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Privacy Policy

Version 1 | Reviewed June 2023

Purpose of this policy

 

Louise Grunwaldt Mental Health [LGMH] collects, works with and retains the personal information of clients. This information is important for the provision of an optimal health service. It is important that personal information is appropriately managed, and this policy outlines how LGMH handles the personal information of clients. LGMH commits to ensuring that client health records are accurate, legible, organised and comprehensive.

What is personal information?

Personal information is any information which identifies a client or could reasonably be used to identify them.

What personal information does LGMH collect, and why?

LGMH will collect information from clients and/or referrers [eg. a GP].

At a minimum, a client can expect the following information to be collected:

  • Their name, address and date of birth.

  • Their contact details.

  • Next of kin or emergency contact person.

  • Relevant current and past medical information.

  • Family medical history to the extent that it may inform current services.

  • Their educational and occupational history.

  • Legal or offending history.

LGMH may also collect the following personal information:

  • Responses and results from relevant tests and questionnaires.

  • Results from any relevant physical or diagnostic assessments and investigations.

All material is used to inform an accurate assessment, recovery and treatment/support/care plans and any monitoring required to achieve optimal health outcomes for the client. Not having this information may increase the risk that the assessment treatment/support/care plans subsequently arrived at or generated are sub-optimal.

Information provided by third parties

LGMH will collect information directly from the client where it is reasonable and practical to do so. There may be a need to collect information from others who know the client well [such as a family member] or from others involved in their care (eg. GP, NDIS supports, allied health professionals]. LGMH will always endeavour to keep you [the client] reliably informed of the information collected and the source of that information, and where appropriate will seek and obtain written informed consent to contact and retrieve that information.

Use and disclosure of personal information

LGMH will use and disclose personal information for the primary purpose of providing an optimal health service to you [the client]. This will primarily take the form of written communication that has been prepared and sent to the referrer plus others involved in the clients care where appropriate.

There may be occasions when LGMH disclose the personal information of a client without their consent. This may be for the purpose of reducing or preventing a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual [the client or others], or to public health or safety.  The threat does not need to be imminent.

Storage and security of personal information

LGMH will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information of clients from misuse, interference or loss, and from unauthorised modification, access or disclosure. LGMH chooses to record and store client information electronically using secure software. Any paper documents containing personal information will be stored securely or disposed of responsibly if it is no longer required. 

Can you access your personal information?

Clients have a right to access their personal information held by LGMH. Requests need to be put in writing for security and recording purposes and to assist in finding the information for you. LGMH may refuse the request for certain information, or limit the information so provided, where it is legally entitled to do so, and will endeavour to provide reasons for refusal. For example, release of information may be denied or limited where such release may have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others or is considered frivolous or vexatious.

Credentialed Mental Health Nurse duty of care

Professional standards define the practice of all nurses in Australia and include:

  • codes of conduct, 

  • standards for practice, and

  • codes of ethics.

Further information regarding codes and standards for nurses can be sought from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au).

Data breach plan

LGMH will follow the national requirements in accordance with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner [oaic.gov.au] .

Complaints

Clients have a right to make a complaint about the handing of their personal information and LGMH encourages clients to make a complaint in writing directly with LGMH in the first instance. LGMH will endeavour to respond promptly to appropriate and reasonable complaints. 

 

Clients can also make a complaint about the use of, disclosure of, or access to their personal information by contacting the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner [oaic.gov.au].

 

Other agencies to which clients may bring complaints are as follows:

  • AHPRA - Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency [ahpra.gov.au]

  • ACMHN - Australian College of Mental Health Nurses [acmhn.org]

Changes to this policy

LGMH may make changes to this policy to reflect changes in the law or professional best-practice guidelines. All clients and referrers are encouraged to periodically review this policy to remain informed. This policy will be reviewed June 2024.

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