Customer Confidentiality Policy

Please note that the Independent Lives is a registered charity with a trading arm, Independent Lives (Trading) Ltd. The following policy applies to both, unless otherwise stated.

The personal information you give us will be kept confidential by Independent Lives and subject to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements. However we do work closely with Social Services/the local health authority and we will share information with them. There are also exceptional circumstances where we are legally required to disclose information to other authorities such as the police, for example if a safeguarding issue is being investigated.

1 POLICY STATEMENT

Confidentiality is fundamental to ensure that customers have trust and confidence in Independent Lives as an organisation and the services we provide.

Our work includes working closely with customers, families, members, advocates and other agencies, such as health & social services. This policy will ensure that the information customers and others give us stays confidential wherever possible and appropriate, but still enables all parties to conduct their work.

2 REASONS FOR THE POLICY

As an organisation, we want to be clear and transparent about how we will maintain customer confidentiality within Independent Lives.

3 POLICY OBJECTIVES

3.1 How we treat customer information

3.2 How we record customer information

4 POLICY - HOW WE TREAT CUSTOMER INFORMATION

4.1 We will keep any personal information that you give use safely and securely, in accordance with our Data Protection Policy, The Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulations.

4.2 To work effectively on your behalf, any appropriate Independent Lives staff member may access your information.

4.3 We work closely with Adult & Children social care services, the NHS and others, to ensure that customers receive a comprehensive service. As such, we may need to share customer information with them where necessary.

Wherever possible, we will let you know if we need to share your information with another agency or organisation.

4.4 There may be times when we are obliged to disclose customer information to other authorities such as the police, e.g. if a vulnerable person is at risk. This will always be done in accordance with our safeguarding policies and, wherever possible, we will talk to you and seek to gain your consent before we disclose information to a third party.

4.5 Where service contracts are applicable Points 2 – 4 above are included in our service contracts, which you will be asked to, read and sign before receiving services from Independent Lives.

4.6 When Independent Lives provides you with a service, your records are maintained and held within the organisation rather than with the individual staff member or volunteer. In order to give you the best possible assistance, an Independent Lives staff member may need to discuss your case with another colleague. This does not constitute as a breach of our confidentiality policy.

4.7 Where a customer gives specific permission for other people to be involved (e.g. friend, partner, family member, advocate) we will share information with those parties. We will note that you have given consent in our records and we may, in some cases, ask you to sign a consent form for us to share this information.

4.8 Members of the Board of Trustees will not have access to customer information except in exceptional circumstances e.g. when dealing with a complaint or monitoring the work of staff.

4.9 We keep records of all customers receiving a service from Independent Lives. Case notes will be kept after every customer contact with an Independent Lives’ staff member, detailing the discussion. The notes are kept to provide a professional service, maintain continuity of service and in order to reference what has happened or been discussed. This helps to ensure that Independent Lives can provide good quality services to you.