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  7. Demonstrate confidentiality in day to day communication, in...

Demonstrate confidentiality in day to day communication, in line with agreed ways of working

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

Day-to-day, confidentiality can be maintained by being mindful of how personal information is stored and discussed. Social care workers should also be familiar with current legislation including the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation as well as the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality.

You will also need to be familiar with your employer’s agreed ways of working that pertain to confidentiality and follow them correctly. This can include policies on how information is recorded, stored and accessed as well as guidance on ensuring personal information is only shared on a need-to-know basis.

Examples of confidentiality in day-to-day communication can include:

  • Personal records and documentation should be kept in a secure place where they can not be accessed by the public or non-authorised individuals.
  • Discussions about individuals should only be done in private, where there is no risk of being overheard by others.
  • Personal information should only be discussed with others on a need-to-know basis.
  • Personal information that is stored in digital format should only be on secure, password-protected devices and only people that have authorisation should have access to it.
  • Envelopes and letters should be marked as Private & Confidential.
  • Documentation and records should be disposed of securely (e.g. shredded).

When sharing personal information with others, there should be a good reason for doing so and in most cases, consent should be obtained from the individual before doing so. There may be extenuating circumstances where consent is not required such as if there is a risk of somebody coming to harm if the information is not shared.

Any non-compliance or breaches in confidentiality should be reported to your manager immediately.

For those studying for their Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, you will also need to demonstrate that you can promote confidentiality to others. You could do this by challenging anyone that is not maintaining confidentiality correctly, explaining to the individuals that you support their right to confidentiality, organising training that increases your co-workers understanding of confidentiality, writing procedures that support confidentiality within your organisation and modelling good practice yourself.