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Your employer will have agreed on ways of working in place to protect information. Those in relation to electronic information will include having a computer firewall and password protection. Passwords should only be shared with those who have permission to access the information concerned. If you have a personal password to access information at work, you should not share it with anyone else. There will also be practices related to paper-based systems, such as where they are kept and the procedure for access. Even when providing care and support in someone’s own home it is important to know what records there are and where they are kept. Ask your manager to explain your agreed ways of working about handling information and to answer any questions you may have.

Digital working, digital learning and digital information sharing are becoming an everyday practice in health and social care. There is an increased understanding of the benefits of improved communication and access to a wide range of knowledge. It is now an aspiration that everyone involved in delivering care and support will have the confidence to work digitally and the opportunity to develop their digital skills, whether with computers, smartphones or assistive technology.

Care plans are a key record about an individual’s needs and choices and include assessment of risks. They are an important tool in good communication between those who are involved in providing care and support. Ask your employer to share examples of care plans with you, talking you through how they are completed and what information should be included. They must always be kept up to date, complete, accurate and legible in order to ensure quality and consistency of care. They may become legal documents of evidence if at any point there is cause for concern or an enquiry. It is therefore vital you include all details of the agreed care, as well as writing tidily and in a way that is clearly understood, avoiding jargon, and ensuring that the information is factual and not based on opinion. Someone in your workplace will have the responsibility for checking care plans regularly to ensure they are fit for purpose.