Confidentiality Policy

Welfare Officers Confidentiality Policy

The policy has been agreed by all members of the team, and will apply every time that you wish to talk to the welfare officers and members of the welfare subcommittee in their capacity as ‘welfare’. The statement is paraphrased below but the policy in full can be found here.

Officers of the Welfare Team will maintain confidentiality both while they are members of the Welfare Team and also after they cease to be Officers. Any member of the JCR community may share with the JCR Welfare team in complete confidence with the exceptions: 

  • Where there appears to be a serious and immediate risk to your own or others’ safety.
  • An Officer may feel distressed after handling an issue with a student. If, after discussing the matter within the JCR Welfare Team, the Officer feels that it is necessary to their mental welfare to discuss the matter with a professional, they may talk to the college Mental Health and Wellbeing Team.

In the above cases, you will be informed that a breach is necessary and the officer will ask for your consent.

  • When information about planned or actual terrorism is revealed. An act of terrorism is defined as the use of terror, violence or intimidation for political ends. In this case, permission for disclosure is not required.

In the case that you are not happy with the service provided, you can make a complaint to either: 

  • The Officer involved 
  • A different Officer of the JCR Welfare Team 
  • On the anonymous feedback form
  • Your Tutor under the College’s student complaints system 

College Fellows/Staff Confidentiality Policy

Broadly speaking, student welfare information disclosed to Tutors and Tutorial Office staff will be treated as confidential to the College welfare team (i.e. including the Senior Tutor, Dean, Nurse, other Tutors etc.) rather than as absolutely confidential. Disclosure to any party or parties external to the College welfare team (e.g. the wider College and Collegiate University, including Faculties and Departments) would normally only be made where either 

  • you have consented
  • there is clear risk of imminent and serious harm to you or to others in which a duty of care outweighs the duty of confidentiality 
  • there is a legal obligation to do so.

You can find the full policy here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Team Confidentiality Policy

Despite being hired by the college, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team has their own confidentiality policy. In line with the ethical framework below, the content of all MHP and counselling sessions are confidential. This means that under normal circumstances nothing will leave the team without your express permission, even if a tutor, member of staff, family or friend contacts them. The following policy was written by the team:

Very occasionally and in very rare circumstances we reserve the right to break confidentiality in line with our statutory and ethical obligations, these are:

  • If you are a danger to yourself.
  • If you are a danger to others.
  • If we are made aware of serious illegal activities.

However even in such circumstances we would always seek to speak with you first.

We also hold as confidential that you have chosen to use the service, with the below exceptions:

  • If a tutor has referred you to the service, we will write to the referrer to let them know that we have received the referral and an appointment to meet has been offered.
  • If we are contacted by a tutor or member of staff who has direct concerns regarding your welfare but has been unable to make contact with you we may confirm whether you are or are not using our service.

Sometimes, particularly in the MHP role we may decide together that it may be in your best interest for the service to make contact with a third party e.g. if your personal difficulties or psychological problems are affecting your academic work, it could be helpful to write to your personal Tutor. This would only be done with your permission and in discussion with you.

Ethical Practice

As accredited and senior accredited counsellors, Juls and Sarah are professionally accountable to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and work to their robust Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.

Record Keeping

All your information that the team hold is kept under the terms of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in line with College requirements.  

Brief aide-memoire session notes of both the MHP and College counsellor are stored electronically.  The confidentiality of these remains strictly within the team unless:

  • you ask to see them.
  • you wish them to be shared for a specific reason, in which case we would request your written consent.
  • there is clear and imminent risk to yourself or others. 
  • we are legally obliged to do so.

All records are securely destroyed six years after you have left College.

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