The purpose of this Information Governance (IG) Hub is to reinforce St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s commitment to Information Governance and provide guidance and resources for employees, including colleagues-in-training.
What is Information Governance?
Information is a vital asset, both in terms of the clinical management of individual patients and the efficient organisation of services and resources. St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust aims to safeguard patient confidentiality and maintain data security whilst empowering staff to perform their role using key information governance principles.
Why is Information Governance (IG) important?
Information governance (IG) is the way in which the NHS handles and securely processes all of its information, in particular personal and sensitive information relating to patients and employees. Information Governance provides a framework to bring together all the legal rules, guidance and best practice that apply to the handling of personal information to ensure that it is handled and processed legally, securely, efficiently and effectively, in order to deliver the best possible care.
It also offers NHS employees a clear structure to deal consistently with the many different rules about how information is handled, including those set out in:
- The Data Protection Act 2018;
- The Confidentiality NHS Code of Practice;
- The NHS Care Record Guarantee for England;
- The Social Care Record Guarantee for England;
- The Information Security NHS Code of Practice;
- The Records Management NHS Code of Practice;
- The Freedom of Information Act 2000.
How can I make my organisation’s Information Governance a success?
1. Ensure you participate in your Host Organisation’s mandatory training and education.
These will develop your awareness of legal and organisational requirements, in the context of your workplace and your own work areas. These may also contain IG assessments, to identify gaps in your knowledge and strengthen your understanding of these processes.
2. If you are unsure, ask.
If you’re unsure about certain information or its sensitivity, ask a colleague or manager. Not only does this provide further assurances but promotes a workplace culture of increased awareness and discussion.
3. Learn from your mistakes.
Shortcomings allow the opportunity for reflection and identification of good practice going forward. Work with your colleagues to learn from mistakes and escalate issues where appropriate.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
If you have any concerns about standards or practices in your team/ department, discuss these with a member of your team, your supervisor or manager.
5. Remember that Information Goverance is the responsibility of all staff.