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Privacy and Records

This page describes how Victim Support ACT manages personal health information when performing its functions.

The majority of personal information that Victim Support ACT collects relates to personal health information of victims of crime in the ACT.  Accordingly, health records held by Victim Support ACT are managed in accordance with the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997.

Victim Support ACT manages any personal information that is not associated with a health record in a manner consistent with the Territory Records Act 2002 (ACT), the Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT) and the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (ACT).  Victim Support ACT, for these purposes, is a branch of the ACT Human Rights Commission. Please see the ACT Human Rights Commission privacy policy.

Health Records

Victim Support ACT client records are treated as health records under the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 (ACT).  In keeping with the 12 principles outlined in the Act, all Victim Support ACT staff members take care to ensure they seek appropriate information, ensure the security and integrity of records, maintain client privacy and provide appropriate access to records for clients.

Health records are confidential documents and remain the property of Victim Support ACT.  Generally, information in a health record can only be disclosed with the written consent of the consumer.  Victim Support ACT will often rely on verbal consent if phone calls are the primary contact method.  There are some situations when information may be disclosed without consent, for example:

  • Victim Support ACT staff members are mandated reporters under the Children and Young People Act 2008.  Where it is identified that a child or young person is ‘at risk’ of serious harm, then a report must be made to ACT Child and Youth Protection Services. More information is available on the Child and Youth Protection Services website;
  • A worker and/or the client records may be subpoenaed for a criminal trial and will be required to disclose some or all details of the health record (Contact will be made with the consumer if a court order is made in relation to a health record);
  • Victim Support ACT may make a disclosure about client health information if the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent risk to the life or health of a person.

Accessing your health record from Victim Support ACT

As a consumer, you have a right to access a health record held by Victim Support ACT. If you wish to access your health record held by Victim Support ACT the following steps provide a guideline for how to do so:

  1. Complete a Request for Records Access Form: PDF Word
  2. Return completed form via one of the following:
    • Email: victimsupport@act.gov.au
    • Fax: (02) 6205 0177
    • Post: Team Leader, Victim Support ACT GPO Box 158 Canberra City ACT 2601
  3. If you cannot use the form we can accept an email from you.  The request must contain your name and address; sufficient information to help us to identify the record you are seeking access to and the form of access you are seeking (if you want to view your record or receive photocopies).  We may contact you to seek proof of your identity.
  4. You can request access in any of the following ways:
    • To inspect the health record at a time and place;
    • To receive a copy of the health record or summary;
    • To view a health record and have its contents explained, at a time and place.
  5. Sometimes health records contain information that may be difficult to understand or distressing.  Once you have made your request, your may be offered an opportunity to  
    • discuss the record with a case manager, even if you have not requested a discussion; or
    • be provided a summary of the record, rather than the whole record.
  6. You may accept or reject these offers.
  7. Within two weeks after Victim Support ACT receives the request, we will: 
    • Provide access to the health record; or
    • Provide an explanation or reasons for why the full record, or part of the record, cannot be provided.

You can find out more about the Health Records (Information and Privacy) Act 1997 on the ACT Health website.