Home » Documents » Education » 1 – DHS 2: Promote effective handling of information in care settings

1 – DHS 2: Promote effective handling of information in care settings

Access: Premium
File Size: 130.11 KB

1.1        Identify legislation and codes of practice that relate to handling information in care setting.

Legislation and codes of practice relating to handling information in a care setting are designed to ensure that data is managed securely, stored correctly and only accessed by authorised personnel. These laws protect personal privacy, aid accountability, facilitate public access to records where appropriate and promote confidence in healthcare organisations.

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) is the most important law regarding using confidential data within a care setting. The DPA outlines eight principles which must be followed when collecting or processing any individual’s personal information: fairness; lawfulness; purpose limitation; accuracy; storage limitation; integrity/confidentiality assurance; accountability/responsibility for compliance with regulations etc. This includes making sure staff understand their responsibilities for managing personal information appropriately, as well as providing individuals with clear explanations on how their data will be used.

The Caldicott Principles (named after Dr Dame Fiona Caldicott, who developed them) are also fundamental in ensuring that confidential information is handled appropriately within a care setting. These principles state:

  • Only collect and use the minimum necessary personal data;
  • Access to patient-identifiable data should be on a strict need-to-know basis;
  • Everyone with access must respect patients’ confidentiality;
  • Use of patient-identifiable information for any purpose other than direct clinical care requires explicit consent from the individual or their representative where possible.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows members of the public to request disclosure records held by certain organisations, including health services, under the “right to know” principle embedded in this act and extends that right into related areas such as environmental issues, crime statistics etc.

Alongside this legal framework are numerous professional codes of conduct for those working within healthcare settings, such as the Code of Professional Conduct from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This code outlines ethical behaviours expected from health and social care professionals, including confidentiality around sensitive topics discussed, along with protecting the client’s rights to autonomy over decisions made regarding disclosure outside these sessions – such matters should not occur without informed consent being given.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 is another significant piece of legislation related to handling information in a care setting. This act defines the duty of care that must be given by healthcare staff, placing particular emphasis on the secure processing of records, data protection measures for electronic systems as well as making sure patient confidentiality is maintained throughout treatment.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards are also relevant when considering how information should be managed within a health or social care setting. The CQC’s Fundamental Standards demand that personal and sensitive records are handled with respect – individuals who are receiving any form of health-related service should expect their right to privacy will not be violated through careless storage or sharing practices implemented by organisations they come into contact with during this time period. Furthermore, these standards provide guidance on reporting any breaches made to an organisation’s legal obligations regarding confidential data management, such as informing the CQC if specific criteria outlined within the Data Protection Act 2018 have not been adhered to strictly over a sustained period (i.e. failure make necessary changes after being informed about potential non-compliance).

In conclusion, it can be seen that there is a considerable amount of legislation and codes of practice in place to help ensure confidential information is managed securely and appropriately in healthcare settings. These laws promote accountability, protect servicer users’ autonomy, and provide assurance of public access to records where appropriate. As such, staff members must fully understand their responsibilities when it comes to handling such data and comply with all relevant regulations laid out by governing bodies within the care sector so the best standards can be maintained with regard to record management practices.

Other answers in the full document:

  • 1.2 Summarise the main points of legal requirements and codes of practice for handling information in care settings
  • 2.1 Describe features of manual and electronic information storage systems that help ensure security

Related Documents