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Information Sharing and Governance Guide from Skills For Care

The importance and need for information sharing between and within organisations is increasing. All staff in social care should see the use and safe sharing of information as their responsibility.


(Photo: Skills For Care)

The Information Governance Review: To share or not to share, led by Dame Fiona Caldicott, states that every citizen should feel confident that information about their health should be securely safeguarded and shared appropriately when in their interest. Skills for Care have produced a web resourcePDF guide and a series of short films to help social care employers think through these issues and begin to skill their staff to meet these new challenges.
 
You may be asked to share both data and information so it is important to understand the difference. The Caldicott Review states that: 

  • data is a term used to describe statements or numbers that are factual and not the product of interpretation. 
  • Whereas information is the output of a process that summarises, interprets or represents data to convey meaning. 

For example, you may have data on how many people use your services. You may also have information about the people that use that service, for example their name and address.

Information Governance ensures necessary safeguards for, and appropriate use of, patient and personal information.

Even though many organisations will not have a Caldicott Guardian, all social care organisations should have an information governance and information sharing lead to help shape internal processes and ensure staff are clear on how and when to share information. Sharing information and information governance present challenges to employers. Concerns about data protection, working with different systems, confidentiality, making sure all staff are all aware of processes are some of the things employers highlight as issues.

The downloadable guide will help you think about the big issues that are facing social care employers and give you some guidance on thinking these through for your organisation.

The suite of 3 short films demonstrate how two employers have started to meet some of the challenges of information sharing, as well as a film from The Centre for Excellence for Information Sharing and the Information Governance Alliance explaining how they can support social care employers to begin to explore this topic:

All aspects of Information Governance are covered by this guide including 'How do I know what information to share?', 'What do I need in place before sharing information?', 'How do I implement change?' and 'Who can help me?'.

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