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This Policy summarises the systems and arrangements used within the Organisation to control records and personal files, and includes the right of the service user to have access to his / her personal records and files:


A: CONTROL MEASURES FOR RECORDS:


1. Each set of records will be maintained in a secure location within the Organisation’s central offices, and in such a manner as to prevent deterioration or spoilage. Records will be collated and filed in an orderly fashion and indexed so as to be easily retrievable.


2. A Quality Records Log will be maintained which will identify the following for each set of records, taking into account statutory requirements as applicable:

  • Location of storage.

  • Disk References, where records are stored on computer.

  • Length of time records are kept ("Retention periods"). This varies from 3 months to 40 years.

  • Who has responsibility for maintenance and control of these records?

  • Staff who are authorised to have access to individual sets of records.


3. Obsolete records will be processed as follows:


3.1 Where history records are required - archived under the control of the Domiciliary Care Services Manager. In such cases, archiving shall be for the initial statutory period specified in the legislation, after which the Domiciliary Care Services Manager will review the need to continually retain the records. Thereafter, archived records will be reviewed annually and those that can be disposed will be actioned per 3.4 below.


3.2 The Domiciliary Care Services Manager must always be aware of appropriate legislation / regulations governing the storage periods for archived records, and archiving will be in accordance with these requirements. A log of archived records will be maintained by the Domiciliary Care Services Manager.


3.3 The retention periods that will apply to key record sets kept by the Home are as follows (see also Form No 1-500; Records Log):


  • Personnel files: 6 years from end of employment;

  • Application Forms and Interview Notes: 6 months from the date of the interview;

  • Income Tax and NI returns: 3 years from end of appropriate

  • Financial year;

  • Health records relating to termination of

  • Employment on health grounds: 3 years

  • Medical records relating to the COSHH

  • Regulations, latest revision: 40 years


3.4 Disposal - records MUST be disposed of at the expiry of the statutory period above unless there is a reason relevant to Data Protection principles to justify their retention. Disposal will be by cross-cut shredding, and will require written authorisation from the Domiciliary Care Services Manager. Shredding can be done in-house or by a specialist contractor listed on the Preferred Suppliers Lists, ref Form No 1-100.


B: SERVICE USERS’ RIGHT OF ACCESS TO PERSONAL FILES:


1. During the period of the Contract for Care, service users' daily records will be kept in a folder at each service user’s home. He / she therefore has immediate access to these records at any time. (Refer to Policy No 1501 for details of records to be kept at the service user’s home).


2. If the service user feels that there is information contained within his / her files with which he / she disagrees, then he / she can request that the record be altered; alternatively a note may be made in the records indicating the disagreement of the service user. Such alterations may be made by the Care Worker but must be witnessed by the Domiciliary Care Services Supervisor or Manager, as appropriate.


3. Service users' records are subject to the standard conditions of confidentiality, reference Policy No 1505. Confidential information concerning the service user will not be disclosed to a third party unless, in the opinion of the Domiciliary Care Services Manager, there is a serious risk to that service user's health or safety.


4. Service users' records are kept for a period of 3 years after termination / completion of the Care Contract. These records will be kept in a secure location at the Organisation’s offices in line with the system described in A.1. above.


FORMS REFERENCES:


Form No: 1-100 Preferred Suppliers List

Form No: 1-500 Records Log

Form No: 1-501 Log of Archived Records





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