Information about your arrangements for psychological assessment and/or therapy
We meet initially to discuss what your needs are, and how best to address them. This first consultation usually takes an hour and a half. It can sometimes be helpful to meet with parents only initially, prior to the psychologist meeting the child, and we will discuss the most appropriate approach with you at the time of booking an appointment.
Following an initial consultation, we will give our thoughts about the best way forward. If we decide that it will be helpful to see your child for regular therapy sessions, or to see you for ongoing parent consultation sessions, we will offer you time slots as appropriate, taking into account both of our schedules. Typically, each therapy session lasts 50 to 60 minutes, although may be longer in some cases. The number and frequency of sessions will be reviewed throughout therapy, and there is no commitment required to attend a set number of sessions.
The fee per treatment session is £120 per hour, and remains unchanged throughout treatment. From time to time an incremental increase in fees may be implemented, but this is not generally more often than once per year, with a one month period of notice given for any planned increase.
The fee should be settled with the psychologist at each session by cash, cheque, direct bank transfer or via your private healthcare insurance. Clients seeing Dr Mandy Smiton are also able to pay by card. Time taken for letters and reports is charged at the standard hourly rate. Travel is charged at 50% of the standard hourly rate, and business mileage of 45 pence per mile. Telephone consultations are subject to a charge of £30 per 15 minute increments.
We ask that all fees are settled prior to any subsequent appointments. Dr Mandy & Associates will pass on any debts which remain outstanding for three months after the appointment date to a debt collector.
Clients are advised that, by booking an appointment, they are reserving the psychologist’s time exclusively for their treatment. We are more than happy to change the time of an appointment, however we require at least 48 hours’ notice to do so. We will send an email reminder to you 48 hours prior to the session, therefore if there are any problems with the time, please do let us know straight away.
Cancellations with less than 48 hours’ notice will incur a charge of 100% of the total fee. Cancellation of Monday appointments must be given by 12pm on the Thursday before.
If you have a holiday or other arrangement coming up which interferes with our sessions, please give us as much notice as possible. We will do likewise, should we need to rearrange our schedule, and when we take annual leave. If we are unable to conduct the session, we will give you as much notice as possible.
Private Health Insurance
For sessions funded by Private Health Insurance, invoices will be sent directly to the insurer. Please ensure you have authorisation prior to commencing sessions. Please be aware that the patient is also liable for any non-payment or shortfall/excess not covered by their healthcare provider. Healthcare providers will not normally fund cancellation charges, therefore the client is liable for the full cost of any cancellation.
Confidentiality is maintained throughout all of our work. There are, however, certain exceptional circumstances in which we have a legal or ethical obligation, which conflicts with clinical confidentiality. If this is the case, we will notify you where appropriate. Also, from time to time, we will seek consultation with a senior colleague, in accordance with British Psychological Society Professional Practice Guidelines on supervision. Your name and any other information which could identify you will not be revealed. Apart from these exceptions, we would always seek your permission before discussing any aspect of our work with anyone else.
Data Protection & Privacy
The information provided during psychological assessment or therapy sessions can, of course, be very sensitive. All clinicians are registered with the Independent Commissioner’s Office, and all information held about you, electronically or otherwise, is treated according to General Data Protection Regulations.
During the course of therapy, the psychologist may keep paper notes regarding the content of your sessions. These will be kept securely at all times, and in a locked filing cabinet when not in use. Any electronic information will be saved in Cliniko, a clinical practice management system, which is compliant with General Data Protection Regulations.
Information is retained in line with Department of Health recommendations. Information on a child will be kept until their 25th birthday, or 26th if the young person was 17 at the conclusion of treatment, or 8 years after death. Therapy records of adult clients are retained for a period of 7 years, in accordance with the guidelines and requirements for record keeping by The British Psychological Society (2000), and The Health Care Professions Council (2017). An annual check is made, and clients’ data deleted once the time has lapsed.
If you find yourself in crisis and require urgent attention, you should approach your GP in the first instance, or the accident and emergency service at your local hospital. You may try to reach the psychologist on their mobile phone number, or Dr Mandy Smiton’s number which is outlined above, but we cannot guarantee that we will be available to pick up the message or respond.
Please feel free to raise any questions that you may have about these arrangements. We will be happy to discuss them with you.
Dr Mandy Smiton
Chartered Clinical Psychologist