With the increasing use of video-conferencing apps for consultations, we are aware that certain scenarios arise that are not fully covered by the current Professional Practice guidelines. One of these is the use of recording features that are widely available across the different video platforms.

We do not recommend that you use recording features as a matter of course in consultations but if you decide to use them, you will need to follow the guidelines below with regard to consent, storage and duration of storage.  These guidelines apply to both audio and video recording of consultations using any software or recording device.  N.B. Training providers who record student consultations for nutritional therapy training should adhere to the existing guidelines for recording consultations which allow for longer storage of recordings for teaching purposes.

We recommend using the GDPR guidelines on the BANT website to evaluate the appropriateness of recording your consultations.  Consultations with children should not be recorded.

Ensure any default settings in the app you are using, which allow video recording to take place, are disabled.  They can then be switched on when appropriate agreements are in place and with the full awareness of both parties.

Consent

The most important point to remember is that neither you nor your client can record the consultation without reciprocal consent.

  • If you decide to record a consultation, both the client and practitioner must give written consent before the recording starts and this must be confirmed by both, again, at the end of the consultation. Electronic signatures may be used if using a consent form, see here for a template consent form. Suggested wording for email consent can be found below.
  • The written consent must be held with the consultation notes.
  • If a client, or practitioner, decides at the end of the consultation that they want the recording to be deleted, this needs to be done immediately. For this reason, you will need to take full and detailed notes during the consultation and not rely on the video to document the consultation. The original signed consent form should be countersigned to remove the consent, or an additional email sent to document, in writing, the request to delete the recording.  The request for deletion and the date and time the recording was deleted should be included in the consultation notes and confirmed to the client.

Data Storage

  • The security, confidentiality, storage and deletion of the recording is the responsibility of the practitioner.
  • The recording should be stored with the same security and confidentiality as client records and you should ensure that the security in place is ‘fit for purpose’. Please refer to the Information Security section of the GDPR guidelines on the BANT website here.  The written consent should be kept with the client records.
  • You should consider the risks involved in recording your consultations. A recording could be used against you in the case of a complaint and could also be circulated beyond your control to other parties.  Due to potential issues with storage and confidentiality, we do not recommend that you send the client a copy of the recording as a matter of course.  However, if the client requests a copy of the recording, under GDPR you would be obliged to provide it and should keep the details as a Subject Access Request.
  • The recording should be erased as soon as possible but no later than 1 month after the date of the recording if the recording has not been sent to the client.
  • If the recording is sent to the client, we recommend keeping a copy of it with your client records for exactly 8 years after the consultation, in line with GDPR and BANT guidelines for storing client records. A Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA) should be completed to justify the reason for keeping the recording.  You need to make the client aware of the longer storage period of the recording if they are sent a copy (see email template below).

Suggested Email Templates

We have included a template consent form for use with clients, however if you would prefer to obtain email consent, please find below some suggested wording which you may wish to use.

 

Request for consent to record a consultation:

“Please copy and paste the following text into an email and return to me:

‘I hereby give my consent for my nutritional therapy consultation dated xx/xx/xxxx to be recorded.   I understand that I will be required to give my consent again at the end of the consultation for the recording to be kept and stored in line with BANT and GDPR guidelines and that I have the option to request the recording be deleted immediately.’”

 

Confirm consent to store/delete consultation recording:

“Please reply to this email with one of the following statements:

‘This is to confirm that I consent to my online consultation recording dated xx/xx/xxxx being stored in line with BANT and GDPR guidelines.’

Or

‘I request that my previous consent is retracted, and my online consultation recording dated xx/xx/xxxx is deleted immediately.’”

 

Request for a copy of the consultation recording:

“Please copy and paste the following text into an email and return to me:

‘I hereby request a copy of my online consultation recording dated xx/xx/xxxx.  I understand that as a copy of the recording is being sent to me, it will now be stored with my client records for exactly 8 years following the consultation, in line with GDPR.’”