Live Well at Home works within The Data Protection Act 1998 and The Care Standards Act 2000 Regulation 13.
Domiciliary Care Standard No 5 requires that:
Care and support staff respect information given by service users or their representatives in confidence, and handle information about service users in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the agency’s written policies and procedures and in the best interests of the service user.
Staff are required by the company to sign an undertaking on confidentiality at company induction including any revised undertakings.
1. Service user confidentiality
All information known about the service users of Live Well at Home will be provided on a ‘need to know’ basis only so that all staff involved in the service provision can carry out the tasks required for the individual service users. Staff must not discuss this information with any person other than those involved in the service users care plan. When discussion/handover takes place pertaining to service users or their care plan, staff must be discreet. It must be ensured that the area where any discussion takes place is private and where conversation cannot be overheard. Where a service user informs a staff member that they wish to make a complaint they must be directed to the Live Well at Home Company Complaints policy and procedure.
2. Employee confidentiality
The employee will not provide or discuss with service users or their families or other professionals, any of their own personal information or that of others. For example, address, telephone number or any personal details about themselves or others. Employees must conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and refrain from inappropriate ‘gossip’. As stated in the company code of conduct, it is paramount that all employees practice the art of diplomacy when questioned about a confidential matter. This is of great importance in order to avoid unnecessary disruption and/or upset to those concerned and in breaching company policy. Where it is found that an employee is responsible for divulging confidential information, the disciplinary procedure will be initiated.
Should a member of staff find themselves in a position where they need to make a complaint against a fellow colleague or other professional, the Live Well at Home company policy on ‘Complaints’ and/or ‘Whistle Blowing’ must be followed. Where an employee discloses information in good faith the employee may be protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
3. Company confidentiality
Any company information known by staff will remain in their confidence and will not be discussed inappropriately. Staff who hold computer access codes will not divulge this information to any person in line with the Data Protection Act and company policy. Meetings and discussions pertaining to company information will be held in a private room. Minutes of meetings will be provided and kept on file, either electronically or on paper and must be kept in a locked cabinet. *See Undertaking on Confidentiality
4. Communicating Information
Text messaging is not an acceptable form of communicating and is not encouraged. Not only can a message be interpreted incorrectly, causing complications, it is not a professional manner in which to communicate effectively, especially when it contains confidential facts. * See policy on Text Messaging
5. Undertaking on Confidentiality
All employees of Live Well at Home must sign the undertaking on confidentiality at the time of company induction including any future updated versions. A copy will be held on personnel files.