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Policies & Practices

 

Statement of Information Practices

What are The Access Point’s Information Practices?

The Access Point is committed to protecting the privacy of its client and applicants. We take the privacy of our clients and applicants seriously. Our goal is to ensure that all personal health information (PHI) is properly collected and protected. We store PHI in a responsible way and dispose of it in a safe and timely manner when it is no longer required. We take responsible steps as required by privacy legislation to maintain the confidentiality and security of the PHI you provide to us.
iStock_000041858238XXXLargeWe collect, use and disclose PHI,

  • To identify the needs of clients in order to provide housing and/or individual mental health support
  • To make referrals for these services
  • To obtain funding
  • To fulfill other purposes required or permitted by law.

How to contact us?

  • If you have questions or need more information about how we protect Personal Health Information
  • If you want to access your Personal Health Information
  • If you want to make a correction to the Personal Health Information that we have collected or
  • If you have a concern or complaint about our practices

Please contact:

Susan Meikle, Privacy Officer
Toronto North Support Service
132 Railside Rd
North York, ON M3A 1A3
416-499-5969

We will ensure that you receive a timely response.

How to obtain access to Personal Health Information or make a correction to the Personal Health Information that we have collected?

Clients have a right to access their PHI information, to verify the accuracy of data and/or to correct information as necessary

Clients have a right to access their PHI information, to verify the accuracy of data and/or to correct information as necessary. Clients who express a desire to do any of the three, should put the request in writing directed to the Privacy Officer. Access System staff will assist with this process if needed. Clients who make such a request must accompany such a request with a copy of government- issued identification.

Requests will be responded to promptly, but no later than thirty days from the date of the request.

Process for accessing PHI

The Privacy Officer or her designate will contact the client and invite him/her into the appropriate office to view the contents of the file. All information that has been collected by the organization and all information that has been generated by the organization will be provided to the client (unless certain criteria are met e.g. access to this information is prohibited by law).

The client will be provided with photocopies of his/her Access System file should these be requested. Clients may be asked to cover the cost of these photocopies.

Process for making a correction

Clients who demonstrate that their record is incomplete or inaccurate and provide correct and updated information, may have their record amended.

Requests to have a record amended must be made in writing. Clients who make such a request must accompany such a request with a copy of government- issued identification.

The Access System may choose not to make a correction if the information in the record is a professional opinion made in good faith or if the Access System lacks the knowledge, expertise or authority to make the correction. In these cases, staff will advise individuals of their right to have a statement of disagreement attached to their file.

iStock_000045951562XXXLargeHow to make a complaint about how PHI is being kept confidential?

All clients have the right to ask questions or complain to the organization about the manner in which their information is being kept confidential. Staff members will assist any client who expresses a wish to either discuss the privacy policy or make a complaint, by facilitating the process.

Complaints should be made to the Privacy Officer.

Susan Meikle, Privacy Officer
Toronto North Support Service
132 Railside Rd
North York, ON M3A 1A3
416-499-5969

The Privacy Officer will conduct an investigation. The client will be informed within 10 working days of the results of the investigation.

Clients have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner. The commissioner can be reached at

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W-1A8
Canada
1-800-387-0073
info@ipc.on.ca

 


The Access Point Complaints Process

Applicants, family members and referrers have the right to make a complaint about the service they receive from The Access Point staff members without reprisal or the threat of reprisal. The program will treat all complaints seriously and act promptly to address the issue.

The complaint process of the Lead organization will then be followed and the complainant will receive a response in writing within 10 days.

Making a Complaint about Service at The Access Point:

  1. The Access Point stakeholders, including applicants, families and referrers are encouraged to approach the Director of The Access Point with a complaint about any aspect of the service. The Director will contact the complainant by phone or other means to discuss their concerns and try to resolve them quickly. If the matter isn’t immediately resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, the Director will request that the complainant put his/her concerns in writing.
  1. The Director will investigate the complaint and provide a response in writing to the complainant within five working days of receiving the compliant in writing.
  1. Should the complainant not be satisfied with the response from the Director, he/she can appeal in writing to the two access leads:
    • Jim Nason, Director of Operations, LOFT Community Services
    • Susan Meikle, Executive Director, Toronto North Support Services
  1. Upon receipt of such a complaint, a decision will be made as to which organization will take the lead on investigating the complaint. This will depend on the particulars of the complaint and the staff involved. The complainant will be notified of that decision within three working days of submitting the complaint.
  1. The complaint process of the Lead organization will then be followed and the complainant will receive a response in writing within 10 days.

Making a Complaint about an Eligibility Decision:

If an applicant or referrer believes that a decision of ineligibility should be reviewed, they have the right to appeal that decision. The steps are:

  1. To appeal a decision made about eligibility, the individual should first contact the Director of The Access Point and request a review of the decision. The Director will review the available information and make a determination of the appropriateness of the initial decision.
  1. Should the individual asking for the appeal not be satisfied with the Director’s determination, s/he can request a formal appeal of the decision. The process involves requesting a review through Streamlined Access, a mental health and addictions access point in York Region. The individual requesting the appeal should put the request in writing to the Director of The Access Point.
  1. The applicant will then be asked to consent to share his/her information with access staff at Streamlined Access, in order for them to render an opinion about eligibility.
  1. the Access Point staff will forward all relevant information about the application to Streamlined Access within 3 days of receiving consent from the applicant.
  1. Streamlined Access will review the information, contact the client and/or referrer, and render a decision within 10 business days of receipt of the relevant information.
  1. The individual who initiated the appeal will be contacted by The Access Point and told of Streamlined Access’ recommendation within 3 working days of receipt of the recommendation.
  1. The decision will then be put in writing and forwarded to the individual who appealed the eligibility decision.

Making a Complaint about Wait Times:

iStock_000000558267LargeUnfortunately due to high demand for community mental health services, there is most often a waiting time before applicants can be connected with services. Individuals are served in order of application, except under certain condition in which an applicant’s needs fall into a category for which there are specialized responses.

The decisions about which groups of applicants qualifies for a priority response through a specialized service are not made at the access hub, but by the sector, and are based on the Ministry of Health and LHIN priorities. These priority access decisions are reviewed on a regular basis.

Any individual with immediate support needs can qualify for short-term support through a provider organization. When such a need is identified through the application process, every effort is made to quickly connect the individual with transitional support services. Transitional support services are meant to deal with immediate concerns, and the individual does not lose their place on the waitlist for Intensive Case Management (ICM) or Assertive Community Treatment (ACT).

Should an applicant believe that he/she should receive a priority response but has not been deemed eligible, the individual or referrer may request a review of that decision by the Director of The Access Point.

  1. An individual who has not been deemed eligible for priority access, or their referrer, may contact the Director of The Access Point by phone, fax or in writing to request a review of the decision. The Director will review the application and make a decision based on the information provided.
  1. The Director will inform the applicant of that decision by phone, fax or in writing.

Contact Information:

 

Lead Organizations Contacts:

Jim Nason
Director of Operations
LOFT Community Services
15 Toronto St., 9th floor, Toronto ON
M5C 2E3
Phone: 416 979-1994 ext 234
jnason@loftcs.org

Susan Meikle
Executive Director
Toronto North Support Services
132 Railside Rd Unit 2, Toronto,
M3A 1A3
Phone: 416 499-5969 ext 226
susanm@tnss.ca

Developed October 2014