GDPR is on its way

Things to consider before new data protection regulations come into effect this May

Data protection regulationThe General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). In many ways, it will simply reinforce the obligations you already have under the DPA, however the GDPR does have a wider scope and carries tougher penalties for those who fail to comply.

Whether the personal data you use and store relates to clients, students, staff or local support group (LSG) attendees, this article outlines a few key things to consider to be compliant.

What is personal data?

The GDPR defines personal data as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. It defines this person as someone who ‘can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to […] that natural person.’ (Article 4)

What information do you hold?

Start by documenting what personal data you hold, how it’s stored, where it came from and who you share this with. This will help you identify any areas of risk – such as storing, using and sharing data securely – and also give you an idea of any processes that need improving.

Privacy notices

You should have a privacy policy in place, which clearly explains who you are and how you intend to use a person’s information. This should include how long you will hold their personal data for; how and when you will delete their personal data records (three years after their final appointment, if you have a medical malpractice insurance policy through the FHT); that they have a right to access any personal information you hold about them; and that they have the right to complain to the ICO if they think there is a problem with the way you are handling their data.

The policy does not have to be long and complicated, but make sure people are aware of the policy and how to access this.

Accessing information

People already have the right to access personal data you hold about them, but the GDPR will mean this information needs to be supplied within one month of their request. The ICO advises that in most cases you will not be able to charge for this service, unless the request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’.

Consent

Review how you seek, record and manage consent to use and store personal data, and whether you need to make any changes.

According to the ICO, consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. There must be a process of ‘opting in’ – consent cannot be inferred from silence or by having pre-ticked boxes.

Reviewing the personal data you hold in order to be GDPR compliant is a good opportunity to ensure this information is current and reflects the other person’s wishes. Ask those who have engaged with your services in the past year:

  • If the information you hold about them is accurate and up to date.
  • If they are happy to ‘opt in’ and be contacted by you for information relating to your services, for example appointment reminders, special offers, or newsletters. Make it clear that they can opt out of these communications at any time, quickly and easily.
  • How they would like to be contacted by you going forward for each of the above (by email, phone, text message, email, post, other).

In the process of checking someone’s personal data, be very careful not to disclose this information to someone other than that specific individual.

Other points to consider

  • Obtaining permission from a parent or legal guardian for consent to process the personal data of a child.
  • Having a process in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.

Still have questions?

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This article is intended for guidance only. It is not all-encompassing, nor does it constitute legal advice.

Contact the ICO Helpline if you have any questions about data protection or the GDPR. T. 0303 123 1113.

Advice and a copy of the GDPR is also available from their website: ico.org.uk

Low-cost CPD with expert speakers at FHT’s 2018 Training Congress – Get your tickets NOW!

FHT 2018 Training Congress at Holistic Health

The FHT is proud to be hosting the 2018 FHT Training Congress at the Holistic Health show in Birmingham. The two-day event will feature a range of expert speakers, educating you on various topics from therapy specific modalities to general business advice, all of which will gain you one point to count towards your continuing professional development (CPD). With 24 CPD sessions for you to choose from, don’t miss the opportunity to learn new skills and grow your business.

mary and maria

FHT Vice Presidents Mary Dalgleish and Maria Mason both gave two talks at the 2017 FHT Training Congress.

The FHT Training Congress is being held in three private seminar rooms, just outside of the Holistic Health Show hall in hospitality suites, 28, 29 and 30. You can find the training congress using this map. Also, come and see the FHT stand at D12 and D18 to chat to the team and enjoy discounts in your Members’ shop.

Remember to also register for free entry to the Holistic Health Show on their website here.

Sessions cost only £12 for members and £15 for non-members.

1cpdroundel1Here’s a snapshot of what’s on this year…
  • Ayurvedic foot massage
  • Effective use of crystals for stress and anxiety
  • Laughter yoga
  • Kinesiology taping for the athlete
  • Fascia – facts and fiction
  • Charge what you’re worth and get it
  • Mindfulness for therapists and their therapies
  • Getting the most out of social media

Book your FHT Training Congress tickets here

speaker triptych

Self assessment made easy

HMRC

Want to complete your 2016-17 tax return and don’t know where to start? HMRC has a range of digital products to make it easier for you.

You can choose from a selection of live or recorded webinars, online guides and short YouTube videos to support you in completing the return.

Live webinars – no special equipment is needed, simply select the links provided and connect using your desktop computer or any smart device. You can submit questions using the text box.

Self Assessment help and support live sessions: You can listen to live Q&A and get answers to your questions, from business expenses to paying tax and National Insurance. Book here

Self Employment help and support sessions: This webinar is aimed at sole traders and self-employed partnerships, with help on a range of topics including allowable and simplified expenses, your tax return and budgeting for your tax bill. Book here

How to complete your online tax return: Get the help you need completing your Self Assessment tax return. Book here

Can’t make these dates? Don’t worry – the links will be updated and new dates will be added throughout this month.

Why not take a look at the e-learning packages available, including topics such as ‘Business expenses for the self-employed’ which are designed specifically for businesses – these can be used at a time that suits you.

There’s also a selection of short YouTube videos, covering topics such as:

There is a YouTube channel which has a range of videos to support you with your Self-Assessment. You can view them, and other films, here.

The deadline for filing your tax return is 31 January 2018 – file early to avoid the rush.

Details of all these products can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Changes to data protection regulation

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018 and the FHT is currently looking at how this regulation will impact both the FHT and our members. Read more below.

Data protection regulation

Q. How will it affect me?
A. It will affect different members in different ways, depending on what kind of data you hold about clients and other people; how this data is collected; how it is stored and processed (used); and how long you store this data for.

In due course we will be offering members some basic guidance, so keep an eye out for information in future issues of International Therapist and FHT’s regular e-newsletters (if you have opted out of receiving our e-newsletters, you will need to get in touch to let us know you wish to opt back in).

Q. Where can I go for more information?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has information on data protection and the GDPR – visit www.ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/ . However, while they have a growing toolkit for businesses, containing documents such as ‘GDPR: 12 Steps to Take Now’, please note that the ICO is yet to publish official guidance.

Guest blog: rethinking chronic pain

Guest blogger Georgie Oldfield, founder of SIRPA™, looks at the role of non-physical factors in our perception of chronic pain

Chronic pain image

Have you ever wondered why (or noticed that) many of your clients have persistent or recurring pain, which began while doing something they normally did without any problem, or maybe soon after? Or maybe they woke with pain, yet it persisted for months or even years? This is so common, yet are we really that fragile that we can cause ourselves damage while doing something as innocuous as bending, getting out of a car or turning over in bed?

Despite a lack of supporting evidence, musculoskeletal pain is usually blamed on physical causes, such as poor posture (for example, reduced lumbar curve or one shoulder higher than the other, and so on), muscle imbalance (for example, poor core stability or hypermobility) or structure (for example, spinal degeneration such as a prolapsed disc or facet joint disease).  In fact no correlation has been found between pain and posture, structure or biomechanics (Lederman, 2011).

There are in fact numerous studies to demonstrate that degeneration – for example in the spine (Kim et al, 2013), shoulders (Connor, 2003), hips (Silvis, 2011) and knees (Kaplan et al, 2005) – are just a normal part of ageing.  Although the development of diagnostic procedures such as MRI and ultrasound scans have been invaluable, often when ‘abnormalities’ are found, it is assumed these must be the cause of any symptoms present, even though often the symptoms don’t match the findings on the scans. In fact, the studies highlighted above, found that about 80% of people without pain also have these ‘abnormalities’.

It is now widely accepted that stress ‘affects’ pain, so addressing this will clearly help in the management of pain. In fact, when you ask clients to consider what was going on in their lives in the lead up to the onset of pain, many will relate this to a challenge they were facing in their life, rather than a physical event.  Interestingly, a couple of studies (Christensen et al, 2012; Feyer et al, 2000) looked at the physical, biomechanical and psychosocial aspects of individuals’ lives and the only factor involved in the triggering of new episodes of back pain were psychosocial factors.

Another study (Castro et al, 2001) used personality profiling to see if they could determine who might develop whiplash symptoms after a placebo car crash, despite the fact that the force induced could not possibly cause any biomechanical injury. They found that they could predict with 92% accuracy who would have symptoms a month after the ‘accident’ – based on their personality profile.

Not only have personality factors been found to be a determinant of whether symptoms might persist or become more severe, so have greater exposure to past traumatic events; early beliefs that pain may be permanent; and depressed mood (Young Casey et al, 2008).  Add to this the strong link between adverse childhood experiences and ill-health in later life (Felitti, 1998) – including chronic pain (Goldberg, 1999) – and you can see why our focus needs to shift from the belief that there is always a physical reason for an individual’s pain.

In fact when you consider Kim’s study (2013), the poor results from non-surgical treatment for non-specific back pain (Keller et al, 2007), plus the lack of evidence to support the use of spinal surgery (Nguyen, 2011), injections for back pain (Chou, 2015) and morphine for chronic pain (Berthelot, 2015), it is clear we need to change our approach to the treatment of chronic pain.

Chronic pain has actually been found to be caused by the activation of nerve pathways in the brain. This results in persistent activation of the fight or flight response (our reaction to danger), which can cause real physical symptoms in the body. Most people have experienced a version of this when their face turns red with embarrassment or they feel a ‘knot’ in their abdomen in a tense situation.  When this normal human response becomes very strong it can cause very real, severe pain or other symptoms that can be disabling. Treatment consists of education about how the fight or flight response works; changing behaviour that might unintentionally keep it ‘turned on’; and working through current, and sometimes past, challenges that trigger our danger signals. Once the signals are turned off, the pain usually improves and often resolves completely, resulting in life-changing results for individuals.

As a physiotherapist who came across this concept 10 years ago, the results I have observed with my clients has completely changed the way I treat chronic pain and other persistent symptoms. I love the fact that the approach is non-invasive and we can help individuals recover through education and by becoming self-empowered and taking responsibility for their own health.

For references: visit www.sirpaconference.com/infographic

About Georgie Oldfield

SIPRA Georgie Oldfield

Georgie Oldfield MCSP is a leading physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist, promoting a pioneering approach to resolving chronic pain through her SIRPA Recovery Programme.

Hear her speak at the 2017 SIRPA conference, Chronic Pain: The Role of Emotions, being held on 15 October 2017, at the Royal Society of Medicine, London.  To read about leading experts who will be presenting at the conference and to book, visit  www.sirpaconference.com/conference-programme/

NB: This article refers to persistent, chronic pain, as opposed to tissue-damaging conditions, such as cancer, fracture, infections and autoimmune diseases.

Men’s Fitness heats up July with Accredited Register awareness campaign

Keep an eye out for the July issue of Men’s Fitness, where you can find Nick and Kevin‘s ‘My therapist helps me…’ campaign in the Trainer section.

Mens Fitness - July 2017

This promotes the hard work the FHT’s members do, and the benefits available to the public, to a wide audience of highly active, health-conscious readers. We always want to showcase the best, and what better way to do that than with the backing of a government-accountable accreditation?

You can also find posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – please share/re-tweet to help spread the word!

If you would like to join FHT or find out more about our Accredited Register, visit: fht.org.uk/join

Announcing the 2017 FHT Members’ Dinner

We are thrilled to announce the 2017 FHT Members’ Dinner, which will take place at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa, on Friday 17 November.

Pump Rooms Leamington Spa

Bringing together like-minded members, expert professionals, and key industry contacts, the FHT Members’ Dinner is a great way to relax, have fun and network in style.

Also home to the 2017 FHT Excellence Awards, this dinner will feature a sparkling drinks reception, sumptuous three-course meal, and perhaps a spin or two around the winter dance floor.

enter 2017 Excellence Awards

Awards entries are still open so don’t delay in entering in the category of your choice. Enter here.

Pump Rooms Leamington SpaThe Royal Pump Rooms is one of the oldest surviving bath houses in the UK, and we’re excited to share with you this unique and striking venue. Opened in 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms was one of the UK’s premier spa establishments of the Regency era, and attracted thousands of people every year to take to the healing waters. With original marble architecture, ancient sculptures, and original features, this venue is truly captivating and fascinating for therapists and non-therapists alike.

2016 Excellence Award winners group

Join us in this incredible venue as we celebrate excellence in the therapy industry. Hear inspiring stories from members who have made big changes to others’ lives through their work, and help us celebrate the achievements of all of our therapists, be they great or small, and say thank you, for their continued hard work in practice. So bring along your friends as we party into the night!

Following member feedback, we’ve heavily subsidised the event for you so early bird tickets start from only £35 – don’t delay, book today! Early bird tickets close: 31 August, 2017.

BOOK NOW