Privacy, Dignity & Confidentiality
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It is the policy of the Thorndale Foundation that each participant’s right to privacy, dignity and confidentiality in all aspects of their life is recognised and respected.
The Thorndale Foundation believes that people with disability are individuals who have the inherent right to respect for their human worth and dignity.
1. The Thorndale Foundation will only collect information about a participant which is directly relevant to the provision of service.
2. Any written information about the participant will be kept in the participants file or computer drive which will be kept secure.
3. Viewing of or access to a participant file will be on a strict, need-to-know basis and release of any information will require the informed consent of the participant.
4. Signed consent (Appendix 17/s) is required for access from external sources and either the participants or their support person can sign.
5. From time to time participants may be required to sign consents from external parties such as NDIA, FaCS or DSS to release information.
6. Verbal consent will be obtained for internal access to, or release of information.
7. Exchange of information related to employment, community programs, independent living social and/or accommodation issues, between for example, parents and/or staff, other services or organisations, including other Thorndale Foundation services, will be on a strict, need-to-know basis and will require the consent of the participants.
8. When information is exchanged, transported, faxed, emailed or copied, staff will be aware of potential privacy risks and take adequate precautions.
9. Anything that is written or spoken about a participant will be accurate, convey respect for the person and uphold their dignity.
10. Meetings or interviews where the participant is discussed will be conducted in an appropriately private area.
11. A participants file and any other information collected about the participant will be available at all times to the participant, and the nature of information collected about a participant will be explained to the participant. A participant is entitled to add their comments to such information.
12. When a participant leaves the service, documents in their file will be archived in accordance to the relevant statutory requirements depending upon the information.
13. Thorndale recognise that there will be times when information about a participant will need to be shared and/or discussed by staff. The circumstances surrounding these times will always be in line with the criteria outlined above – related to service provision issues, need-to-know, and maintaining the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of the participants.
14. Photographic, electronic and audiographic records are considered information and, as such, will require the same informed consent procedures.
15. No public document will contain information which identifies a participant without their informed consent.
16. A breach of this policy will be considered a serious matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Counselling, Discipline & Dismissal policy.
17. * The informed permission of the participant will be necessary to gain entry to their room and for the use or removal of their possessions by residential staff or other participant, unless the well-being of that participant, any other participants or a staff person is threatened.
18. * Wherever possible, participants will be given as much privacy as required when they receive visitors. This includes the opportunity to use their own room.
19. Mail will be given to participants and a support person made available to assist the participant process the contents, when required.
* Applies specifically to the Accommodation Service.