Storage and sharing of information
Turning Point Talking Therapies keeps the information that you share with us on a dedicated computer system to ensure that it is stored safely and securely. This is accessed and used by staff to plan and monitor your treatment. Information is shared with your GP and other health care providers who need to be involved in your care to ensure that you receive the correct treatment at the right time.
On occasions we may also need to share information with other professionals, if you tell us something that leads us to believe that you or someone else is at risk of harming themselves or another person; if you inform us of a criminal activity or we have any child protection concerns. Should this be the case we will endeavor to discuss this further with you and involve you in the process wherever possible.
Access to your records
If you would like to request a copy of any of the records that we keep on our system for yourself, please request this in writing, with your signature, and send this to us or drop it in to the service office. We will provide you with your records within 40 days of receiving your request.
The things we discuss in therapy is confidential within our team and only on a need to know basis. Your notes are kept on a confidential database. The only time we would need to break your confidentiality would be if we felt you were at risk of harm to yourself or to or from others or if you told us of any child protection concerns or criminal activity, but we would discuss this with you first and you would be fully involved in the process. All of our therapists have regular supervision to ensure they are working safely and ethically, during these sessions therapy may be discussed.
We may keep your GP or any other health care providers involved in your care updated on basic aspects of your care, such a referral dates, discharge and progress but we would not normally go into any detail about what we discuss in therapy. If you do not wish for us to keep your GP informed, please let us know.
Attendance and Cancellation Policy
Success in therapy largely depends on regular attendance. Gaps and breaks in the sessions can really impact on your progress. It is also important for us as a service to manage our waiting times and therefore every appointment we offer is important. A missed appointment is an appointment another person could have benefitted from. Sometimes is it better, if you cannot commit to regular appointments, to come back to the service when you feel more able to engage.
Due to this we have a policy for any non-attended appointments as follows:
It is really important that if you cannot attend your appointment you give us as much notice as possible but calling us on 01924 234 860 or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Screening assessments – if you do not attend your first screening assessment and do not ring to cancel, you will be discharged from the service. You are welcome to re-refer yourself back, when you feel ready to attend.
Treatments, including workshops and groups – when you start your treatment your therapist will talk you through a therapy agreement which explains the cancellation policy. However if you do not attend two appointments without ringing to cancel, at any point throughout your treatment, you will be discharged. This will not affect you re-referring again in the future, should you feel more able to commit to regular appointments.
All individuals who access our service are recorded onto our confidential database for audit, recording and safety purposes. This database is only accessed by Turning Point staff, though it does send anonymous statistical data to the Department of Health.
As we are commissioned we need to monitor these workshops and provide evidence on the work we are delivering. Without this evidence we cannot demonstrate our hard work and commitment to improving access to psychological therapies. We do share routine anonymous statistical data with the Dept of Health in order for them to generate reports on how services are performing nationally. No identifiable information is shared, it is just a summary of numbers, for example, to show how many people receive different types of treatment.
It is essential that we record contact details such as name, address, phone number, date of birth and GP details. We also collect other demo-graphical information, such as national identity, sexuality and relationship status, although these details are not mandatory and you can chose to opt out. This information does not in any way influence your treatment pathway. Collecting this data is a national requirement of all physical and mental health services, so that we can ensure we are improving access to services for as many people as possible.
As an IAPT service, it is also a requirement that at every session we complete a set of short Questionnaires. These provide us with a variety of health and well-being data including:
- patient health questionnaire (PHQ 9)
- generalised anxiety disorder assessment questionnaire (GAD 7)
- phobia screening questions
- work and social adjustment scale (WASAS)
- employment and medication questions
Why do I have to do these measures at every session?
- It helps us and you understand your mental health needs
- It helps direct treatment and highlights any issues you may want to discuss
- It provides evidence that we are doing our job right (IAPT Data set)
- It is helpful to see your progress on a graph and reflects all the hard work you do when you complete therapy
- We do not use these alone to make any decisions about treatment
We need to complete these at every session in order to continue with treatment and your therapist should discuss with you what these measures show us.
How to complete measures (Minimum Data Set-MDS)
- Fill them in based on how you have been feeling either in the last two weeks or since the last time you came for therapy.
- Don’t worry about getting them ‘right’ or over-think, just give your first response. We do not make any decisions about your treatment based purely on these. This data does not give a full view of someone’s issues, but can be a useful guide or marker
- Don’t worry if your scores decrease for a while when you are in therapy
- If you find the measures hard to understand or work out, ask your therapist to do them with you.
For more information see our MDS factsheet.