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Online Group Terms and Conditions

Confidentiality & Data Protection

GamCare provides a confidential service for people affected by gambling. What you discuss with us remains confidential to the service except in certain circumstances. Generally, these circumstances are when together we think it would be helpful to you if we shared some information with a third party, for example, if you consent to us contacting your GP.

There are specific circumstances where if we believe you are at high risk of significantly harming yourself or others (including the risk of harm to children) we may contact a third party without your consent. In these circumstances we will, where possible discuss the situation with you before we discuss this with anyone outside of GamCare. The exception to this is if to do so would put you or others at increased risk of harm.

All information relating to you is processed by GamCare in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the legal basis of the organisation’s legitimate interest in providing you with the best quality service. We process both personal data and special category data, for example, your race and your health data, which is processed to provide you with treatment, advice and support. All information is stored securely and confidentially. We will store your records for seven years after you complete your treatment with us.

All your records including notes from your sessions are kept on our secure electronic database. Your personal information will not be used for any other purpose than for providing our service to you.

You have a right to view your records and if you wish to do this, you can either ask your practitioner or by contacting us directly via [email protected]

Non-identifiable, pooled demographic information may be used for research and evaluation purposes by GamCare and other affiliated organisations.

GamCare will liaise with you via email. To ensure confidentiality, please use your own personal email address. You may wish to use an email account which cannot be directly linked to you. It is not permitted to record webcam sessions.

Ideally, you would engage in online treatment via a personal, password-protected device in a confidential setting. If you use a work or public computer, confidentiality may be compromised. It is safer to send personal or sensitive information in a password-protected attachment rather than in the body of an email.

Please note

We want to ensure that we create an environment where people feel safe to share about their thoughts, experiences and feelings, so confidentiality needs to be respected by all participants. You are free to share your own experiences and learning with people outside the group. If you are sharing about someone else’s experience, please share in such a way that the other person cannot be identified. You are not permitted to let others read exchanges between group members.

Your e-mail will not be shared with other group members unless the group agrees to share contact details.

Attendance

It is important to attend your sessions regularly for your treatment plan to be effective. You need to let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend a session; if you cannot attend the group, please email [email protected]. If you cancel or do not attend a scheduled session on more than two occasions, please note that we may make your space in the group available to someone else.

You will be informed in advance of any breaks. Please let your practitioner know if you are likely to be late. If you have not made any prior arrangements with your practitioner, you may potentially not be admitted to the group to avoid disrupting the other group members.

Follow up

Overcoming the impacts of a gambling problem can take time. It is important to us that when you finish your treatment with us, your relationship with the service is not over. After your sessions come to an end, we would like to contact you at three, six and 12 months (after last treatment appointment), to enquire about how things are going.

This is called a ‘follow up’ and we would make contact by email if you are happy for us to contact you. If at any point you feel it would benefit you to return to getting help from us, you will have the opportunity to do so. The follow up will provide you with an opportunity to assess how things are going for you, and whether you are satisfied with the progress you have made.
You will receive an email when a space in the group becomes available. Please confirm your attendance within 48 hours. If we have not heard from you by then, your place may be offered to the next person on the waiting list.

Once you have completed the programme, you will be sent an online follow-up where you can reflect on your experience in the group. If there are any remaining issues, you can request a 30 minutes webcam session with a counsellor to discuss your options. You will also receive an online follow-up survey after three, six and 12 months.

Respect

Showing respect for one another and remaining thoughtful goes a long way to creating a safe and productive work environment and dealing with any disagreements constructively.
Acts of aggression, whether towards your practitioner or another group member, will not be tolerated. Under these circumstances you will be asked to leave the group and will not be able to re-join.

Steps you can take to contribute to a good working environment include:

  • Avoid unnecessary distractions and disruptions (e.g. avoid arriving late or leaving early; do not leave electronic devices switched on when not required; do not eat during the group; make sure you are in a space where you can engage freely and will not be disturbed).
  • Let your counsellors and group know if there are circumstances where distractions/disruptions cannot be avoided.
  • Do not swear at others or use sexist, homophobic or racist language.
  • Speak from your perspective, rather than assuming you know someone else’s perspective.
  • Do not consume drugs or alcohol before or during a session.

If we believe that you are under the influence of mood-altering substances during a session, you will be asked to leave, and our Head of Clinical Services will be in contact with you to discuss your treatment plan.

When registering for online treatment we ask for you to acknowledge that you have read and agree to these terms and conditions and inform us whether you give consent for us to follow up with you. Please be assured if you do not provide consent for follow up we will not contact you after your sessions have ended.

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