1.1 Identify legislation and codes of practice that relate to handling information in social care settings
Data Protection Act 1998 – it gives rights to individuals in respect of personal data held about them.
Freedom of Information Act 2000 – it gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject.
Employees Policies & Procedures – to make sure that all records that are kept in the office are put away in a locked secure cabinet or securely saved on the computer.
Health and Social Care Act 2008 – it requires us to publish a code that sets out the practice we will follow in obtaining, handling, using and disclosing confidential personal information.
1.2 Explain how legal requirements and codes of practice inform practice in handling information
Legal requirements give us guidance and support when it comes to storing and handling personal / confidential information about the service users. It helps us to store information correctly and safely. For example we use key safes every day and we have to make sure not to tell anyone the number combination. Worst thing you can do is to right down the number on your rota next to the service user’s name where the address is also given.
2.1 Explain how to maintain records that are up to date, complete, accurate and legible
A good way of maintaining records is on a computer or in a file that can be kept confidential and kept up to date. Records should be updated each time
the service user is reviewed.
2.2 Describe practices that ensure security when storing and accessing information
Passwords on computers blocks unauthorised people from accessing records.
Locked away in a filing cabinet with a key that only someone who is authorised to open it has the key.
Not leaving notes everywhere in the office with information on them about the service users.
2.3 Describe features of manual and electronic information storage systems that help ensure security
Records saved electronically can be protected by passwords. Some PC systems only allow access by authorised person signed in with their unique password. Some computers are not connected to the internet to avoid the risk of intervention.
If the records are not saved electronically then these have to be locked away when not in use (lockable filing cabinets).
3.1 Explain how to support others to understand the need for secure handling of information
Ensure that others understand the need for secure handling of information by completing induction training and shadowing. Make sure that they understand the importance of keeping records safe and not leaving them where anyone can read them. They have to understand what information they can share and what to report if something unusual happens to the service user.
3.2 Explain how to support others to understand and contribute to records
The best way to support others is by shadowing, when a new carer spends a few days with a senior carer who has a lot of experience. The senior carer should take time explaining what to do before each visit and to ask the new carer to complete all care tasks by themselves. Of course they can ask questions and the senior carer can always stop them if they think they are not carrying out the tasks correctly. I personally do not believe in the method where the new carer is just watching the senior carer. The best way to learn is by doing it.