When working for Healthwatch Bracknell Forest, you will often need to have access to confidential information which may include, for example:
- Personal information about individuals who are persons or otherwise involved in the activities organised by Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
- Information about the internal business of Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
- Personal information about staff or volunteers or members working for Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
Healthwatch Bracknell Forest is committed to keeping this information confidential, in order to protect people and Healthwatch Bracknell Forest itself. ‘Confidential’ means that all access to information must be on a “need to know” basis and properly authorised basis. You must use only the information you have been authorised to use, and for purposes that have been authorised. You should also be aware that under the Data Protection Act, unauthorised access to data about individuals is a criminal offence.
You must assume that information is confidential unless you know that it is intended by Healthwatch Bracknell Forest to be made public. Passing information between Healthwatch Bracknell Forest and a mailing house, or vice versa does not count as making it public, but passing information to another organisation does count.
You must also be particularly careful not to disclose confidential information to unauthorized people or cause a breach of security. In particular you must:
- not compromise or seek to evade security measures (including computer passwords)
- be particularly careful when sending information to other agencies and organisations
- not gossip about confidential information, either with colleagues or people outside Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
- Not disclose information — especially over the telephone — unless you are sure that you know who you are disclosing it to, and that they are authorised to have it
If you are in doubt about whether to disclose information or not, do not guess. Withhold the information while you check with an appropriate person whether the disclosure is appropriate.
Your confidentiality obligations continue to apply indefinitely after you have stopped working or volunteering for Healthwatch Bracknell Forest.