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This Policy defines the Organisation’s philosophy on staff use of mobile telephones during duty hours.


A: USE OF MOBILE TELEPHONES:

1. Each staff member will be issued with a mobile telephone for the following purposes:


1.1 As an essential component of the Organisation’s Electronic Monitoring System, where the staff member is required to “phone in” upon arriving at the service user’s house, and “logging off” when leaving.


1.2 As a means of direct communication with their line supervisor or manager at “base” (the Organisation’s administrative facilities). Each telephone handset will have the Organisation’s emergency contact numbers (including out-of-hours numbers) programmed into it.


1.3 To summon help in emergency situations. This can include:


  • calling for an ambulance, or the police, to deal with incidents involving the service user and / or third parties;

  • when the staff member feels threatened or intimidated, especially when working late or alone.


2. The telephone is not to be used for making or receiving personal calls, except in emergency situations or by pre-arrangement with management. In particular:


2.1 Personal calls are not to be made while delivering care.


2.2 In emergency situations, and when an incoming call is expected, the telephone ring tone should be switched off to avoid disturbing the service user, and the handset set to “vibrate”. As a matter of courtesy, the service user should be asked if they have any objection to the staff member making or accepting emergency calls. Wherever possible, calls should be made, or set to receive, between service user visits.


2.3 Hand-held telephones MUST NOT be used while driving. If it is essential to communicate while driving a hands-free telephone system must be used, but again only in emergencies. The safest option is always to find a safe place to stop to use the telephone.


2.4 Any personal calls that are made will be paid for by the staff member responsible for the telephone handset.


B: CONFIDENTIALITY & SECURITY:

1. The telephone must not be used to store personal details alluding to a service user and / or advocate or family members, without express authorisation from the Organisation, and then only that information that is judged to be in the best interests of the service user may be stored. A finite time for storage of personal data must be agreed with the service user / advocate.


2. The telephone must be kept secure at all times particularly when it is being carried. If the handset is lost or stolen this must be reported immediately to the Organisation’s management so that it can be disabled.


3. The telephone must not be used by any unauthorised persons.


4. The telephone must be locked when not in use to prevent unauthorised use.

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