Privacy Policy

Implementation: 10/07/2023 Reviewed by: 10/07/2024
Scheduled review date: This policy will be reviewed annually or as per relevant legislation/guidance changes.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Support the human rights of the Customer and ensure that Merseycare Julie Ann (MCJA) complies with legislation and regulation in relation to the privacy of individuals.

This policy covers the day-to-day considerations of ensuring privacy whilst supporting Customers and it should be read in conjunction with the suite of associated policies and procedures at MCJA in relation to data protection information sharing. including:

  • General Data Protection Regulation Policy and Procedure
  • Record Keeping Policy and Procedure
  • Photographs Policy and Procedure

To support MCJA in meeting the following Key Lines of Enquiry:

Key Question Key Line of Enquiry (KLOE) Quality Statements
CARING CARING C1: How does the service ensure that people are treated with kindness, respect and compassion, and that they are given emotional support when needed? QSC1: Kindness, compassion and dignity QSC1: Kindness, compassion and dignity
CARING CARING C3: How are people’s privacy, dignity and independence respected and promoted? QSC1: Kindness, compassion and dignity QSC3: Independence, choice and control QSC1: Kindness, compassion and dignity QSC3: Independence, choice and control QSC3: Independence, choice and control
RESPONSIVE R1: How do people receive personalised care that is responsive to their needs? QSR1: Person- centred care
SAFE S1: How do systems, processes and practices keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse? QSS3: Safeguarding
WELL-LED W1: Is there a clear vision and credible strategy to deliver high-quality care and support, and promote a positive culture that is person- centred, open, inclusive and empowering, which achieves good outcomes for people? QSW1: Shared direction and culture QSW2: Capable, compassionate and inclusive leaders

To meet the legal requirements of the regulated activities that MCJA is registered to provide:

  • The Care Act 2014
  • Equality Act 2010
  • The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • UK GDPR

Scope

The scope of this policy may affect individuals and/or stakeholders directly or indirectly, both internally and external to MCJA, and may include:

  • All staff
  • Customers their carers and/or family
  • Advocates and/or representatives
  • Local Authority and/or commissioners
  • NHS and/or external health professionals

Objectives

The objectives of this policy are to:

  • Reinforce the requirement, in accordance with professional codes of conduct, to ensure that privacy is maintained as per the Customer’s wishes.
  • Provide clarity and standard practice recommendations to staff at MCJA to ensure that Customers have dignity and privacy when they need and want it. This policy is fully aligned with:

    • Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014
    • Regulation 10: Dignity and Respect
  • Ensure that Customers’, employees’ and stakeholders’ personal data and information is treated with the same level of protection around privacy.

Policy

MCJA recognises the right of Customers to be left alone, undisturbed and free from intrusion and public attention. The Customer also has a right to privacy with regard to their personal affairs, data and their belongings.

Staff will adhere to the human rights of individuals and work in accordance with professional codes of conduct, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance, UK GDPR and Data Protection Policies and Procedures at MCJA.

Intentional breaches of privacy will be fully investigated with appropriate bodies informed and lessons learnt.

Procedure

Care Planning at the Start of a Service

The needs of the Customer regarding privacy will always be considered during the care planning stage to ensure that MCJA can effectively meet the person’s needs.

This assessment will include what information about them can be shared and with whom. This includes the Customer providing formal consent to share information. Where capacity is an issue, the principles of the Mental Capacity Act and associated best interest guidance will be followed. Preferred Customer wishes must be communicated to other relevant staff at MCJA.

Where possible, the care planning process will be completed in a private area where the Customer can feel able to discuss areas of their care needs. This is particularly relevant if an assessment is taking place in a hospital or respite setting prior to discharge home.

Customer Rights

Customer choices in relation to privacy will be respected at all times and all information relating to them will be treated in a confidential manner. MCJA recognises the right of Customers to be left alone, undisturbed and free from intrusion and public attention. The Customer also has a right to privacy with regard to personal data and both personal affairs and belongings.

Staff Expectation, Behaviour and Professionalism

Staff must follow professional codes of conduct as well as operational policies and procedures at MCJA when considering privacy for Customers. This includes all staff expectations around professionalism of communication.

Staff will only discuss Customers in the work environment if it is for the purpose of assessment, management and evaluation of care.

Staff will not discuss any aspect of the Customer’s care outside of the work environment.

Records Management

Records will be designed, used and stored in a manner which assures privacy.

Records will only be made available to the Customer’s family and main Care Worker according to the wishes of the Customer or if information requests fulfil the legal requirements for doing so.

Information sharing with appropriate health professionals will be done in line with UK GDPR and MCJA Data Protection Policies and Procedures.

Personal Care and Privacy

Particular attention will be given to preserving privacy in the use of bathrooms, toilets and when supporting any aspect of personal care. At the same time, health and safety and personal risk management will be considered and discussed.

Staff will ensure, with Customer consent, that curtains/blinds/doors are closed in order to ensure privacy during personal care and moving and handling.

Any personal and sensitive items that may be deemed necessary such as care equipment (for example continence aids, catheters, dressings) will be kept out of view at all times to ensure that privacy is maintained.

Staff will always knock on the Customer’s door and await a response before entering the room. Privacy will be respected around the Customer’s home at all times.

Photography and Filming

Staff should refer to the policies available with regard to privacy, photography and filming at MCJA and to relevant CQC guidance.

Breach in Privacy

Any breach in the privacy of a Customer will be considered a serious event. The incident will be fully investigated in accordance with UK GDPR, Data Protection Policies and Procedures at MCJA and there will be evidence available about what has been learnt to ensure that the risk of reoccurrence is reduced. Disciplinary action will be taken where the incident is considered to have been caused with intent.

Any environmental or equipment fault which reduces the privacy of any Customer must be reported to the Registered Manager or senior member of staff.

Breaches of privacy of a serious nature will be referred to the local Safeguarding Board and appropriate regulatory body notifications will be completed by the Registered Manager or delegated other, who has the relevant skills, knowledge and experience.

Training and Education

Privacy forms part of the Care Certificate for care workers. New staff who have not already completed this will be expected to achieve this unit. In addition:

  • Staff will be expected to review their professional code of conduct and be aware of what this means in practice.
  • Training will be given with regard to UK GDPR and Data Security and Protection.
  • Privacy will form part of the supervision process agenda at MCJA as well as at staff and Customer meetings in order to review practice, seek feedback and determine quality assurance.

Capacity and Privacy

The same rights of privacy apply to individuals who are proven to lack capacity therefore staff must do the following:

  • Establish any previously expressed views or wishes of the individual regarding privacy from family and others.
  • Observe Customer behaviours to identify what the preferences may be for that individual wishing to have privacy.
  • Continue to follow the core principles and practices as detailed within this policy, if deemed to be in the best interests of the Customer to do so (in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act) when weighing up privacy.

Jack Gardiner
Operations Director MCJA

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