Terms and Conditions

Please read these terms and conditions carefully and discuss any questions you have with me. When you schedule an appointment with me you agree to these terms and conditions.

All psychological therapy treatment is offered under the following terms and conditions. These terms and conditions supersede any previous versions.

Definitions

The terms “you”, “your”, or the “client” refer to any person who is in treatment, or who has concluded treatment. “Treatment” consists of any appointments, contacts or professional services related to the provision of psychological therapy for which a charge may be made and for the process of arranging appointments. A “third party” is any person or organisation that is not in treatment but has expressed a valid interest in the treatment. The terms “I”, “me” and “my” or “the practitioner” refer to the person providing the treatment, that is, Andrew Grimmer (Registered Psychologist) trading as Bristol CBT. An “appointment” is any scheduled contact for therapeutic purposes whether in person or by remote contact (for example video conferencing or telephone), for which a charge may be made.

Legal jurisdiction

I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council  (HCPC: PYL15134) as a counselling psychologist in the UK. I am an accredited cognitive behavioural psychotherapist with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP: 997044). All treatment takes place under the jurisdiction of the law of England and Wales, even if a client is located outside the UK.

Appointments and cancellation policy

I charge a fixed fee for appointments based on a standard 60-minute duration. Scheduled appointments of a longer duration are charged pro rata. When you schedule an appointment you are making a commitment to attend at the time agreed, or, if you are unable to attend, to cancel it by giving notice by 5pm on the working day (Monday to Friday inclusive) immediately preceding the appointment. If you are late attending an appointment the appointment will finish at the previously agreed time unless, at my discretion, I am able to extend it. If you do not attend, or cancel the appointment after 5pm on the working day immediately preceding the appointment, you agree that I will charge the full fee for the missed appointment unless, at my discretion, I choose to waive or reduce the fee, for example in situations of unforeseen personal emergency. After a missed appointment or a late cancellation you will be: i) required to confirm that you would like to attend any other appointments that have been booked; and, ii) to have paid any outstanding fees before a further appointment can be booked.

If you wish to reschedule an appointment and have given me sufficient notice to avoid being liable to pay for the appointment (as defined above), I will endeavour to offer an alternative appointment if requested, but I am not obliged to offer an alternative time and date.

Where a couple has agreed to attend an appointment jointly but only one person attends, the appointment will not take place and will be treated as a missed appointment and charged for accordingly. Where one client arrives at a joint appointment in advance of the other, treatment will not start until both clients are present. Any conversation between the practitioner and client will be in the nature of small talk, rather than of issues germane to the treatment.

Payment

Clients will be informed of the fee for appointments prior to attending the first appointment. I reserve the right to increase fees at any time. If the fee is increased during the course of treatment reasonable notice of the increase will be given, usually not less than one month. Returning clients will be informed of any increase in fees prior to attending their first appointment.

Payment can be made either by cash or by electronic transfer of funds. Payment by cash should be made when attending the appointment. Payment by electronic transfer should be made within 48 hours of the appointment. A receipt will be provided on request. The client agrees that if payment is not made within the specified time that Bristol CBT reserves the right to seek redress through legal action (for example, through the small claims court) and that this will involve the public disclosure of the fact of the client having been in treatment.

If an appointment is being funded by a third party, for example a parent, then agreement is given by the client that I will contact this third party to invoice them for any monies owing. Invoices are usually raised monthly in arrears. If a health insurer has agreed to pay for treatment, I will invoice the insurance company. The client agrees to pay any excess levied by the insurance company directly to me on receipt of an invoice.

Discontinuation of treatment and onward referral

I reserve the right to discontinue treatment at my discretion should a client:

  • Not attend a scheduled appointment, or cancel or reschedule an appointment at short notice,
  • On more than one occasion cancel or attempt to reschedule an appointment with sufficient notice (as defined above),
  • Not pay the agreed fee within the agreed specified time (as defined above).

I also reserve the right to terminate treatment at my discretion if I conclude, in my professional opinion, that I am no longer the appropriate person to be treating you.

If either the client or I discontinue treatment, I am not obliged to assist with onward referral to help find suitable further treatment. However, if onward referral is required, under usual circumstances I will try to help you to find another suitable health care professional either by giving you the details of other practitioners or by directing you towards referral resources, such as lists of practitioners held by relevant professional bodies.

I do not write letters of support, or letters about treatment, for the courts, police or other bodies. However I am happy to provide a letter confirming attendance, or to write a referral letter to a relevant health professional in the interests of obtaining suitable treatment. There might be a charge for writing a letter.

Psychological therapy is thought to be most effective when the end of treatment is mutually agreed and treatment goals have been met. You are welcome to terminate treatment at any point, without giving a reason, subject to the terms and conditions governing the cancellation of appointments as defined above.

Professional registration and complaints

Should you be unhappy with the service I have provided, you agree to discuss this with me in order to try to achieve a resolution to the problem. If no resolution is possible, then you may make a complaint to the Health and Care Professions Council if you think that I have fallen short of the Standards of Proficiency.

Confidentiality – general

In order for treatment to be effective it is necessary that clients disclose to me all information that is relevant to the treatment. I may ask questions of a personal or intimate nature for the purpose of conducting treatment. You are always welcome to ask me to explain the reason or therapeutic purpose behind such a question, which I will endeavour to answer. You are not obliged to answer any question, although not doing so might have an impact on my ability to deliver treatment effectively.

I will treat information you disclose to me as confidential and not pass on any information to others except under certain circumstances, including, but not necessarily limited to, situations where:

  • The law requires me to disclose information to appropriate bodies or authorities. In certain circumstances I might be required by law not to inform a client that I have disclosed information about them or about third parties they have discussed.
  • There is a serious and immediate risk to the client’s life or wellbeing.
  • I am professionally or legally obliged to disclose information to protect the safety of others, in particular children.
  • The client gives me permission to discuss their treatment with another health professional, for example a General Practitioner.

You agree that I may discuss your treatment in supervision with an experienced colleague. Supervision is undertaken as a professional obligation in order to comply with registration and accreditation requirements and to ensure that my work is safe, effective and professional. These professional consultations are confidential and bound by the same professional guidelines as my practice.

You are permitted and encouraged to make an audio recording of appointments to listen to later. A recording, or any part of a recording, may not be disseminated in any form or on any medium without my written permission.

I am required to have live supervision on a number of occasions each year to maintain my accreditation. This takes the form of listening in supervision to an audio recording of an excerpt from treatment. I might on occasion request that I make an audio recording of an appointment. This recording will be kept on a password or pin-protected device and deleted after its intended use. You are entitled to decline this request without it affecting the treatment you receive in any way.

I encourage you to make your own written notes and to take them away to refer to later. I make a written summary of the appointment, which is held securely. You are entitled to a copy of this record on request but I would encourage you to discuss your reasons with me first.

You are entitled to ask questions about any treatment or intervention I propose, or about my qualifications, professional membership or accreditation, which I will attempt to answer. I am not obliged to answer any questions of a personal nature.

Confidentiality – contact by third parties

I am often contacted by third parties, for example to enquire about treatment for a friend or family member. On occasion, third parties wish to pass on information that they consider it is important for me to know about a client that may be of relevance to the treatment. In the event that a third party passes on any information of a personally sensitive nature about a client, either before, during or after treatment has concluded, then I am legally obliged under the Data Protection Act to inform the client of both the contact and the substantive nature of the information that has been disclosed. I will not in any circumstances be held liable for a breach of confidentiality if I communicate to the client the fact of having been contacted and/or any specific information that has been disclosed, including making available to the client any records that have made of a conversation or of contact by other means, for example by text or email or letter. An exception to the above may be made where the communication concerns a serious matter of risk or of safety, or where there is a legal obligation to communicate to relevant individuals or authorities information that has been disclosed.

Confidentiality – payment by third parties

In the event that a third party is being invoiced for payment, the client agrees that the third party will be informed of the dates of the appointments attended, and of the dates of any appointments that were missed or cancelled at less than the minimum notice period, as defined above. In order to protect the confidentiality of the client, I am not at liberty to discuss any aspect of treatment with third parties without the express permission of the client other than the facts of their attendance and any missed appointments or late cancellations that incur a fee. In the event of a referral by a third party, such as a health insurance company, where a record of treatment is required, I will share with you on request any information I provide the organisation, subject to the contract arrangements that a client has with the referring organisation.

Confidentiality – couple treatment

In cases where treatment is being sought, or engaged in jointly by two clients, for example in couple treatment, specific considerations apply.

All communication with the practitioner by one of the clients, outside of scheduled appointments where the other person is present, is to be treated as non-confidential to the other client and both the fact of communication and its content will be communicated to the other client, except in cases where an individual appointment has been scheduled (see below) or where the communication concerns a serious matter of risk or of safety, or where there is a legal obligation to communicate to relevant individuals or authorities information that has been disclosed.

It is common practice for me to arrange individual appointments with each client as part of the couple therapy assessment process or, on occasion, when the therapeutic need arises. In individual appointments, I encourage the client to give permission for me to share what has been disclosed with their fellow client, but I do not insist on it as a condition of treatment. If information is disclosed in an individual appointment that a client does not wish to have disclosed to their fellow client, I will make a judgement as to whether maintaining confidentiality from the other client is likely to have an adverse impact on the possibility of treatment being successful. If I conclude that non-disclosure of this information compromises the likelihood of treatment being successful, then the treatment will be discontinued and all further scheduled appointments cancelled.

Confidentiality – support persons

Clients are welcome to bring a friend or family member to attend appointments for support, subject to informing me prior to the appointment of the support person’s planned attendance. Clients are also required to tell me if there is any information that they have disclosed to me as part of their treatment that they do not wish me to make reference to when a support person is present. If I conclude that the presence of a support person is compromising the effectiveness of treatment I will request that the support person no longer attends. If you do not feel able to comply with that request then it might be necessary to discontinue treatment.

If you have any questions about these terms and conditions, or would like me to clarify them in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask me.

(c) Andrew Grimmer, 2020