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HELPLINE CONFIDENTIALITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS POLICY

Confidentiality is governed by the law with regard to any information we have about our service users, parents, donors, associates and the entire organisation.
In addition public perception plays an important part in our lives and particularly in the success of Kisharon as we rely on the goodwill of the community and their support.
In order that there is no mis-information, this policy must be followed by all staff.
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1. All matters relating to any service user or their family must not be discussed outside of the services with any person.
2. Matters relating to a service user can be discussed by the Tutor/Teacher with the parent or guardian within the service they attend or during a work related pre-arranged home visit or telephone call.
3. If you are asked about a service user or their family or about a matter relating to the organisation, the response should be that you are unable to discuss confidential matters. If the person questioning persists, they should be referred to the Manager of the particular service.
4. There must be no discussion regarding cases of protection issues or other highly confidential matters with other staff members within the organisation.
5. All matters relating to the organisation itself, management of the services or individual staff members cannot be discussed with the press or any other outside agency. Staff must ensure that any enquiries regarding any of Kisharon’s services from the press are referred to the Manager who, in turn, will refer these enquiries to the Executive Director.
6. Adherence to the Confidentiality and P.R. Policy is a requirement after the staff member has left the organisation’s employ.

3 September 2011
Reviewed: November 2012
powered by Firefly.NET

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HELPLINE DATA PROTECTION POLICY

PURPOSE
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. This policy sets out the rights and responsibilities of all staff at Kisharon who process personal data. This is important because the Act will have an impact on everyone at Kisharon and the penalties for non-compliance can be fines or other forms of punishment under the law, either as an organisation or as individuals.

SCOPE
The policy covers all employees, casual/bank staff, consultants, governors and trustees.

The term “data processing” is very widely defined in the Act and includes obtaining, recording, organising, using, disclosing, deleting, and even simply holding data (information). Therefore, anything you do with information will amount to processing.

The term “personal data” is data that relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data or from that data and any other information that is in (or is likely to come into) the possession of the data controller.

There is a sub-category of personal data which is referred to in the Act as “sensitive personal data” and there are even more obligations on those who process this data. Sensitive personal data is information that relates to an individual’s political opinions, racial or ethnic origins, mental or physical health, sexual life, religious persuasion, trade union affiliation or criminal record.

The Act covers data held both manually and on computer.

OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Eight Data Protection Principles
Under the Act, all users of personal data must comply with 8 data protection principles:

1. Personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully. This means that data must be obtained in a way that is open, with an explanation of the purpose for which the data is to be used. In the case of sensitive data, it cannot be processed lawfully unless the subject of the data has given their consent.

2. Data should be obtained only for one or more stated and lawful purposes and must not be processed in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.

3. Data must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.

4. Data should be accurate and, where necessary, up to date.

5. Data will not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.

6. Data must be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects.

7. Data must be protected by appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.

8. Data must not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of data.

Your responsibilities:
All staff are required to maintain confidentiality in their work as appropriate. In relation to personal data it is essential to review procedures for handling such data to ensure that all processing is lawful under the Act. These points should be particularly considered:

Access to personal data should be restricted to those who need it for clearly defined purposes. Personal data held on computer should be protected by regularly changed passwords, whilst data held in other ways should be kept secure when not in use. Failure to protect against unauthorised access would be an offence under the Act.
Data must only be used for purposes for which it is collected. Data collected for one purpose must not be used for other purposes unless these were made known at the time the data was collected, or the data subject is advised and consents.
Data should not be held for longer than necessary and so should be destroyed when no longer needed, or at the end of any statutory retention period. Only keep data if there is a good reason for doing so – getting rid of unnecessary data can also save on space.
Take care when revealing personal data to anyone other than the individuals themselves. Where necessary, obtain evidence of identity and establish why the data is needed. Consider whether or not revealing the data is in accordance with the Act, and if in doubt, seek advice from a manager. The consent of the data subject should be obtained whenever possible.
Rights of access to information
1. Employees

Employees of Kisharon have the right to access information held on them by Kisharon. To do so, you should make a written request to the Deputy Executive Director setting out in detail the information you wish to see. There will be a charge of £10 for each request.

Information will be supplied within 40 days of the written request being received. Access to the information will be in the presence of a nominated person. The sole purpose of this is to ensure that no material is inappropriately removed or destroyed, and to protect the individual seeking access from any such allegations at a later date.

You may, within reason, request one copy of any or all of the information to which you seek access. A record will be made of any copies requested and provided, including date and place, together with the name of the person providing them.

Access to references received will only be provided if the provider of the reference has consented and there is no other substantial reason for Kisharon to do otherwise.

Employees may challenge the accuracy of an entry made in the records and the data controller must respond to this challenge by investigating it and making any changes as necessary.

2. Service Users

All service users have a right to access to their files in the same way as employees. However, care must be taken to ensure that any documents that cannot be shown to the individual under the law remain confidential. Service users may challenge the accuracy of an entry as above.

3. Third Party requests for data

Data must not on any account be disclosed over the telephone because the caller’s identity can be difficult to verify. If you receive such a request you should ask the person to put the request in writing via letter, fax, e-mail, as appropriate.

Data can be disclosed to a third party without the consent of the data subject in the following circumstances only:

· Data required by law eg data supplied to statutory bodies.

· Data that is in the vital interests of the data subject.

· Data that would prevent harm to a third party.

· Data that would prevent crime.

· Data that would be in the interest of national security.

A record must be kept on file of any disclosure, including date, to whom, and the reason for the request.

Exemptions to access
Access may not be permitted in the following circumstances:

It would involve a disproportionate effort.
The data subject has not provided sufficient information to enable the data controller to satisfactorily identify the data subject or otherwise comply with the request.
The data controller has already complied with the same or a similar request within a reasonable period.
Disclosure of the data would also disclose information relating to another individual unless:
- the other individual has consented; or

- it is reasonable to disclose the information without such consent.

Careful consideration should be given to what is “reasonable”, in relation to the last point, thinking through any duty of confidentiality owed to the other individual, any steps that the data controller might take to seek consent from them, and whether the other individual is capable of consenting.

Retention of Records
The Data Protection Act states that data should not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed. Therefore, Kisharon sets out the following guidelines for retaining data. These guidelines relate to all employees at Kisharon who may hold information about individuals.

Applicants for jobs who are not short listed for interview: 6 months

Applicants short listed for interview who are not successful: 12 months

Ex-employees: 5 years

Summary of record of service of ex-employees: 10 years

It is important to remember that computer records as well as manual files are included in this directive.

Files on ex-service users will be kept for no longer than 3 years.

Click Here - Data Protection Staff Consent Form

November 2012

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KP34: SAFEGUARDING
SERVICE USERS FROM ABUSE POLICY
OUTCOME 7, REGULATION 11

(Safeguarding People who use Services from Abuse)
Aim of Policy
This document outlines Kisharon’s policy on safeguarding vulnerable service users from possible abuse.
Policy Statement
We work to the following principles:
• Everyone has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse.
• All adults have the right to be protected from harm and exploitation.
• All adults have the right to self-determination, which involves a degree of risk.
We are committed to:
· Ensuring that there is a consistent and effective response to any concerns, allegations or disclosure of abuse.
• Putting policies and procedures in place to ensure that the need for confidentiality is
balanced with that of safeguarding the service user.
• Supporting staff in reporting and investigating incidents of service user abuse.
• Preventing abuse from occurring in our organisation.
• Ensuring that staff have knowledge and understanding of Safeguarding issues and receive appropriate training.
• Working in partnership with other organisations.
Kisharon recognises that service users must be safeguarded from all forms of abuse wherever and however it might occur, this includes abuse by staff, family, strangers, professional abuse, domestic violence and neglect. Abuse, wherever it happens and whoever perpetrates it, must not be ignored. Kisharon will take every possible action to prevent abuse and to deal with it promptly and effectively if it occurs, or is reported as occurring. We recognise that vulnerable adults have diverse social, cultural, religious, ethnic identities and needs, and that we must be sensitive to this in all aspects of safeguarding.
Legislation
Kisharon undertakes to work in compliance with No Secrets (the Department of Health guidance on multi-company policies and other national policy documents and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse) as well as observing the relevant sections of the Care Quality Commission Guidance about compliance, Essential Standards of Quality and Safety. Kisharon works in accordance with its local Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults protocols and multi-company working guidelines.
Kisharon recognises that service users who might lack mental capacity are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. It is accordingly mindful of the need to follow the principles and practice guidance that has accompanied the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These apply particularly to investigations of possible abuse in which it is important to seek means of ascertaining the experiences and views of any victim or indeed alleged perpetrator who might lack capacity, for example by seeking the services of independent advocates. (See Kisharon’s Policy and Procedures on the mental Capacity Act 2005).
Raising Awareness
Kisharon is committed to:
• Advising service users, relatives, and staff about how to raise concerns if they suspect or experience abuse
• Enabling staff to recognise poor practice, or abuse and respond appropriately
• Ensuring staff receive the necessary training, commensurate with their level of responsibility
• Raising the profile of safeguarding adults in all relevant meetings, and
• Making all staff aware of the policy and instructing them in the specific procedures for preventing, observing and reporting suspicions or signs of abuse. In reporting possible abuse, staff are made fully aware of Kisharon’s whistle blowing policy, which recognises that the safety of service users is always their paramount concern. All service users and stakeholders are made aware of the company’s determination to take action where it comes across abuse. (See Kisharon’s Whistle Blowing policy).
Principles
The policy is based on Kisharon’s conviction that:
1. vulnerable people are at risk of abuse in varied forms
2. they are in a position to be abused by different people, including family members, friends, strangers and possibly company staff.
3. it has a duty of care to do everything possible to prevent, report and tackle abuse wherever it is encountered.
Recognising Abuse
Kisharon expects its staff to be vigilant regarding the welfare of service users.
It provides staff training so that they can recognise the risks and signs of abuse.
It acknowledges that abuse may take any of the following forms and more than one might be present in an abusive situation:
physical abuse
neglect
psychological abuse
financial or material abuse
sexual abuse
racial, discriminatory, religious or cultural abuse
failure to prevent self-harm
inhuman or degrading treatment.
Reporting Abuse
Any member of staff who knows or believes that abuse is occurring has an obligation to report it as quickly as possible to their manager. An incident report must be completed as soon as possible following the incident.
If the victim requests that the matter should not be reported, the staff member should inform them that they have a duty to report the matter. The staff member should then reassure the service user that the matter will not be taken further than the manager without their consent unless there are exceptional circumstances. Kisharon will take vigorous action against anyone trying to suppress a possible report of abuse.
Action in Emergency Situations
If the situation is an emergency, with a service user in immediate danger, staff are instructed to call for assistance immediately. They should give any necessary first aid and contact appropriate emergency services if necessary (999, or 0300 999 4999 for Hatzola). If the abuser remains present and poses a threat to any company staff present as well as the victim, staff are not expected to put themselves at risk of violence or other harm. They should then put into action Kisharon's procedures on how to respond to abusive, aggressive or violent behaviour, which forms part of the company’s policies on health and safety of its staff. (See Kisharon’s Challenging Behaviour Policy).
Immediate Action to be taken by Managers
When a manager receives a report of suspected, imminent or actual abuse, an investigation must be opened as soon as possible. The staff member investigating the abuse takes steps to arrange for the service user to be interviewed and, if possible, to give their consent to further investigation and action. If the service user refuses consent, their wishes must be respected unless the manager judges that they or others are in serious danger or if they are clearly incapable of making an informed decision.
In cases of proven or suspected incapacity, the manager acts in accordance with the “best interests” principle laid down in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and pursues the matter by obtaining the services of an independent advocate or another independent representative to elicit the service user’s views and wishes.
Where there has been an allegation of abuse against a member of Kisharon’s staff the manager will initiate an investigation within its disciplinary policy, in cooperation with the HR department.
Kisharon will take any necessary steps to safeguard the service user by keeping the situation under review in case it becomes possible or necessary to take further action.

Referral to External Agencies
Whenever there is a case of suspected abuse, the relevant local authority/authorities and the family of the possible victim must be informed of the allegation. If Kisharon’s Residential Services are involved then the Care Quality Commission must also be advised. These authorities will decide according to their safeguarding procedures whether they will undertake their own investigation in addition to Kisharon’s investigation. Kisharon expects its staff to take all possible steps to co-operate with further investigations by the local authority safeguarding unit, CQC investigating inspectors and/or the police if involved.
Reporting to the Police
If it is suspected that a criminal act might have been committed, the situation will be reported to the police. Every effort should be made not to interfere with possible evidence.

Keeping Records
Kisharon ensures that all details associated with allegations of abuse are recorded clearly and accurately. The records are kept securely and the company’s rules on confidentiality carefully followed.
Reports are made as required to the Care Quality Commission and other safeguarding agencies involved.
Kisharon complies with its legal requirement to refer care workers to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) lists where it has evidence that a staff member has been guilty of misconduct by harming or putting at risk a vulnerable adult, during the course of their work, even if they have left the employment of the organisation.
Training

Staff should be aware of the following:
Policies and procedures alone will not protect servicer users and staff from harm.
Only by ensuring that all staff understand and follow such procedures will abuse, bullying and harassment stop.
Staff should be aware of the sensitivity of other people in their behaviour and general conversation in whichever location they are working with vulnerable children and/or adults.
Abuse can occur through ignorance, but ignorance is no defence. Staff should be aware that they are responsible for their actions in dealing with service users.
Where a member of staff is threatened or attacked and their health, well-being or life is in danger and they act in self defence to remove them from the danger, this should not be regarded as abuse.
Recruitment
Kisharon takes great care with recruitment and selection practice, and adheres to pre-appointment checking requirements e.g. identity check, references, and enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service checks as applicable, and co-operates with Government initiatives regarding the sharing of information on care workers who are found to be unsuitable to work with vulnerable people.
LZ
Date: March 2013
Review Date: March 2014