Privacy Policy


This notice is to explain why I collect your personal data, and what I do with it, and to ensure I am working in accordance with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); terms from the regulation are indicated in bold.

When you supply your personal details to me, when we communicate by email, and when I take notes in the clinic, this information is stored and processed for four reasons in line with the GDPR requirements:

1. I need to collect personal information about your health in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and my agreement to provide that care constitutes in law an (unwritten) contract.

2. I have a legitimate interest in collecting that information, because without it I couldn’t practice acupuncture effectively and safely.

3. I keep records of your contact information because I think that it is important that I can contact you in order to confirm your appointments with me or to update you on matters related to your medical care. This again constitutes a legitimate interest, but this time it is your legitimate interest.

4. Provided I have your consent (and this only needs to be verbal consent), I may occasionally send you individualised health information by email in the form of articles or advice. You may also subscribe to receive occasional newsletters. You may withdraw this consent at any time – just let me know by any convenient method.

Data Controller

Richard Agnew is the data controller. The data controller decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

Whose information does this privacy notice apply to?

This privacy notice applies to information I collect from:

  • patients;
  • prospective patients;
  • former patients;
  • people who subscribe to my newsletters;
  • visitors to my websites;
  • qigong students;
  • students using my online courses.

What is personal data?

Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. Examples of personal data I may hold about you include your contact and appointment details.

Special category data is a sub-category of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. Examples of special category data I may hold about you include your clinical notes.

How do I process your personal data?

I comply with my obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data. I use your personal data for the purposes set out below.

Sections 1 – 14 apply to my patients, prospective patients, former patients, qigong students and visitors to our clinic

  1. I use your name, address, telephone number and email to make and rearrange appointments. For the Fairford Clinic, I use the clinic’s account with the 3rd party service Cliniko. This system means that other practitioners at the clinic may see your name or have access to your other details. All users of the system are bound by the clinic’s confidentiality policy. For appointments elsewhere I use Apple’s calendar app and iCloud service to store your appointment information and Apple’s mail app and iCloud service, as well as my web host (Siteground) to store emails. For more details, see privacy policies for ClinikoApple and Siteground.
  2. I use your name and email address, only if I have your explicit consent, to send you additional information about your treatment, health information and marketing materials. I use my email service and Mailchimp to deliver e-newsletters. For more details, see Mailchimp’s privacy policy.
  3. Some patients and prospective patients tell me about their medical conditions and medication by email or online enquiry forms.
    I am unable to send or receive encrypted emails so you should be aware that any emails I send or receive may not be protected in transit. I may also monitor any emails sent to me, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send me is within the bounds of the law.
  4. I may use your date of birth to help identify patients with the same name to avoid mistakes being made as to safe and appropriate treatment, for identification purposes if referring a patient to another health practitioner, and for identification purposes if writing to a registered medical practitioner so that they correctly identify the patient.
  5. I keep a record of all appointments for patients attending my clinic for tax purposes and to secure potential evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution, civil litigation, insurance claim or complaint to my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council.
  6. I use health information, including your presenting complaint, symptoms reported by you, any relevant medical and family history, and my clinical findings for the purposes of making a full traditional diagnosis, formulating treatment strategy and treatment planning.
  7. I keep a record (and refer to that record) of any treatment given, details of progress of your case, including reviews of treatment planning to enable me to review the full traditional diagnosis, treatment strategy and planning; and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
  8. I record and use any information and advice that I have given, especially when referring patients to any other health professional, to help you to receive the most appropriate treatment and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.
  9. I use your GP’s name and address in the event that I need to contact your GP, including in an emergency, and because it is a mandatory requirement in the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct.
  10. In the event of an adverse incident occurring to any of my patients I report the matter to the British Acupuncture Council and my insurance company to enable the insurance company to deal with any potential claims and to help the British Acupuncture Council to develop its safe practice guidelines, as well as providing research data and information for the BAcC’s insurers and other interested parties.
  11. Where relevant I maintain records of the patient’s consent to treatment, or the consent of their next-of-kin in order to be able to prove that the patient (and/or parent/guardian/next of kin) has given informed consent to treatment to secure evidence in the event of a civil claim, criminal prosecution, insurance claim or complaint.
  12. I store your clinical notes, including your contact details, GP’s details, health records, and treatment information in a password-protected database file, saved in a private folder in the cloud service, Dropbox, occasionally backed up to a password-protected computer. For details see Dropbox’s privacy policy.
  13. I may ask for feedback regarding your treatments, classes and other services I may offer. I use a third party provider, Surveymonkey, to collect and store any data you are asked to provide in these questionnaires. For details see Surveymonkey’s privacy policy.
  14. I keep accident records for any patients or visitors who are involved in accidents at my clinic in accordance with UK Health and Safety legislation including the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to comply with the law and to secure evidence in the event of criminal proceedings, civil litigation, an insurance claim or complaint.

Sections 15 and 16 apply to subscribers to my newsletters

  1. I maintain and use records of subscribers to my newsletters, only with their consent, for informational and marketing purposes.
  2. I use a third party provider, Mailchimp, to deliver my e-newsletters. I gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our e-newsletter. For information, please see Mailchimp’s privacy policy.

Sections 17 – 19 apply to my website users

  1. When someone visits my website I use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. If I do want to collect personally identifiable information through my website, I will be up front about this. I will make it clear when I collect personal information and will explain what I intend to do with it. For more information, see Google’s privacy policy.
  2. I use website cookies to improve user experience of my website by enabling my website to ‘remember’ users, either for the duration of their visit – using a ‘session cookie’ – or for repeat visits – using a ‘persistent cookie’.
  3. I use a third party service, Siteground, to host my website including publishing my blog. This site is run using WordPress. I use WordPress to collect anonymous information about users’ activity on the site, for example the number of users viewing pages on the site, to monitor and report on the effectiveness of the site and help us improve it. For more information about how WordPress processes data, please see WordPress’ privacy policy.

Section 20 applies to my online course students

  1. I use your name and email to give you access to your online courses, send you updates about the courses and to let you know of new lessons as they become available.

Sharing your personal data

Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential, and will be shared:

  • with named third parties with your explicit consent;
  • with the relevant authority such as the police or a court, if necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which I am subject e.g. a court order;
  • with your doctor or the police if necessary to protect yours or another person’s life;
  • with the police or a local authority for the purpose of safeguarding a child or vulnerable adult;
  • with my regulatory body, the British Acupuncture Council, or my insurance company in the event of a complaint or insurance claim being brought against me; or
  • my solicitor in the event of any investigation or legal proceedings being brought against me;
  • with another acupuncturist who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council and has agreed to manage my patient notes, only in the event of my death or serious injury.

For further details about the situations when information about you might be shared please see the Information Commissioner’s website at

How long do I keep your personal data?

I keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary.

I have an obligation to keep patient records for a period of 7 years (or in the case of patients under 18 years of age records must be kept until the patient reaches the age of 25), in accordance with the British Acupuncture Code of Professional Conduct After this period you can ask me to delete your records if you wish. Otherwise, I will retain your records for up to 10 years after your last treatment in order that I can provide you with the best possible care should you wish to see me at some future date.

In the event of my death or serious injury, my patient notes will be transferred to another practitioner. This practitioner will be a member of the British Acupuncture Council and will be bound by the same confidentiality and privacy rules as me. They will be required to retain these notes for 7 years from your last appointment with me (or age 25, if they are under 18).

Other personal data will be retained as follows:

Website – Our user and event data retention period is set to 26 months via Google Analytics.

Online courses – We retain your data on our online learning platform for the duration of the course’s existence so that you can log in to your account and view your courses.

Emails – The retention period will depend on the content of the email. Appointment and enquiry emails will usually be deleted when they are no longer required, and in any case retained for no longer than one year. Some emails may be retained for longer if their contents may be required to secure potential evidence in the event of legal action against the practitioner or against a third party where the patient requires evidence concerning his medical condition from the practitioner to support their case. In these circumstances, we would retain emails for a period of up to 10 years, in line with patient notes.

Your rights and your personal data

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have certain rights with respect to your personal data as set out below.

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which I hold about you.
  • The right to request that I correct any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date.
  • The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for me to retain such data.
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time. This right does not apply where I am processing information using a lawful purpose other than consent.
  • The right to request that I provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [This right only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with you and in either case when I am processing the data by automated means].
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [This right only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics].
  • The right to be informed if your data is lost. I shall also inform the Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the time limits in the GDPR.
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

For further details about these rights please see the Information Commissioner’s website at

Further processing

If I wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then I will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, I will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact me using the contact form at or Richard Agnew, 47 Sutton Park, Blunsdon, Swindon, SN26 7BB;

You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

Addendum: Additional Processing to support NHS Test and Trace

To support NHS Test and Trace (part of the Department for Health and Social Care) in England, I have been mandated by law to collect and keep a limited record of patients and visitors who come onto the premises, for the purpose of contact tracing. By doing this, and by sharing these records with NHS Test and Trace where requested, I can help to identify people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

As a patient/visitor you will be asked to provide the following basic information:

  • your name 
  • contact phone number
  • date of visit, and your arrival and departure times

As the data controller for the collection of your personal data, I will be responsible for compliance with data protection legislation for as long as I hold your information. When that information is requested by the NHS Test and Trace service, at that point they would be responsible for compliance with data protection legislation for that period of time.

The NHS Test and Trace service, as part of safeguarding your personal data, has in place technical, organisational and administrative security measures to protect your personal information that it receives from us/me, that it holds from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction.

In addition, if you only interact with me during your visit, my name will be recorded alongside your information.

NHS Test and Trace have asked me to retain this information for 21 days from the date of your visit, to enable contact tracing to be carried out by NHS Test and Trace during that period. I will only share information with NHS Test and Trace if it is specifically requested by them.

For example, if another patient at the clinic reported symptoms and subsequently tested positive, NHS Test and Trace can request the log of patient/visitor details for a particular time period (for example, over a particular treatment slot, day, two-day period).

I will require you to prebook appointments for visits or to complete a form on arrival.

Under government guidance, the information I collect may include information which I would not ordinarily collect from you and which I therefore collect only for the purpose of contact tracing. Information of this type will not be used for other purposes, and NHS Test and Trace will not disclose this information to any third party unless required to do so by law (for example, as a result of receiving a court order). In addition, where the information is only collected for the purpose of contact tracing, it will be destroyed by me 21 days after the date of your visit.

However, the government guidance may also cover information that I would usually collect and hold onto as part of ordinary dealings with you (for example, your name, date of birth and phone number). Where this is the case, this information only will continue to be held after 21 days and I will use it as I usually would, unless and until you tell me not to.

Your information will always be stored and used in compliance with the relevant data protection legislation.

The use of your information is covered by the General Data Protection Regulations Article 6 (1) (c) – a legal obligation which this clinic is subject to. The legal obligation to which I am subject, means that I am mandated by law, by a set of new regulations from the government, to co-operate with the NHS Test and Trace service, in order to help maintain a safe operating environment and to help fight any local outbreak of coronavirus.

By law, you have a number of rights as a data subject, such as the right to be informed, the right to access information held about you and the right to rectification of any inaccurate data that I hold about you.

You have the right to request that I erase personal data about you that I hold (although this is not an absolute right).

You have the right to request that I restrict processing of personal data about you that I hold in certain circumstances.

You have the right to object to processing of personal data about you on grounds relating to your particular situation (also again this right is not absolute).

If you are unhappy or wish to complain about how your information is used, you should contact me in the first instance to resolve your issue, using the contact form at Richard Agnew, 47 Sutton Park, Blunsdon, Swindon, SN26 7BB.

If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Their website address is

I keep my privacy notice under regular review, and I will make new versions available on my privacy notice page on