Lifeline Hunter Central Coast Privacy & Security Policy
To support the community and people experiencing difficulty through accessible
To support the community and people experiencing difficulty through accessible
This document sets out how Lifeline handles personal information about people who access Lifeline's services via 24 hour telephone crisis support service 13 11 14, face to face Counselling services or training programs.
Lifeline is made up of a national network of Lifeline Centres and a national office which together operate the Lifeline telephone crisis support service.
Lifeline understands that people are concerned about their privacy and therefore abides by the National Privacy Principles (NPPs) in the Commonwealth Privacy Act (1988).
This Privacy Statement is to ensure that those who access Lifeline's services can receive open and accurate information about what personal information may be collected by a Lifeline staff member, and how and for what purpose that information will be used.
During contact with a Lifeline staff member via phone or face to face they may collect personal information about person accessing the service.
Lifeline will only collect information that is considered necessary for the provision of a quality crisis support service, or for directly related secondary purposes.
Lifeline will only ask for and collect information that is necessary to the provision or quality improvement of the crisis support service.
De-identified and aggregated data recorded by a Lifeline staff member may be used for internal and external research purposes that will guide service quality improvement and service development.
All Lifeline staff and volunteers are required to keep caller or client personal information confidential.
Wherever possible Lifeline will advise clients of the above limits of confidentiality.
In accordance with NPP2 Lifeline may disclose health information to a ‘person responsible’ for an individual (including a partner, family member, care, guardian or close friend) under certain circumstances if that individual is incapable of giving or communicating consent.
Lifeline will take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information on clients is accurate. Lifeline staff memebers are be trained and supervised in information collection practices.
Lifeline provides standardized definitions of data and a structured call record for the collection of call information, to minimize anomalies and variations in approach to data quality.
Lifeline will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss, as well as from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure.
Lifeline protects the personal information it collects (in both paper and computer form) from misuse and loss, as well as from unauthorized access, modification and/or disclosure. Some of the ways we do this are by:
Lifeline will provide callers to the telephone crisis support service with a pre-recorded message advising that personal information may be collected during the call.
In order to answer as many calls as possible Lifeline has a national telephone network. Therefore, information about calls is routinely shared between Lifeline Centres as part of the operation of the national telephone crisis support service.
When sharing health information Lifeline will abide by the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000, which amends the Privacy Act 1988.
As a general rule personal information collected during calls may be shared only within the organisation for reasons related to supervision, debriefing, the provision of quality care to the caller, and for reasons associated with the life and safety of the caller or third party/ies.
Personal information about the caller may be shared with other Lifeline Centre programs or services that the caller is using. For example: face-to-face counselling services; the Suicide Crisis Support
Other organizations who are also working with the caller. For example: Mental Health Services.
Occasionally, calls may be monitored by Lifeline supervisors for the purpose of assessment or training of Telephone Crisis Supporters.
Continuation of a call following a caller listening to the Lifeline Welcome message constitutes ‘implied consent’ for monitoring of the call. The message invites callers to let the Telephone Crisis Supporter know if they do not want the call monitored. Calls will not be monitored if the caller does not want this to happen. In circumstances where the life and safety of the caller or a third party is at risk Lifeline may still monitor the call without caller consent.
Lifeline Centres will not record either side of telephone crisis support calls for supervision or training purposes.
These recordings (for research purposes) will be kept strictly confidential, will be stored securely for 7 years and then destroyed.
Staff or supervisors may ask a caller for consent to provide their name and/or contact details if a caller has been calling the service regularly and it is assessed that some form of care plan would be beneficial. Consent will be sought for care plans where practical and reasonable.
Use of Call Data for Service Development and Research
Lifeline may use de-identified aggregated call data for service development and research purposes. This data does not allow for the identification of individuals and their personal information. Lifeline may under certain conditions make aggregated call data available to researchers, either internally or externally, to assist with learning more about the effectiveness of its service to callers.
Length of time call records are kept
Lifeline keeps call records for 7 years.
In the case of identified frequent callers to the Lifeline telephone crisis support service, Lifeline will keep this information for 7 years from the date of last contact, and in the case of children, until they attain 25 years of age.
Callers may request access to personal information contained in call records, unless particular circumstances (exemptions) apply that allow Lifeline to deny access or to limit the extent to which access is provided.
In accordance with the provisions of NPP6 Lifeline will decide on the most appropriate format and the manner in which to present the information to the caller. For example: with legitimate reason Lifeline may choose to provide a summary of information or discuss information with the caller, or only provide certain parts of the information.
Lifeline will provide access and allow individuals to correct personal information and health information held about them, if they believe it is not accurate, complete or up-to-date in accordance with the provisions of NPP6.
Lifeline may withhold access to all or part of the health information on the record if there is a legitimate reason.
Lifeline will need to determine the identity of the person requesting access to call records, with reasonable certainty.
Access will generally be granted within 30 days of a request.
Lifeline may impose a reasonable charge for access to cover administration costs.
Lifeline does not use any prohibited identifiers (for example caller tax file numbers or health care card numbers).
Many callers choose to remain anonymous when calling Lifeline. Lifeline will honour this preference except where the life or safety of the caller or a third party is at risk or under certain other circumstances supported in law.
Callers to the Lifeline telephone crisis support service are not required to give their name or other information about their personal identity in order to receive service.
Notes may be taken during a call and Personal Information on the caller collected. This information may be sufficient to reasonably identify the caller. Lifeline therefore provides a confidential service, but cannot guarantee an anonymous service for its callers.
Lifeline telephone crisis support service staff and supervisors may have access to a callers’ phone number if the number is not ‘blocked’ or if the caller has provided his/her number to the service.
Full telephone numbers and contact details of callers will not be made known to Telephone Crisis Supporters under any circumstances.
Callers will be asked to provide some demographic information about themselves to the Telephone Crisis Supporter during a call. This information is de-identified and used for service improvement purposes only. The demographic information will not be recorded if the caller does not give consent to collection.
The anonymity of a caller will not be maintained under these circumstances. There are some limits. These are outlined in the section on confidentiality.
Lifeline does not transfer call record data outside of Australia without the caller’s consent.
Lifeline may modify this Privacy Statement and the way it handles personal information at any time at its sole discretion. Such modifications will be consistent with current privacy legislation and will be easily identified as subsequent versions.
Last modified June 25th 2007
More information about privacy can be obtained from the Federal Privacy Commissioner’s website at www.oaic.gov.au
Any queries about this Privacy Statement should be directed to Lifeline's National Privacy Officer.
Phone: (02) 6215 9400
Write to: The Privacy Officer, Lifeline Australia, PO Box 173 Deakin West ACT 2600.
‘Access’: This involves a health service provider giving an individual information about themselves. (Access may include inspecting personal information or having a copy of it).
‘Anonymity’:(in this policy) means when someone's name is not given or known
‘Disclosure’: In general terms a health service provider discloses personal information when it releases information to others outside the organisation. Disclosure does not include giving an individual information about themselves (this is ‘access’ see above).
‘Personal information’: means information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained.
Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 This Act allows the sharing of information with others, where necessary, while outlining the privacy issues and safeguards to consider in these circumstances.
If you have any questions regarding our security policy, please contact us - email@example.com
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