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There might be times when you have concerns over the recording, storing or sharing of information. These could either be to do with bad practice relating to confidentiality, for example, if files containing sensitive information have been left lying around or the key for the office has gone missing. Or, it could be to do with how to handle disclosed information about risks to the wellbeing of an individual. In either case, your manager would be your first port of call.

They must be told immediately about any concerns over breach of confidentiality so they can take action. For example, if files have been left lying around for any unauthorised person to see, they have to speak to the worker who took them out, remind all staff of the agreed ways of working, inform the person to whom the record relates and take any action possible to limit the damage caused. If a key has gone missing, locks need to be changed.

Health and social care workers have a duty to report unsafe or incompetent practice to their organisation’s regulatory body, for example, the CQC. If the manager doesn’t take your concerns seriously it is your responsibility to make the report under the whistleblowing procedure. If your concerns are based on an individual’s information you will need to obtain their permission before making a complaint.

Whenever you have major concerns about the recording, storing or sharing of information, you should make a written record, stating your concerns and who you have reported to. You should sign and date it as it might be used as evidence, at a later stage, that you reported your concerns.