Background and purpose

The Sarcoma UK Support Line is a confidential service which allows patients, family members, friends and health care professionals contact to expert advice relating to all types of sarcoma. The Support Line is open for 25 hours a week, 10 am – 3 pm, Monday to Friday.  The team of trained health care professionals can be contacted via telephone, email or text.

The purpose of the document is to demonstrate clear procedure and the expectation of the Support Line in relation to confidentiality for internal Sarcoma UK staff.

Role of the Support Line

We know sarcoma is rare, with about 5,300 new cases diagnosed a year. Many patients and families find it difficult to access sarcoma specific information and support.  The aim of the support line is to ensure callers get access to the correct information and support, and to ensure that anyone affected by sarcoma is being treated in one of the designated specialist centres.  The team aim to ensure all questions are answered with up to date, reliable information and have the access to the medical advisory group for support.

Confidentiality Statement

The telephone, text and email services are confidential between the contactor and Sarcoma UK.  Contactors may choose to provide personal information which will only be used for the purposes of dealing with their enquiry.

Any personal information provided will not be passed onto anyone else without the contactors express permission except in circumstances to comply with the nurses’ code of professional conduct or the law.  Examples of this might include anyone reporting potential serious self-harm, if it was felt a child may be at risk or anyone expressing the intention of harming someone else.

The NMC Code of Conduct can be found here.

Any person contacting the Support Line team have the right to ask for none of the details being recorded on the Raiser's Edge system. This is reiterated on the email and text instant replies, and also on the pre-recorded telephone message.

Email storage

Emails sent to the Support Line will be kept within either the inbox or the named box of the person dealing with the email.  Once it has been dealt with and recorded on Raiser's Edge it will be deleted.  All emails in the deleted and sent folders will be permanently deleted at the end of each working week. This is the responsibility of Helen Stradling (HS).

Voicemail recordings

Any voicemails received to the Support Line will be deleted once listened to, and information gained in order for the Support Line staff to deal with the enquiry is the responsibility of the Support Line member of staff dealing with the call.

Text storage

Texts that come into the team via the call handling service will be read and recorded on the Raiser's Edge system once they have been dealt with. Once the text conversation is closed, it automatically gets deleted from the call handling system.

Written notes

Any written notes collected from Support Line staff will be shredded as soon as the information has been recorded on Raiser's Edge, and is the responsibility of the Support Line staff member who has taken the notes. 

Complaints

Any complaints will be addressed using the complaints procedure documented on the Contact Us page.