Policies and procedures

A list of policies and procedures relating to the Student Counselling & Mental Health Service

Lateness and Cancellation Policy

Lateness

  • If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for an appointment we will be unable to see you but will offer you an opportunity to reschedule your appointment.  At times of peak demand there may be a wait of several weeks before the next available appointment.
  • If you are running late due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances please contact the service to check if we can still see you when you arrive by calling us on 020 7040 8094.

Cancellation

  • You must give us at least 24 hours' notice if you need to cancel an appointment.   If you cancel a Mental Health registration or Counselling assessment, at times of peak demand there may be a wait of several weeks before the next available appointment.
  • If you cancel late or do not attend a Mental Health registration appointment on two occasions, we may offer you a shorter discussion session before booking  another registration appointment.
  • If you cancel late or do not attend a counselling session(s) these will still count towards the number of sessions you have been offered.

Students who receive Disabled Students Allowances for Specialist Mental Health Mentoring

  • If you provide less than 24 hours’ cancellation notice or do not attend your appointment on two consecutive occasions, you must speak to the Senior Mental Health Advisor before further appointments can be booked.  This may involve cancelling pre-booked appointments.
  • If you cancel without providing us with 24 hours’ cancellation notice or do not attend appointment(s) without providing us with advanced notice, an invoice will be sent to your funding body and the cost will be deducted from your Disabled Students Allowances.
  • If we cannot claim payment for these sessions from your funding body, you may be charged for the hourly support cost which is currently £60 per hour.

Revised July 2019

Contract for Specialist Mental Health Mentoring

Our commitments and what we expect from you.

We agree to

We agree to:

  • Provide specialist support from a qualified, DSA QAG registered practitioner.
  • Offer you the support recommended under specialist support in your needs assessment
  • Offer you the full amount of mentoring recommended in your needs assessment
  • Meet the recommendations of the DSA QAG non-medical help framework which you will find here.
  • Respond to all enquiries in a timely manner with your preferred contact method
  • Let you know in advance of any alterations to your appointment
  • Offer you the next available appointment if your session is cancelled due to staff absence
  • Contact you if you did not attend (DNA’d) a session to check-in with you

You agree to

You agree to:

  • Attend all appointments independently, the only exception arising where you have a formal support worker/non-medical helper (e.g. BSL interpreter or notetaker).
  • Provide advanced notice if you wish to be accompanied by your formal support worker. This is at the discretion of your mental health mentor.
  • Provide official documentation confirming the nature of the support worker role and contact details, in advance of any meetings which you would like them to attend.
  • Set yourself goals (short and/or long term) to work towards and which we will review regularly.
  • Inform us of any difficulties requiring our input in a timely manner.
  • Sign timesheets at the end of each session.
  • Contact us in advance to book support sessions if you don’t have regular slots (please bear in mind that there are likely to be longer waiting times at peak periods) Arrive for appointments on time (we will not see you if you are more than 10 minutes late).
  • Provide us with 24 hours' notice via phone or email if you cannot attend an appointment.
  • Let us know if you are unhappy with any aspect of your support.

We will

We will:

  • Request a medical note from a G.P. if you do not attend or cancel more than two sessions due to illness.
  • Review your access to your service if you cancel or do not attend two or more appointments.

If you have DSA

If you have DSA:

  • We will claim a fee from your DSA allowance if 24 hours' cancellation notice is not provided.

Revised July 2019

Complaints and Feedback Procedure

In the first instance

In the first instance...

  • If you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of the SCMHS, you should first discuss your complaint in person with the Counsellor, Mental Health Advisor, or Specialist Mental Health Mentor that you are seeing.
  • Complaints will be handled in a professional manner and with openness to discuss your dissatisfaction with any aspect of your experience within the SCMHS.

Following this, if you are not satisfied...

Mental Health team

  • You should write to the Senior Mental Health Advisor explaining the reason for your complaint.  This should be sent via email to mentalhealth@city.ac.uk.
  • We will aim to respond to your complaint within 2 weeks via your preferred contact method.  We may invite you to have a phone conversation or to meet us in person to talk about your concerns.
  • If you have further complaints you can contact the Head of Service to escalate your complaint in writing.  This should be sent via email to coun@city.ac.uk.
  • We will aim to respond to your complaint within 2 weeks via your preferred contact method.  We may invite you to have a phone conversation or to meet us in person to talk about your concerns.

Counselling or Reception team

  • You should write to the Head of Service explaining the reason for your complaint.  This should be sent via email to coun@city.ac.uk.
  • We will aim to respond to your complaint within 2 weeks via your preferred contact method.  We may invite you to have a phone conversation or to meet us in person to talk about your concerns.

If you remain dissatisfied following this

If you remain dissatisfied following this...

Feedback

We encourage students to send us any feedback via email for us to consider service development or to complete our feedback questionnaire.

If you are a staff member and wish to provide feedback, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.

Student Counselling Service policies

This information is provided in addition to that given in the City University of London Student Privacy Statement, which can be viewed here.

The Student Counselling & Mental Health Service form part of the Multidisciplinary team, comprised of the Admin, Student Counselling & Mental Health Service, Learning Success and the Health Centre.

Information we collect about you and how we use it

In order for us to be able to fulfil our responsibilities as a Student Counselling and Mental Health department we will need to record personal information about you. This information includes your name, address and contact details, and GP practice. An assessment of your psychological health, and brief notes taken after each session. These notes are used solely for the delivery of counselling, mental health advice and mentoring. We may also keep information provided to us by other people which relates to us providing a Service to you. All this information will be stored electronically and processed in line with data protection law.

Your rights

You have rights relating to the information we hold to verify the accuracy or to ask for them to be supplemented, deleted, updated or corrected.

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, you must complete the Data Protection Subject Access Request Form (PDF).  Your request will be processed within 30 calendar days upon receipt of a fully completed form and proof of identity.

We want to make sure that your information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate.

You have a right to request the transfer of your data to another individual or company.

How long we keep your information for - data retention

Any information related to your counselling is kept for a period of 7 years following the end of treatment, this complies with legal obligations that are placed upon us by our insurers. Where there are circumstances of an ongoing matter we may need to retain your information for longer. After this time period, all information will be deleted in line with University's Privacy Policies which you can find here.

Sharing of data

All personal information held by the Multidisciplinary team is considered sensitive under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 2018.  It will remain strictly confidential and will only be disclosed to relevant parties at your request and/or with your knowledge.  The only exception arises where there is concern for the safety of individuals.

Information may be shared amongst this group of staff in order to provide the best possible service to you. Staff members also receive external, clinical supervision, in line with guidelines from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the University Mental Health Advisors’ Network (UMHAN), similarly bound by confidentiality.

There may be times where your information needs to be shared with 3rd parties. Where possible and appropriate, we would usually attempt to discuss any such circumstances with you prior to taking any action.

We may make information from our notes available to legitimate third parties under the following conditions:

  • Receipt of a request from you or your representative, and where the release of the notes is not judged by us as likely to cause you significant harm or harm to another person
  • Where there is specific legal requirement for us to do so
  • Where there is an ethical duty for us to do, for example to avoid serious harm to yourself or another person, including the safeguarding of children vulnerable adults.

In addition, University IT staff need to help maintain electronic systems within the Student Counselling & Mental Health Service, and this may mean that occasionally, when fixing a problem for example, they are able to see names and general details of students for whom we hold records. They are also bound by GDPR (2018) and university policy.

Security of your data

Information will be kept securely and confidentially in line with the data retention policy as stated above.

If we become aware of a situation where your personal information may have accidently or maliciously been obtained by a third party we will notify you within three days.

If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held please discuss this with us. If you are still unhappy you have the write to complain to the Information Commissioners Office .

Lawful basis for processing your information

The lawful basis for holding and using your information is in relation to the delivery of a contract to you as a university service provider, health care professional and an accredited member of BACP which operate under a strict code of confidentiality.

Confidentiality

The Student Counselling & Mental Health Service form part of the Multidisciplinary team, comprised of the Student Counselling & Mental Health Service, Learning Success and the Health Centre.  All personal information held by the Multidisciplinary team is considered sensitive under the Data Protection Act (1998).  It will remain strictly confidential and will only be disclosed to relevant parties at your request and/or with your knowledge.  Multidisciplinary team staff attend external supervision, similarly bound by confidentiality.  The only exception arises where there is concern for the safety of individuals.

If you receive Disabled Student's Allowances (DSAs), you may be asked for consent to enable sensitive personal data processing for audit purposes.

NMH support

View a list of current NMH support rates