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Sharing Information About People Receiving Care at Home (Scotland) Policy

Policy Statement

{{org_field_name}} accepts that to provide the highest standard of care for people who use our service, it is vital to work in partnership with other professionals and services.

The service seeks to follow all guidance on the confidentiality principles involved. This includes the Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers (Scottish Social Services Council). It is also committed to achieving the standards set out in My Support, My Life, particularly, under 4. “I have confidence in the organisation providing my care and support” and specifically in 4.18: “I benefit from different organisations working together and sharing information about me promptly where appropriate, and I understand how my privacy and confidentiality are respected.”

A key aspect of partnership working is the sharing of relevant information, which in line with confidentiality and data protection rules, should always be on a “need-to-know” basis.

This policy sets out the values, principles and procedures underpinning the service’s approach to sharing information about people who use the service with other providers.

This policy should be used with the Working with Other Providers and Agencies in Domiciliary Care (England) Policy.

Policy on Sharing Information with Other Providers

The service recognises that its services form one element in the range of care, treatment and support with which the people who use the service need to be engaged, and that, to provide optimal care, it needs from time to time to share information with other health and social care providers, particularly in emergencies such as during the Covid-19 pandemic. This helps to provide continuity of care and to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort in obtaining the same information.

Subject to our obtaining the express consent of people who use the service, including written consent where important, there is a particular responsibility for such information sharing:

Sharing information about a person who uses the service will only be undertaken with their express permission and with regard to data protection rules. This will apply in the event of our using an integrated records system, when we will check that all information inputted on the system is with the person’s consent.

Starting care

Around the time when aperson is considering starting to receive care, it is important, as part of the comprehensive needs assessment process, that the service becomes aware of information held by other providers and practitioners relating to the person’s health and care needs, in order to ensure that the service has the necessary capacity to respond to those needs.

Needing a health service

When a person needs a health service, whether this is from a general practitioner, from a hospital or from some other health professional, it is vital that the body responsible for the treatment has the fullest possible information. {{org_field_name}}, which will often have been in a good position to observe the person’s needs and symptoms, will co-operate as fully as possible in supplying information (subject to consent) to responsible health service personnel.

Admission to and discharge from hospital

The service recognises admission to hospital as a critical event in the life of a vulnerable person. We will do everything possible to ensure that health service staff have good information about the person’s needs, taking special care with communication when treatment is urgent. This information should include any advance directives, particularly involving DNAR, issued by the person that have been passed on to {{org_field_name}}.

Similarly, when a hospital patient is discharged, whether or not the person has previously been a user of our service, we will make every effort to ensure that it has all of the necessary information about the person’s needs to ensure that the transition between environments is achieved with as little disruption in care as possible.

Emergencies

The service has policies and procedures for summoning help for a person in an emergency.

It instructs staff who are involved in summoning help or assisting to address the emergency to make sure that any receiving services, eg paramedics, have all the information they need to carry out their work on behalf of the person receiving care, and that this information is passed on to any other service, eg Accident and Emergency, in line with their requirements.

Depending on the circumstances requiring emergency help, the senior staff member on duty is responsible for the collection and collation of the information and documentation that needs to be passed on. If available, the person’s key worker could also take on or take over that role.

Transfer to another care provider

This service recognises that some people will wish to move to a different provider, to a care home, or to a situation where they will be more independent but be regularly helped by a relative or friend. In such instances, we will co-operate fully in passing information about the person and their needs to those who will take over care responsibility.

End-of-life care

This service recognises that the period towards the end of an individual’s life is one which makes particular demands on those undertaking care and which calls for especially close co-operation over information sharing. We will pass on to anyone undertaking the terminal care of one of someone using our service information about both their condition and needs, and any wishes that have been expressed to us about how their care should be handled, including any advance directives that they have issued.

Safeguarding

The service will co-operate fully with the protection from harm team in respect of any information it needs to complete its enquiries and follow-up actions. The service will ensure that the person who uses the service or their lawful representative’s consent from the outset to the sharing of any information as it would with any other partner agency over any other matter concerning their wellbeing. Information shared without a person’s consent will need to meet any of the criteria for disclosure, eg as a public interest issue as described in the Confidentiality of People Receiving Care’s Information Policy.

Training

All staff will be given training in the sharing with other care providers of information relating to people who use the service, and in the consent and confidentiality issues involved.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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