Learn, Do Not Copy!

Support Others to Handle Information

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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

As a senior member of staff, manager or leader you will have the responsibility of ensuring that the other people understand their responsibilities relating to the secure handling of information. This can include:

  • Co-workers
  • The individuals that you support
  • Their family, friends and advocates

Co-workers

You could ensure that your team members are inducted and trained to the required standard in handling information and discuss this regularly in team meetings as well as in one-to-one sessions, such as during supervision. You may perhaps encourage team members to ensure they leave themselves adequate time for record-keeping and fill in forms when information is fresh in their mind.

You should also be approachable to your staff so that they feel free to ask you questions and clarify things that they do not quite understand.

Informal conversations can also be useful, especially if you observe a team member not following data handling protocols correctly. You should always challenge poor practice as it gives others the opportunity to learn the reasons why certain tasks are performed in a particular way.

In addition, being a good role model in your own practice demonstrates to others the correct method of performing tasks, which results in them being much more likely to follow your lead.

You can reinforce the importance of record-keeping by regularly checking what your team has written and demonstrate that the information they provided has been read and acted upon. For example, if a team member notes that an individual really enjoyed a particular television programme, you could share this with the rest of the team so that the individual does not miss further episodes.

Individuals that you support

The individuals that you support may not understand the reasons for the secure handling of information, so you may need to explain this to them. You may also be required to explain how they can keep their personal information secure.

It may be necessary to explain your own role in the handling of information to them and reassure them that their personal information is held securely and will be kept confidential. This will include explaining that you will ask for consent if you ever need to share their information, however, there may be circumstances when you are duty-bound to share their information without consent – in such cases, you will always inform them of what you have done.

Individual’s family, friends and advocates

You may also need to support the individual’s loved ones and advocates about the need for secure data handling. They may have questions about the individual’s records and you should be prepared to answer them.

You may also face dilemmas if a family member requests access to an individual’s records but the individual does not give their consent. In such cases, you would have to explain that it is your duty to not share confidential information without consent.

Understanding and contributing to records

It is important that you ensure the groups of people listed above understand how they are able to contribute to and understand records to ensure the accuracy of the information and promote partnership working and collaboration.

Information should be provided in a format that each person is able to understand. This could mean verbal, written, braille, Makaton or other methods of communication. There should also be an understanding of why certain records must be kept.

Records should be accessible to those that have correct authorisation and it should be explained how they are able to contribute. For example, all individuals should be encouraged to participate in the development of their care plan to promote their rights and independence.