me and what are you doing with it?

We collect information about you so that we can have a better understanding about who is using our service and why. Sensitive personal information, such as about your health, ethnic origin and criminal record, can help us tailor our services to your needs and make sure you get the very best help possible from our team.

This type of data, always anonymised, will also help us with research, raising awareness about our services, and improving our understanding about gambling in Great Britain. Our funders (GambleAware) also want to understand the service we offer, so we share anonymised, non-identifying data with them as part of our funding agreement. This is pooled with data from their other funded treatment services in a national report published each year (the Data Reporting Framework).

Who are you sharing my personal information with?

GamCare provides a confidential service. If you wish to be referred to a GamCare treatment service, then with your permission we will share your personal details with our Partner agencies who deliver these services.

Can I access to the personal information you hold about me?

Certainly! Please email [email protected] from an email address you have used to contact us before, or call 020 7801 7000, and let us know what information you would like to access and why. We may take a few more details from you to verify your identity and make sure you get the right information. We will provide the information you have asked for, where possible, with 30 days.

Please bear in mind that GamCare reserves the right not to send you any information that mentions a third party, or which could be used in any way to cause harm to you or someone else. We also cannot take responsibility for any items that may get lost in the post.

What if I don’t want you to hold my personal data?

You can always choose not to answer certain questions and you do not have to give us your full name or address. However, you may find it helpful to give us your contact details if you want to receive information from us or if you wish to be referred for treatment.

How long will you keep my data?

We do not delete anonymised data as we use this to help us improve our services, including for research and statistical analysis. If you have told us your contact details and you wish for us to delete these, just let us know. Call recordings and chat transcripts will be deleted from our system after 28 days.

 

GamCare Treatment Services

Is your service confidential?

Confidentiality means not sharing information about what you’ve said. Whatever you say will be between you and GamCare. You can feel safe talking to us, knowing that we will not pass personal information on to others without letting you know.

But sometimes, if we’re worried about your safety, we may need to get you help. We'd only need to get help or say or do something if:

  • you ask us to;
  • we believe your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger;
  • you're being hurt by someone in a position of trust, like a partner, carer or friend;
  • you tell us that you're seriously harming another person.

Our practitioners work to a standard code of practice, which includes strict confidentiality within the team. Practitioners need to discuss their work with their supervisor, and may need to pass information to their colleagues to ensure we are providing the most appropriate help, but no information about clients is disclosed to third parties outside GamCare without your consent, except in the circumstances stated above.

Treatment, including counselling, can cover difficult personal issues and situations and may temporarily increase your distress and discomfort. For your safety, we require contact details for your GP. We would generally only contact your GP with your permission.

What information are you collecting about me?

To register for our services, we generally need some personal information such as your name, date of birth, contact information, your employment status and some information about how you are affected by gambling. We will also ask for details about your health to ensure you get the best support we can offer.

When you have an initial assessment with one of our practitioners, you will be asked to complete more comprehensive details so that we can tailor your treatment plan to make sure you’re getting the right level and intensity of support. If you would rather not answer a particular question, please let your practitioner know.

We will require contact details for your GP, however we would only contact your GP with your permission, unless we are concerned that you were at risk of harm.

Why are you collecting information about me and what are you doing with it?

As well as ensuring we can provide you with the best support, we collect information about you so that we can have a better understanding about who is using our service and why. Sensitive personal information, such as about your health, ethnic origin and criminal record, can help us tailor our services to your needs and make sure you get the very best help possible from our team.

This type of data, always anonymised, will also help us with research, raising awareness about our services, and improving our understanding about gambling in Great Britain. Our funders (GambleAware) also want to understand the service we offer, so we share anonymised, non-identifying data with them as part of our funding agreement. This is pooled with data from their other funded treatment services in a national report published each year (the Data Reporting Framework).

Who are you sharing my personal information with?

GamCare provides a confidential service, and your personal information will not be used for any purpose apart from providing your treatment plan and contacting you about appointments and follow up surveys if we have your permission to do so. Your personal information will not be shared outside of our team unless there is a risk to you or someone else – please see the section on confidentiality above.

Can I access to the personal information you hold about me?

Absolutely. Please email [email protected] from an email address you have used to contact us before, or call 020 7801 7000, and let us know what information you would like to access and why. We may take a few more details from you to verify your identity and make sure you get the right information. We will provide the information you have asked for, where possible, with 30 days.

Please bear in mind that GamCare reserves the right not to send you any information that mentions a third party, or which could be used in any way to cause harm to you or someone else. We also cannot take responsibility for any items that may get lost in the post.

What if I don’t want you to hold my personal data?

When providing a treatment service, we have a responsibility to keep you and others safe from harm. If you have received treatment from us, you will sign a consent form which tells us that you are happy for us to keep your treatment records for seven years (this is best practice in clinical services) and longer in some cases (where a young person is involved).

This does also mean that if you would like to receive further treatment from GamCare within those seven years, you don’t need to complete all new records.

Remember, if you would rather not give us some of your information at the start, as long as we can provide a safe service to you without it, that’s ok. Your practitioner will always explain to you if a particular bit of information will be helpful, but it’s always your choice how much information you would like to tell us. However, if you are unwilling to share your name, date of birth, address and contact details with us, we may not be able to offer you a service as it would not be safe for us to do so.

When seven years has passed since you last received treatment or follow-up contact from GamCare, records of your personal information will be destroyed. We will keep anonymised information – as described above – and if you have any questions about this please ask your practitioner.

How long will you keep my data?

Our treatment records are stored for at least seven years from the date of your last treatment or follow-up from GamCare (please note this is longer when a young person or person in care is involved). After this time, if you have not contacted us about receiving more treatment we will destroy all paper records and anonymise any electronic records to remove personal, identifiable information.

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