Support line confidentiality statement

Disclaimer

The Marie Curie Support Line team are not medically trained and we are therefore unable to provide medical information or advice. We recommend you check with your local medical professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Full confidentiality statement

The Marie Curie Support Line is a free service which offers a space to talk about how you are feeling, and also to find out practical information about living with a terminal illness.

The service is confidential whether you contact us by phone or in writing (including web chat, social media and email or letter), though there are some specific occasions where we may need to break that confidentiality (these are listed below).

These are the key aspects of how we work:

  • We won’t share your data with anyone outside of Marie Curie and will not use your information to send you any marketing information. The information from your enquiry is restricted to the Support Line team. There may be some occasions where we have to share your specific information with another team (such as our Nursing team) but we will let you know if we need to do this, this would usually be when you ask for help or information from another part of our organisation. 
  • The information that we hold about your enquiry is anonymised (it will not contain your name or address) and is held on a secure database which only Support Line staff can access.
  • We will not ask for personal details (such as your name), unless we need this information to help with your enquiry (for example to send you something by post). We will not store this personal information - if you do provide your name or address (such as in the example given) the information is only used for that purpose, and is not linked to any other part of our database, or used to identify you.
  • The anonymised information that we collect (such as what your enquiry was about and how we helped) is used to help us understand how effective our service is, who we are reaching, and how we can support more people. 
  • We may ask for the first part of your postcode and your age, this is to help us understand who we are reaching and where, and is not used for any other purposes.
  • Your number will not be displayed when you call us, but it is shown in our call recording system (unless you withhold your number). We will not use this number to contact you and will not pass this number to anyone else unless confidentiality must be broken (in the exceptions to the policy stated below). Access to call recording data is limited to Support Line Management. Your number will be deleted along with the call recording after twelve months. 
  • If we call you, an anonymous number will be displayed. This cannot be used to call us back.
  • Our Support Line number will not appear on bills for landlines and major mobile networks.

Data management:

  • Calls are recorded to monitor the quality of our service and support the training of our staff, and are not shared with anyone outside of Marie Curie. Call recording data is deleted after twelve months.
  • Your IP address is detected when you use our Web Chat function, this information is not used for any purposes but is stored within our database and deleted, along with the transcript of the web chat, after six months.
  • If you send us an email we will only use your email address for the purposes of responding. We will delete your email within three months of receiving and not retain your email address.
  • Any voicemails received by our service (in or out of hours) are deleted within three months of receiving.
  • We may ask if you would like to provide feedback about our service. We will always seek your permission to do this and any verbal responses you provide are deleted within three months (the verbatim text of your comments may be retained anonymously for quality purposes).
  • Social Media posts that we respond to (through official Marie Curie accounts) will not be deleted by Marie Curie staff unless the content posted is offensive or inappropriate. It is your responsibility to remove any posts that you no longer want in the public domain.
  • We always work in line with the Data Protection Act.
  • We do not accept third party requests and would not share your data unless there was a reason to break confidentiality as listed below.

Occasions where we would break confidentiality

There are times where we will need to break this confidentiality agreement; the following are such occasions, though this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Where information of terrorism, money laundering or a bomb threat is disclosed to us
  • If we receive a court order or a statute asking us to share information
  • If there is a risk of abuse or serious risk of safety to an adult or child
  • In the event that our staff or service is abused
  • If we believe someone is taking steps to end their life.
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