Clinic Privacy Notice

Liz Castle MBAcC Acupuncturist

As a Member of the British Acupuncture Council I take confidentiality seriously and keep patient details private, according to data protection legislation and the British Acupuncture Council Code of Professional Conduct.

Purpose of Privacy Notice

The processing of personal data is governed by the UK Data Protection Act 2018 which enshrines the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements. This legislation gives you rights as an individual and obligations to organisations holding your personal data.

One of the rights is to be informed, which means I have to give you information about the way I use, share and store your personal information.

This updated privacy notice lets you know what information I hold about you and the legal basis on which I use it.

This new privacy notice comes into effect on 1st November 2019. Update 24.06.20

Who are we?

Liz Castle is the data controller for Liz Castle MBAcC, Acupuncturist. This means I decide how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

Whose information does this Privacy Notice apply to?

This privacy notice applies to information I collect from:

  • patients;
  • prospective patients;
  • former patients;
  • people who subscribe to my newsletters;
  • visitors to my website;
  • students and locum practitioners

What is Personal Data?

Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. Examples of personal data we may hold about you include your contact and appointment details.


Special category data is a sub-category of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. Examples of special category data I may hold about you include your patient notes.

How do I process your Personal Data?

I comply with my obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data. I use your personal data for the purposes set out below.

Sections 1 – 21 apply to my patients, prospective patients, former patients and visitors to the clinics


  1. I use your name, address, telephone number and email address to make and rearrange appointments.


  1. Some patients and prospective patients return pre-appointment questionnaires, or tell me about their medical conditions and medication before their treatments. For reasons of privacy I prefer to receive such written personal and sensitive data through encrypted clinic software, or by post, if not in person.


  1. I use your name, address, telephone number and email address, only if I have your explicit consent, to send you marketing materials.


  1. I keep a permanent attendance register which records all appointments for patients attending my clinic, to keep a record of when you were treated for tax purposes and to secure potential evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution, civil litigation, insurance claim or complaint to my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council.


  1. I may use your date of birth to help identify patients with the same name to avoid mistakes being made as to safe and appropriate treatment, for identification purposes if referring a patient to another health practitioner, and for identification purposes if writing to a registered medical practitioner so that they correctly identify the patient.


  1. I use your presenting complaint and symptoms reported by you for the purposes of making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy, treatment planning and providing treatment.


  1. I use any relevant medical and family history and medications you have told me about to inform the traditional diagnosis and treatment strategy, treatment planning and provide treatment.


  1. I use your GP’s name and address in the event that we need to contact your GP including in an emergency and because it is a mandatory requirement in the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct.


  1. I use my clinical findings about your health and wellbeing for making a full traditional diagnosis, and formulating treatment strategy, treatment planning and providing treatment.


  1. I keep a record, and refer to that record, of any treatment given with details of the progress of your case, to enable me to review the full traditional diagnosis, treatment strategy and planning. This is so that I can help you receive the most appropriate treatment.


  1. I record and use information and advice that I have given, especially when referring patients to any other health professional, again to help you receive the most appropriate treatment.


  1. I record any decisions made in conjunction with you to help you receive the most appropriate treatment.


  1. I keep incident and accident records for any patients, visitors or staff who are involved in accidents at my clinics in accordance with UK Health and Safety legislation, including the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to comply with the law.


  1. In the event of an adverse incident occurring to any of my patients I may report the matter to the British Acupuncture Council and my insurance company to enable the insurance company to deal with any potential claims, and to help the British Acupuncture Council to develop its safe practice guidelines, as well as providing research data and information for the BAcC’s insurers and other interested parties. 


  1. Where relevant I maintain records of the patient’s consent to treatment, or the consent of their next-of-kin in order to be able to prove that the patient (and/or parent/guardian/next of kin) has given informed consent to treatment.


  1. I may use relevant personal and treatment related information when required by appropriate authorities in the case of


  1. Notification of infectious diseases
  2. Reporting to emergency services
  3. Public Health requirements eg during epidemic/pandemic
  4. To secure evidence in the event of a civil claim, criminal prosecution, insurance claim or complaint.


  1. You should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. I will also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email or information you send me is within the bounds of the law.


  1. I prefer not to receive personal and sensitive information via social media as I am unsure of data security in transit.


  1. Paper records are stored safely and securely in a locked filing cabinet at night.


  1. Personal data stored by me in digital form is password protected.


  1. I also use secure clinic software which is encrypted in transit.


Section 22 applies to those who complain about my services


  1. If I receive a complaint from a person I create a file containing the details of the complaint. This would contain the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

I will only use the personal information I collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service I provide. I usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, I will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis. I may need to provide personal information collected and processed in relation to complaints to the British Acupuncture Council or our insurance company.

I will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for two years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to me I will only use the information supplied to me to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service I provide.

Paper records are stored safely and securely in a locked filing cabinet at night.

Any personal data stored by me in digital form is password protected.

Sections 23 and 24 apply to subscribers to my newsletters


  1. I maintain and use records of subscribers to my newsletters, only with their consent, for marketing purposes.


  1. I use a third party provider, MailChimp to deliver my e-newsletters. I gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help me monitor and improve our e-newsletter. For information, please see MailChimp privacy notice

Sections 25 – 28 apply to my website users


  1. My website is hosted by WP Engine. I understand that they do not collect personal information.


  1. When someone visits my websiteI use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I will do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Google to make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. If I do want to collect personally identifiable information through my website, I will be up front about this. I will make it clear when I collect personal information and will explain what I intend to do with it.


  1. I use website cookies to improve user experience of my website by enabling my website to ‘remember’ users for the duration of their visit – using a ‘session cookie’


  1. I use a third party service, Mailchimp as my newsletter delivery service. When you sign up to join my newsletter on the website, your name and email address are collected by Mailchimp. They take the security of your data seriously. You can read their privacy policy here:

Sections 28 and 31 applies to Facebook and Twitter users.


  1. I have a Facebook page which you may follow: Liz Castle MBAcC Acupuncturist , found at: @lizcastleacu

Information about Facebook Privacy Policies can be found at:


  1. I have a Twitter account which you may subscribe to: @lizcastleacu.

Information about Twitter Privacy Policies can be found at:


  1. Although I will endeavour to keep your data secure, transferring information over the internet or storing it electronically is never completely secure. Therefore, I cannot make an absolute guarantee as to its security. This also applies if you chose to send personal details via social media such as on Facebook Messenger. Please refer to the relevant privacy policies regarding these third party services.


Sections 32 to 37 apply to student acupuncturists and locum practitioners


  1. I am the data controller for the information students and locum practitioners provide during the application process.
  • All of the information you provide during the process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application or communicating with you if you attend my clinics, or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary.
  • I will not share any of the information you provide during the recruitment process with any third parties for marketing purposes or store any of your information outside of the European Economic Area. The information you provide will be held securely by me whether the information is in electronic or physical format.
  • I will use the contact details you provide to contact you to progress your application. I will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you have applied for.
  • I do not collect more information than I need to fulfil the stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary.
  • The information I ask for is used to assess your suitability for the role. You don’t have to provide what I ask for but it might affect your application if you don’t.
  • I ask you for your personal details including name and contact details. I will also ask you about your previous experience, education, referees and for answers to questions relevant to the role you have applied for.


  1. If I make a conditional offer to a locum practitioner I may ask you for information so that I can carry out any necessary pre-placement checks. I may be required to confirm the identity of people working, their right to work in the United Kingdom and seek assurance as to their trustworthiness, integrity and reliability. 

You may therefore be required to provide the following and I may take copies: 

  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of your qualifications
  • Criminal records declaration to declare any unspent convictions.


I may contact your referees directly to obtain references, using the details you provide in your application.

If you attend my clinic I may also ask you for

  • emergency contact details – so I know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work.
  • Bank details to process payments


  1. If you act as a locum practitioner for me, the information you provide will be retained by me as part of your placement file for 6 years following the end of your placement. This includes your criminal records declaration, fitness to work, records of any references.

If you are unsuccessful at any stage of the process, the information you have provided until that point will be retained for 6 months from the closure of the recruitment process.

Information generated throughout the assessment process, for example interview notes, is retained by me for 6 months following the closure of the recruitment process.

  1. All of the information gathered during the application process is taken into account to make final placement decisions.
  2. I will also ask students who attend my clinics for emergency contact details – so I know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work
  3. You are able to ask about decisions made about your application by speaking to me, Liz Castle or by emailing

Sharing your Personal Data

Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential, and will only be shared:


  • with named third parties with your explicit consent;
  • with the relevant authority such as the police or a court, if necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject e.g. a court order;
  • with the relevant public health body in the case of notification of infectious diseases
  • with your doctor or the police if necessary to protect yours or another person’s life;
  • with the police, a local authority or other emergency service for the purpose of safeguarding children or vulnerable adults; or
  • with my regulatory body the British Acupuncture Council, or my insurance company in the event of a complaint or insurance claim being brought against me; or
  • my solicitor in the event of any investigation or legal proceedings being brought against me.


For further details about the situations when information about you might be shared please see the Information Commissioner’s website at


Patients and prospective patients please note that if you send me emails, the replies that I send to you are not encrypted. For this reason I prefer to receive personal data by telephone, in writing, or in person, and sensitive information through clinic software or during consultations.


How do I transport, store and dispose of your personal Data?

I look after your personal data at all times:

  • Paper records are transported in person and if in transit by car are in a locked boot.
  • Paper records are stored in a locked cabinet
  • Computers and mobile devices are password protected.
  • Clinic software is secure with password protection and data encryption.
  • Records are destroyed after the relevant periods, or upon request of the data subject but only in accordance with the details of this policy.

How long do I keep your personal Data?

I keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary.

I keep patient records for a minimum period of 7 years after the last treatment in accordance with the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct

After this time you can request that the information is destroyed and deleted

I keep student records for a period of 3 years in case a reference is needed.

I keep locum practitioner records for 6 years in case a reference is needed, or of legal claims or for safeguarding purposes.

I keep records of general enquiries until it is evident that no further action is to be taken.


I update the information that I store as soon as possible after being notified of that change; this make take longer during holidays or sickness.


At any time you may request that changes are made to your contact details.


Your rights and your personal Data

Unless subject to an exemption under the UK Data Protection Act 2018 which enshrines the GDPR requirements you have certain rights with respect to your personal data as set out below.


  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which I hold about you.
  • The right to request that I correct any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date.
  • The right to request your personal data be erased where it is no longer necessary for us to retain such data.
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time. This right does not apply where we are processing information using a lawful purpose other than consent, for example health and treatment data which must be kept for 7 years.
  • The right to request that we provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [This right only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with you and in either case the we are processing the data by automated means].
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [This right only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics].
  • The right to be informed if your data is lost. We shall also inform the Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the time limits in the GDPR.
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.


For further details about these rights please see the Information Commissioner’s website at

Further Processing

If I wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then I will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, I will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact me Liz Castle MBAcC  Acupuncturist  (the data controller):


by telephone: 07536 170228

by email:

or in person at my clinic (by appointment)


You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.