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Online counselling and well-being for adults

Monday – Friday 12pm – 10pm

Saturday – Sunday 6pm – 10pm

Your Privacy and Safety

The European Union Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of rules about how companies should process the personal data of data subjects. GDPR lays out responsibilities for organisations to ensure the privacy and protection of personal data, provides data subjects with certain rights, and assigns powers to regulators to ask for demonstrations of accountability or even impose fines in cases where an organisation is not complying with GDPR requirements. Below is a summary of information about data and your rights in relation to QWELL.

At QWELL we take the privacy and safety of our users very seriously. We have written this document to tell you:


Information you give us here on QWELL Counselling will be stored securely on our server. All information you give us will be stored in an encrypted form. We may need to use some of the data we store for routine evaluation of the service, but this is always anonymous. If you have any concerns about this please let us know.

  • What information (data) we collect.
  • How we use it
  • How long we store it
  • Your rights with regard to the information you share with us.

Your Data - Your Rights

When you register with QWELL you give us some personal details. This information is stored securely on our servers and is anonymous and encrypted. We use this data to measure how to provide a needs led service. This includes working with researchers from universities who get ethical approval for their work.

For Qwell to be able to improve its services we need to work with universities and NHS organisations to help us analyse our data.

We may also share your data with the company/companies that provided you with access to the service. Any data shared will be anonymous and securely transferred, and will help inform the company/companies about usage of the service, including, but not limited to:

  • Number of registrations
  • Site usage
  • Issues faced by service users
  • Outcomes achieved

We store and share this data safely and completely anonymously, and follow all legal requirements for this. No identifiable information will ever be shared outside of our organisation for research purposes.

If you want to find out more information about how we use data for research please contact us at [email protected]

Case studies

We are asked by the people who fund the service, to provide them with anonymous monthly case studies of our work. This is to see how well QWELL is supporting you.

Counsellors also have to take part in ongoing training and development so they can be best placed and trained to support you. This means that they sometimes also have to write case studies for their courses or training. Whenever a case study is written, we never use any information that may identify you. It will never be possible to identify you from these case studies.

Referral from QWELL to external services

Sometimes getting extra help for you can be really helpful . Depending on where you live you may be given the option of a referral to another service in your area. These services may be operated by a partner organisation.

If you choose to be referred to one of these services through the QWELL platform we will use your personal details: your name(s), address, phone number and date of birth. This information/data is called Personally identifiable information or PII for short. Your PII will be stored on the QWELL system and is only accessible to the QWELL Team and the organisation you are being referred to. The counsellor will seek your explicit consent to pass your details to the organisation you are being referred to.


Occasionally we may ‘act’ to protect you by sharing information without your consent. This is only if absolutely necessary such as your life is in danger or if you are unable to give consent.

If we are really worried about you and think that you are at risk or danger, we will talk to you about the need for somebody outside the QWELL team to know what has happened or what is happening to you.

We would only do this if:

  • your life is at risk because of something you are doing
  • you are at risk from somebody else
  • you are a risk to somebody else.

In these cases, your counsellor will use your contact details so that they can refer you to the appropriate services or get the help you need.

Your PII will be stored on the QWELL system and is only accessible to the QWELL Team and the organisation you are being referred to. We will always:

  • Seek your consent to pass over your details, although we will act to protect you if you are at risk of harm, if you tell us something which means you could pose a risk to others or if you are unable to give consent
  • Let you know who we are passing details to and why.
  • Keep you informed of any actions we intend to take.
  • Where possible, we will work with you to agree every step taken.

Your right to withdraw your consent

You have the right to withdraw consent for us to hold personal information on you. You can withdraw your consent to share information at anytime, however this will mean you can no longer use QWELL, as we are not an anonymous service. A request to withdraw consent should be sent to the Data Protection Officer. The contact email address is [email protected]

The right to view the data we hold about you.

You have the right to see what data is kept about you. If you want to view your records at QWELL, you can do so by sending a request to the Data Protection Officer.

The contact email address is [email protected]

We can only show you your data if we know who you are and can provide proof of your ID.

Because your data is of a sensitive nature we don’t post out data but will invite you into our office in Manchester or London, so that a trained counsellor can provide support to you while you view your data.

Referrals to QWELL from external services or from a third party

Sometimes, people are referred into our service by a third party, such as your GP, or another service you may have been working with.

If you have been referred to QWELL by someone and they have shared your PII with us, we will keep your personal details in a section of your account.

When you talk to a counsellor on the QWELL site and tell them anything that concerns them with regard to your safety or the safety of others – they may have to act to keep you or others safe. They will always try to talk to you first before taking any action. Sometimes, if the situation is very serious, they will have to take action without talking to you first.

Data storage

All the data we collect is stored in the UK on servers owned by https://www.openanswers.co.uk We trust Open Answers to keep our data safe and encrypted this is to protect it from cyber attack or hacking.

Open Answers are GDPR compliant. This means that they meet all the required standards of the new data privacy rules.

Open Answers do not ‘process’ any of our data. This means that they don’t read, write or organize any of the data.


If you have a concern about how QWELL is using your data, you can use the XenZone complaints policy and/or you can report it here: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/


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The use of cookies on QWELL

Cookies help us to provide you with a good experience when you browse Qwell and allow you to make full use of the features available to you.

We use cookies on this website for one purpose, and that is to collect statistical information about how you use QWELL, so that we can improve the way the site works and measure our success. By recording such statistics as browser usage, service user location, operating system etc. we can measure and improve on how we manage and maintain our site, in order to give you an ultimately better service experience.

QWELL allows the following services to collect cookies about how users engage with the site:

  • Open Answers which is a service that QWELL uses to store data

Your data and you

If you think your data has been misused or that the organisation holding it hasn’t kept it secure, you should contact the organisation and discuss this with them. If you’re unhappy with their response or if you need any advice you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or via the website www.ico.org.uk