Promote Good Practice in Handling Information in Health and Social Care Settings

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PROMOTE GOOD PRACTICE IN HANDLING INFORMATION IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SETTINGS

LEARNING OUTCOME 1

UNDERSTAND REQUIREMENTS FOR HANDLING INFORMATION IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SETTINGS

The following are current legislation and codes of practice that relate to handling information in health and social care. They also summarise the main points of legal requirements for handling information.

THE DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998 – The Data Protection Act 1998 is a piece of legislation which defines the law on processing data of people living within the United Kingdom. The Data Protection Act 1998 is set out in eight principles: 1.Personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully.

2.Personal data must only be obtained for the specific purpose and purpose given. 3.All personal data is adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose/purposes for which they are processed. 4.All personal data must be accurate and kept up to date.

5.All personal data must not be kept for any longer than is necessary. 6.All personal data is processed in accordance with the subject’s rights. They have the rights to have data about themselves removed. 7.All personal data must be kept secure at all times.

8.Any personal data must not be transferred to any countries or territories outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) without adequate protection.

THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – The Freedom of Information act 2000 creates the ‘right of access’ to the public of general information help by public authorities, local authorities and the National Health Service. Personal data cannot be accessed as this is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998. The full provisions for The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force in January 2005.

NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL (NMC) – THE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT, PERFORMANCE AND ETHICS FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES – THE CODE – The code of practice for the NMC is a set of guidelines for professional behavior for all of those who are working in a professional area. The following is taken from the code:

BE OPEN AND HONEST, ACT WITH INTEGRITY AND UPHOLD THE REPUTATION OF YOUR PROFESSION – oAs a professional you are personally accountable for the practices and omissions in your practice and must always be able to justify your decisions. oYou must always act lawfully, whether those laws relate to professional practice or personal life.

RESPECT PEOPLES CONFIDENTIALITY –
oYou must respect people’s right to confidentiality
oYou must ensure people are informed about how and why information is shared by those who will be providing their care. oYou must disclose information if you believe someone may be at risk of harm, in line of the country which you are practicing.

ENSURE YOU GAIN CONSENT

KEEP CLEAR AND ACCURATE RECORDS –
oYou must keep clear and accurate records of the discussions you have, the assessments you make, the treatment and medicines you give and how effective these have been. oYou must complete records as soon as possible after an event has occurred. oYou must not tamper with original records in any way.

oYou must ensure that entries you make in someone’s paper records are clearly and legibly signed, dated and timed. oYou must ensure that entries you make in someone’s electric records are clearly attributed to you. oYou must ensure that all records are kept confidentially and securely.

Personal information would be recorded for many reasons, Some examples are:

Bibliographical details – personal details including name, date of birth, marital status and hospital number. •Investigations and results – Diagnosis, treatments and medication. •History – Past medical history.

Care plans – Agreements and decisions made to manage health care day to day. Includes Personal hygiene, nutrition, weight, MUST screening tool, continence, behavior and activities. •Physiological measurements and observations – Assessing the...
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