Health and Social Level 2 209

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Unit 209 Understand how to handle information in social care settings. Outcome 1 Understand the need for secure handling of information in social care settings. 1.1 Identify the legislation that relates to the recording, storage and sharing of information in social care. The Data Protection Act 1998 controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses and the government. Everyone responsible for using data or storing data has to follow strict rules called 'Data protection principles' these are as follows: Used fairly and lawfully used for specifically stated purposes kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary kept safe and secure Not transferred outside the UK without adequate protection For more sensitive information such as ethnic background, political opinions, religious beliefs, health, sexual health and criminal records there is stronger legal protection. The Freedom of information act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about the activities and members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities. The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. Information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by Scotland’s own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Public Authorities include Government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and the police force. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings. The Act does not give people access to their own personal data such as their health records or credit reference file. If a member of the public wants to see information
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