Privacy & Security Policy
Purpose and Scope:
PANDA is committed to protecting the privacy of personal and health information that is supplied to the agency in the course of carrying out its stated functions.
PANDA is bound by the requirements of the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 and the Health Records Act 2001. PANDA has adopted the National Privacy Principles as the minimum standards in relation to the handling of personal and health information.
Section 1: Collection of Information
- Information may be obtained verbally by telephone, from mail, electronic mail via the internet or from facsimile, or as a result of personal contact. Information may also include that which is formally requested by PANDA via proforma registration forms for the purpose of maintaining membership records, referral databases and staff and volunteer records.
- PANDA will only collect and use information in a fair and lawful manner that is necessary for its functions and activities.
- PANDA will collect information from the person to whom the information relates and in a non-intrusive manner.
- PANDA will collect information from a third party where the collection of that information has been authorised by the person concerned, or someone legally authorised to provide information on their behalf.
- PANDA will ensure that a person knows why the agency requires information from them and how that information will be managed, including the secure destruction of the information.
- PANDA will take reasonable steps to ensure that all personal information collected and held by the agency is accurate and current. Individuals may inform PANDA of changes to personal and health information or the agency may contact individuals to ensure that the information held is accurate and current.
- At the request of an individual PANDA will provide that person with access to their own information and will correct or remove information held. Information removed will be securely destroyed by the agency.
- Personal information collected by PANDA may be sensitive information under the National Privacy Principles (eg information about racial or ethnic origins, religious beliefs, or sexual preferences). This information will only be collected with the consent of the person to whom it relates and for the purpose of providing a relevant service.
Section 2: Collection of Support Call Information
- In accordance with the Health Records Act (2001) PANDA Staff and Volunteers will not retain any recorded identifying information relating to telephone calls. This means that all notes taken during a support call need to be shredded once the call has been concluded.
- The only exceptions to this situation include occasions when:
a) The caller agrees to a follow up call being made by the support worker. The support worker will only obtain enough identifying information from the caller to make the call possible, for example, first name and telephone number.
b) The caller requires and requests the support worker to personally refer them to another service, for example the worker telephoning a service on a client’s behalf and supplying the agency with identifying information.
In both these situations the identifying information can be recorded on a contact sheet with a very brief description of the circumstances surrounding the call. Records will be stored in a locked, secure filing cabinet each day and at any time the PANDA office is unattended
The client being offered a follow up support call is to be informed that their information is being recorded and stored securely and that it will be shredded once the contact arrangement has been satisfied.
c) The caller requires printed information to be posted to them directly in which case names and addresses will be recorded, whenever possible, directly onto the envelope for posting. If details are written separately, to be transcribed onto the envelope at a later time, this information then will be shredded.
- PANDA Staff and Volunteers will only use and disclose information for the primary or directly related purpose for which it was collected.
- PANDA Staff and Volunteers will only use and disclose information for other specified purposes with the consent of the person concerned eg. research.
- PANDA Staff and Volunteers will only use and disclose information as authorised by law, including where it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the wellbeing of any person.
- Requests for support via email will be responded to in the same way and the email deleted once dealt with.
Policy Section 3: Information Security
- PANDA will take reasonable steps to keep personal and health information held by the agency secure from loss, unauthorised access, use or disclosure.
- If information is no longer required by the agency, PANDA will arrange for that information to be securely destroyed.
Policy Section 4: Privacy of Members
- PANDA needs to collect personal information from individuals in order to create and administer memberships. This information will only be collected on the prescribed form.
- Membership information may also be used by PANDA to advise members of activities within the organization, or that the organization has access to, for example newsletters, education/training workshops.
- PANDA may also use non-identifying membership information for the purposes of research.
- PANDA shall take responsibility for ensuring that personal information collected is protected from misuse or unauthorised access.
Policy Section 5: Privacy of Volunteers
- PANDA needs to collect personal information about volunteers who assist the organisation in its functions. PANDA uses this personal information in the training, placement and supervision of volunteers. Personal information is also collected to satisfy occupational health and safety obligations and insurance requirements.
- Personal information is collected to assist PANDA in advising volunteers of PANDA’s activities or activities that PANDA has access to. Personal information relating to volunteers will be collected on the prescribed form.
- PANDA will ensure that personal information collected will be protected from misuse or unauthorised access. Volunteers representing PANDA at external functions and agencies may have personal information relevant to the performance of their volunteer duties released by PANDA to the external agency. This will be done with the consent of the volunteer concerned.
- PANDA will ensure that the agencies in receipt of personal information act in accordance with the National Privacy Principles.
Policy Section 6: Privacy of Practitioner Database Members
- PANDA will maintain an electronic data base of information relating to individual practitioners specialising in or with special interests in the management of antenatal and postnatal mood disorders.
- The information collected and held on the database will be used for the purposes of referral in response to requests for information and support from callers to the support line.
- Information will only be collected on the prescribed email/paper form and supplied by the practitioner themselves.
- PANDA may use information collected from practitioners to advise of activities or information relevant to the service.
- PANDA will ensure that information collected will be protected from misuse and unauthorised access.
INQUIRIES RELATED TO PRIVACY
Inquiries related to the management of personal and health information held by PANDA should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer of PANDA. If a person wishes to obtain access to correct or remove information held about them by PANDA the Chief Executive Officer of PANDA should be contacted.
The Chief Executive Officer can be contacted at:
810 Nicholson St
North Fitzroy VIC 3068
PH: (03) 9481 3377