Anonymity and Confidentiality
We run confidential and anonymous service. This means that whatever you say or write stays between you and the pain Concern Helpline Team.
- You have the right to use a pseudonym or to remain anonymous when you call us.
- If you request resources to be sent to you by post or by email, we will keep your contact details only until we have sent the resources.
- We do not keep audio recordings of our telephone conversations.
- The telephone number you use to call the helpline will not display when we receive your call. (We are, however, able to retrieve the telephone number of anyone who calls us through our telephone provider systems.)
- If our Helpline staff contact someone via telephone this will show as an incoming call from a withheld number.
- If our Helpline staff contact you via telephone, they will not disclose why they are calling to anyone but the original caller.
- If the Helpline sends you an email, this will appear as from ‘Pain Concern Help team’ or email@example.com
- Letters and items sent in the post will be sent in a plain envelope and our name and logo will not be visible on the outer package of any post
- We do not retain any contact information nor do we pass it on to third parties without express consent unless one the conditions listed below occurs.
- You have the right to ask about the details of our confidentiality policy, and to be told under what circumstances details of their contact will be shared outside.
Disclosing confidential information
There are some exceptional circumstances when the Helpline will break confidentiality; these include but are not limited to:
- The caller asks us to, or gives us their consent to breach confidentiality
- We believe that the caller is being hurt by someone in a position of trust
- We believe the caller’s life or someone else’s is at high or immediate risk
- The caller clearly intends to cause physical harm to another person or that someone is at risk of serious harm
- We receive information about a child being abused or neglected
- We receive a court order requiring us to share information
- The call is about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings, or you appear to be engaged in terrorism
- The caller threatens the safety of our volunteers or staff, or prevents the effective delivery of the Helpline service.
Wherever possible, we will talk to the caller about it first, explain our confidentiality policy and will make a point of gaining their consent before disclosing confidential information giving them as much control as possible.
Unauthorised breaches of confidentiality: Our Helpline team members understand that any deliberate or reckless unauthorised disclosure of identifying information about our service users is a serious offence and will be dealt with via disciplinary measures.
Record Keeping and call monitoring
Like all helplines, we keep anonymous data to help us with our fundraising and strategic planning.
What we keep:
- A short record of all calls (to get a clearer picture of the calls we receive and to help us provide better support).
- Quantitative and qualitative data of the emails we receive
- The number and types of calls that we receive (We do not share any information that could identify you. This lets us access funds that keep the helpline open and able to take calls.)
- Anonymised and secure, password protected information (no personal or identifiable information)
- Calling Line Identification (CLI) information. (We use this information to help improve its efficiency and effectiveness and gather anonymous data for statistical purposes.)
- No record of your name or your phone number
Some data is used to inform the medical community or politicians about the help and services needed in the pain community. This information will never include any identifiable information about individuals without their prior and explicit written consent.
Evaluation of the Helpline service
Pain Concern is committed to deliver a quality helpline service and to finding out if its service users are satisfied with the support offered. In order to do this, we will randomly ask the caller:
- If they are willing to fill a short questionnaire (either directly on our website, or offer to post it to them)
- If they consent to be contacted at a later date to seek their feedback (and ask for your contact details)
Any feedback given to us will be anonymised.