You may have noticed an influx of companies (perhaps many of whom you can’t even remember signing up for their services) emailing you in recent weeks, asking you to re-subscribe to their mailing list.

That’s because on May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, which in simple terms has been built around giving us all more control over our data and the ways in which it is stored, used and shared.

This can seem an unnecessary task for some, and as a small business it has meant a complete review of my policies and practices.  However as someone (like everyone I’m sure) who seems to have had their email address or phone number added to things that they can’t ever remember signing up for, I can personally understand the need for change.  I also think it’s important that no matter how small the business, it’s customers and clients should feel confident that their personal information is respected, kept confidential and used appropriately.  Therefore, I have tried to find a compromise between not bombarding the Honeysuckle community with emails asking you to get in touch or re-subscribe, whilst ensuring I am increasingly open and transparent about what the GDPR means to Honeysuckle and in turn your data moving forward.

As Honeysuckle Healing is a small independent business, I am taking these new regulations seriously and have already mentioned some of the ways in which I would be ensuring my business is GDPR compliant in April’s newsletter.  As I come from a health and social care background, as well as many organisational roles, I have always been overly familiar with the Data Protection Act and the importance of working with clients openly to gain their consent for services.  With that in mind, I am pleased to say that I feel in order for Honeysuckle to be compliant with these new regulations, I need only make a few changes to my current consultation forms and to bring your attention to the ways in which you can subscribe and unsubscribe from my services.

This blog is aimed at reassuring any new and existing customers of Honeysuckle Healing, including those who haven’t used our services for some time and may wish to leave our mailing list, what you can and cannot expect from Honeysuckles services moving forward.

Below you will find some common Q&A’s that will help you to understand Honeysuckle’s compliance with the GDPR and hopefully help you to familiarise yourself with what you can expect moving forward.

  1. Will I need to complete a new consultation form?

For anyone who has attended a Honeysuckle event, taster session or had an initial or follow-up treatment with Honeysuckle Healing from 1st May 2018, you will have been asked to complete an updated version of my consultation form and therefore will not need to update your details again until a point of review*.  This form has been given the addition of marketing ‘opt outs’, which include choosing whether you wish to receive emails, texts, post or contact from Honeysuckle Healing in between treatments.  It also informs you of the ways in which I store and use your information.  For anyone who has completed this new form, I have updated your consent and will adhere to this accordingly.  However, please note that you can change your preferences at any time by contacting me via any of the usual methods of communication, or by simply clicking ‘unsubscribe’ on the monthly newsletter.

If you have had a treatment, taster, or attended a Honeysuckle event BEFORE 1st May 2018 then you will be asked to complete a new and updated consultation form at your next appointment and be asked to book a full consultation appointment rather than a follow-up appointment.

*review period TBC

  1. What Honeysuckle communication will I receive if my last treatment was before 1st May 2018?

With effect from 25th May 2018, anyone who has not completed a new form i.e. has had a treatment before 1st May 2018, please be aware that I will no longer be sending you cards, texts or postal communication as you will not have been given these service ‘opt-out’ choices at the time of your last treatment.  However, I have chosen to keep your email address on my mailing list to receive the monthly newsletter and very occasional emails in between.  This is because I am confident that everyone on my mailing list has given consent to be added (see question 5).  I would also like to remind you of the easy ‘opt out’ option at the bottom of the newsletter which simply says ‘unsubscribe’.  If you click this link at any time, I will assume and respect that you no longer wish to receive any form of communication from Honeysuckle Healing.

  1. What does it mean to ‘unsubscribe’ from the mailing list?

If at any point you wish to stop receiving emails (and post/texts for those who have opted in) from Honeysuckle Healing then you simply need to click ‘unsubscribe’ from the bottom of the newsletter.  By doing this I will assume that you no longer wish to receive any form of communication from Honeysuckle Healing and I will not contact you or send any communication via email or post as per your request.  By choosing to re-subscribe at a later date you are simply requesting to re-join the electronic mailing list to receive your copy of Honeysuckles monthly newsletter and occasional emails in between.  If you wish to receive postal services or texts at a later date then you will need to complete a new consultation form.

  1. Why will I no longer receive postal communication such as birthday cards?

If you have not had a treatment, attended a workshop or taster event prior to 1st May 2018 then you will not have had the opportunity to complete my revised consultation form, which updates you on data sharing and gives you the option to select the ways in which you are happy for Honeysuckle Healing to contact you.  Therefore, I will not be GDPR compliant if I continue to send postal communication or initiate texts after 25th May (sorry to all those older clients yet to have a birthday this year and receive their Honeysuckle gift voucher!)  To continue to receive all forms of Honeysuckle communication, you will need to have another treatment or attend a taster or workshop in order to complete a GDPR compliant consent form.

  1. Why do I still receive emails but not postal communication?

On my previous consultation forms there has always been a box that has asked you if you wish to be added to my mailing list.  Therefore, I have already gained your consent to email you.  However, until 1st May 2018 there was not a box to ask if it was ok to send you cards for special occasions or to keep in touch via text or postal services. Everyone on my mailing list has either given their consent by signing up via the website, through previous consultation forms, personal request or by adding their name to a mailing list at a previous event.

  1. What if I only use the Bach treatment bottle only service or have a skype/phone appointment?

All services that I provide require me to collect a minimum amount of personal data in accordance with my insurance obligations, such as name, date of birth, address and contact details, as well as keep a record of suggested Bach remedies and any aftercare advice that I give.  It is also best practice for me to gather necessary background medical information when giving Reiki or energy healing.  When someone has requested a phone/skype appointment for Bach flower remedies or a treatment bottle only service, I have previously gathered this information by phone or text in order to speed up the process and keep interaction minimal for the customer.   However, to ensure my records are kept up to date and you are aware of the ways in which I use, store and share your information, as well as given ‘opt out’ marketing choices, I am in the process of creating a condensed form to support these services.

Please note, with effect from 25th May, Bach flower treatment bottle only customers will be expected to complete a condensed consultation form prior to the issue of a Bach flower blend.  For distance energy healing clients, or Bach flower consultations via skype or phone, you will be required to complete and update full consultation forms at regular points of review.

  1. When I sign up via the website mailing list box, what communication will I receive?

When you choose to add your email address to the mailing list box on the home screen of www.honeysucklehealing.co.uk you are choosing to receive a monthly copy of Honeysuckle News, which is a newsletter emailed to you around the 1st of each calendar month.  You are also being added to my mailing list, which will give me the consent to send adhoc emails, as deemed holistically appropriate and as Honeysuckle evolves its services.  This is likely to be a rare occurrence, however I may on occasions feel this is relevant and wish to share important news with the Honeysuckle mailing list.

  1. How do you store and protect my data?

It is a requirement of my insurance company, Balens, that I store personal information, including details of the treatments I have given and any aftercare advice for 7 years from the date of last treatment.  I have always kept consultation forms electronically, shredding any paper copies, using my personal device which is password protected and kept in a secure place within my home.

I have a secure website, which supports the safe use of any information you share such as enquiries and email addresses online with Honeysuckle.  And I use Mail Chimp to send the majority of my mailing list emails.  In the event that I need to contact you directly, in a group of other attendees to a workshop for example, I will use the option to ensure that your email address is concealed from others.

  1. Why do you gather information?

It is a requirement of my insurance company and professional memberships that I gather basic personal information (see question 6) as well as a brief medical history.  I have endeavoured to keep the information I request on my consultation forms to a minimum and to ask only what’s relevant from a treatment point of view.  Some medical conditions can have a reaction to healing treatments and therefore will require medical involvement or closer monitoring for example.  All information gathered is taken with a view of giving you the best possible service, results and ongoing support, as well as to ensure I am aware of any triggers or complications that may arise on your healing journey.

Personal information is kept in case of any emergency or need for me to contact you.  You are given details above about the ways in which I may use this information with your consent.

You will be fully involved at consultation whereby we will discuss this in more detail and you will always be kept informed and involved in your treatment selection.

  1. Do you pass on my details?

Your details are treated as confidential, as is your treatment notes and the conversations we share.  However, I reserve the right to break confidentiality if I feel concerned that your welfare or the welfare of others is at risk.  You will be given details about this at consultation and I will inform you if I need to break confidentiality for this reason.  Other than this I do not share your details with anyone else or any third parties.

  1. How often will you review this?

I am still determining the best course of action for a review period, and this may change during this time of transition and compliance.  However, I anticipate that I will start to do a yearly audit, meaning that I may ask clients to complete a new consultation form and to update their preferences one year from their last treatment.  This is more likely because contact details and medical information may have been likely to change.  However, workshops and taster sessions will require completion of a specially adapted form each time, due to the time lapse between each session.

 

I hope that this blog answers some of your questions about how GDPR will affect your services and communication with Honeysuckle Healing.  As always, I will strive to be open with you at consultation and to keep communication between treatments to a necessary minimum, only sharing holistic information I feel may support your healing journey as a whole.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and patience during this time of change, when I may need to update forms and procedures multiple times in order to arrive at the best outcome for you and Honeysuckle, whilst being mindful of the need for GDPR compliance.

If at any point you are unsure of any of the ways in which I store, share or use your data you are welcome to re-read this blog or to contact me for more information.  You also have the right to request any information I hold about you, by putting your request in writing.

Once again please be aware that you can unsubscribe to Honeysuckle services at any time via the newsletter or by contacting me through email, my website, social media accounts or by phone.

Honeysuckle Healing is here to support you and would never intentionally do anything to jeopardise that or abuse your trust.  The introduction of GDPR will simply ensure that you feel more in control and have access to all information held about you.  From my point of view there is not a lot that will change as I have always taken this subject very seriously and will simply use this opportunity to improve my services further.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

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