Please find below summary of responses to my enquiry about privacy for users undertaking online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy packages in libraries.
Many thanks to all who responded.
We offered access to the CBT package Beating the Blues. The fact that we were not able to offer privacy was not a problem but any potential users were made aware that they wouldn't be screened from the rest of the public – West Sussex
Our PCT put computers in a number of our larger libraries specifically to run this type of programme around 3 years ago. Users had to sign into their account so other users could not view it but other than that the computer had no security or privacy allowances at all. We had to put a screen lock on them to stop other users damaging the computers or printing hundreds of pictures and then leaving as there was no control over the printer.
In the end these computers were removed, partly due to lack of use but also due to lack of resources to continue the project. Initially users had to be referred by their doctor which led to a very small take up. It was then opened up to anyone who felt they wanted to use it but take up was still low. For some users the public location did put them off but others liked it as they had the library staff support around them when they needed it.
I think if it was possible to have this available on the People’s Network it would be preferable. By installing a separate computer you were immediately singling out the person using it as doing something different – Wiltshire.
We promote online CBT as part of our Books on Prescription scheme in partnership with our local mental health trust. The issue of privacy on the library computers never came up when discussing adding the websites to the literature and hasn't caused an issue for us so far. However, if somebody did require privacy, the best option we would be able to offer would be a computer slightly more secluded, although we don't have any PCs in a separate room on their own. There are also some computers which do have privacy dividers between each machine. As with a lot of things it varies from branch to branch.- Telford and Wrekin
Hello, yes privacy can be a concern for some people, fortunately we are
able to use a study carrel at our main library, it is a small room off
the main floor, there is a window in the door but otherwise the room
offers a good degree of privacy. – Perth
Sorry for delay in getting back to you. Hampshire some years ago
partnered with the NHS to set up and run jointly in the north east of
the county Beating the Blues - an eCBT programme recognised by Nice. It
was very successful and people were referred to the 2 libraries involved
via the NHS. The libraries hosted the computers and received training
from the mental health team who administered and monitored the scheme.
Unfortunately, the NHS pulled out a few years ago due to the high
subscription cost of Beating the Blues.
There were a few issues raised around privacy - especially as it was a
standalone computer in a public part of the library. The privacy issue
was, I think, part of the evaluation questions that each user completed
at the end of their session. Some people were surprised that it was not
in a private room and felt concerned that people could see what they
were doing. We did act on these comments and put the computer at an
angle where only the user could view the screen. Some people said that
it made them feel more 'normal' and comfortable simply using the library
in the same way as others, they liked the non-medical setting and that
there was no 'stigma' to be seen going into a library and also that the
libraries were easy to access. People did value the trained local staff
who were able to help with the IT, setting up the programme for them if
necessary, printing and so on.
The scheme worked well and it is a shame that we can no longer offer it.
We did set up an alternative with the mental health team using the free
web based Living Life to the Full. But this has never really worked in
the same way - largely I guess because it is free and people can use it
themselves from home or in the library without the need to identify
themselves to staff (even though we were offering free printing!)- Hampshire