Identify legislation and codes of practice that relate to handling information in health and social care The Data Protection Act is mandatory. ALL organisations that hold or process personal data MUST comply. The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) is an act of the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament defining the ways in which information about living people may be legally used and handled. The main intent is to protect individuals against misuse or abuse of information about it.
Summarise the main points of legal requirements and codes of practice for handling information in health and social care The Data Protection Act relates to all information that is kept on an individual. There are eight basic principles to the Data Protection Act. The Data must be:
- Fairly, and lawfully processed.
- Used for limited purposes.
- Not excessive, but adequate and relevant.
- Not kept for longer than necessary. Accurate but concise, containing only facts not assumptions, of the person making an entry.
- Kept secure at all times, information kept on computers should be password protected.
- Processed, taking into account the Individuals rights.
- Not transferred to another country that can not maintain the confidentiality of the information.
Maintain records that are up to date, complete, accurate and legible For this part of the outcome, your assessor may observe your work practice, to assess how you record information during your working role. They will observe you on ‘handover’, and how you complete records at the end of your shift, and how you ensure confidentiality when discussing service user’s information.
Support others to understand the need for secure handling of information You could support your service user to understand what information you have on file about them, and inform them of their rights to see the information. You can explain to the service user why you need to keep the information, the way the information is collated, and stored for security purposes. You could explain who will have access to their information, and the reasons why that information may need to be disclosed to others, in the case of potential harm, or for medical reasons.
Support others to understand and contribute to records You can work with your colleagues to make entries in the service users care plan, exchanging views, and give suggestions to improve the quality of service delivery for the service user.