Privacy and Confidentiality Policy


1.   Purpose

To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the client and other service users and the facility to access information when required.


2.   Scope

This policy is instilled in all parts of the organisation from Management to Administration, Service, Accounts and Personnel departments inclusive of all Field Staff.


3.   Supporting Research and Analysis

HACC Policy and Practice Manual, Industry Networks

Note: this field is for documenting the process of policy development and review.


4.   Definitions


The quality of being secluded from the presence or view of others.

The condition of being concealed or hidden.



Ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorised to have access.

Entrusted with private information and the confidence of another.


5.   Policy Statement    


Privacy, Confidentiality and Access to Personal Information

Protecting the privacy of clients is very important and the following policies and procedures are designed to ensure that details about clients are kept confidential, and only disclosed with the client’s permission for the purposes of ensuring that clients are receiving the services they need.


Privacy and Confidentiality in the Assessment Process

The initial assessment of a client and any follow-up or reviews should take place with the client. The assessment and reviews should be between the Support Officer and/or Service Representative and the client, and with the client's consent, his/her legal guardian, case manager or advocate only.


The Service Representative should note any particular privacy requirements of the client e.g. the preference for a male or female worker.


Privacy and Confidentiality of Information

The only information held by Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd about a Client will be information necessary to assess the needs of a service, and to provide the service. Information should be as non-obtrusive and objective as possible, yet relevant and up-to-date.


The client has the right to withhold information for privacy reasons. Information about a client will not be shared with another agency or service provider without the permission of the client or his/her legal guardian or advocate. Where the main service provider has requested information to ensure better service to the client information may be passed on.


Clients have the right to read any personal information kept about them by Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd. Requests from clients to access files should be referred to the Service Co-ordinator who should ensure that assistance is provided for the client to access information on his/her file within two weeks. A staff member should be made available to explain any terminology to the client.


Information regarding clients will be stored in a filing cabinet or electronic document which is kept locked or secured with a password when the office is unattended. This information is only accessible to the Service Department, Administrative Officer (for maintaining files) and Senior Management.


Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd Privacy Statement

1.     Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information which we and our funded service partners handle. Personal information is information which directly or indirectly identifies a person.

2.     We collect and handle a range of personal information for the purposes of providing services or to carry out our statutory functions. We also collect some personal information for planning, monitoring and evaluating our services and functions, but we remove identifying details from information used for these purposes.

3.     In accordance with our responsibilities, the services we and our service partners provide relate primarily to the areas of health, community support and the protection of public health and safety. They include in particular primary and community health, public hospitals, mental health, disability, early childhood, family support, child protection, juvenile justice, housing, homelessness support, and public health. We are committed to providing coordinated care to our clients.

4.     We recognise that the nature of these services means that much of the information we handle is particularly sensitive.

5.     We recognise that privacy principles protect personal information both as a matter of individual right, and to support the public interest in ensuring Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd can collect information necessary for its services.

6.     We recognise the essential right of individuals to have their information handled with professionalism - protected and made accessible to them.

7.     These privacy values are reflected in and supported by our vision, mission and philosophy.

8.     We are bound by the NSW privacy laws, the Information Privacy Act 2000 and the Health Records Act 2001, as well as other laws which impose specific obligations in regard to handling information.

9.     We have adopted the respective Privacy Principles contained in the NSW privacy laws as minimum standards in relation to handling personal information.

In broad terms this means that we:

·         Collect only information which we need for a specified primary purpose.

·         Ensure that the person knows why we collect it and how we will handle it.

·         Use and disclose it only for the primary or a directly related purpose, or for another purpose with the person's consent (unless otherwise authorised by law).

·         Store it securely, protecting it from unauthorised access.

·         Retain it for the period authorised by the Public Records Act 1973.

·         Provide the person with access to their own information, and the right to seek its correction.

·         For information in we possess, this right is available through the Freedom of Information Act 1982*. For information in our service partner’s possession, this right is available through privacy legislation.




Privacy and Confidentiality Procedure


6.   Procedure



The procedure for opening files and file movement involves:

·         There are two filing cabinets and two file servers (PC or hardrive)

o    Client records (Cabinet and server)

o    General administration (Cabinet and server)

·         An individual file will be created for each client following initial consultation.

·         Procedures for the storage, retrieval and re-filing of files should be developed by the Administration Officer.

·         File notes should be kept of client contact which involves

o    Consultation

o    Review

o    Change in care plan

o    Change of staff working with the client

o    Change in circumstances of the client

o    Complaints

o    Reports/information from other agencies and/or service providers

o    Requests from the client for any change in service

·         Files removed from the office should be placed inside a plain manila folder which does not identify the client.

·         Files should be stored in the filing cabinet or file server when not in use.

·         All incoming correspondence should be signed off by the Liaison Officer or Management before being filed.

·         Keys and passwords to the filing cabinet and file server holding client records will be held by the Liaison officer Manager and Administration Officer.

·         Keys and passwords to the filing cabinet and file server holding general administrative files will be held by the Liaison officer Manager, Administration Officer and Accounts Officer.


Length of Time Records Are Held

If a service to a client has stopped being provided, but may need to be resumed at a future date, information relating to the client will be kept in the filing cabinet for a period of five years before being archived. If the service will not need to be resumed, the client records will be archived at the end of the financial year. All information regarding clients will be destroyed seven years after they cease to receive services.



All Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd staff and volunteers will be given an identification badge, identifying them as Accuro Homecare Pty Ltd representatives. This would be shown to clients at every contact in their home until the person is known to the client.



All staff should be aware of, understand and adhere to the policy on privacy and confidentiality.


7.   Supporting Policies and/or Procedures

·         Quality Policy and Procedure          

·         Planning Policy

·         Clients Rights Policy

·         Client and Community Participation Policy


8.   Responsibility        

OHSW Committee, Department Managers and Employees


9.   Key Stakeholders  

Clients, Visitors, Organisations, Third Party Providers, Employees, Directors and Shareholders


10.Related Legislation            

·         Home and Community Care Policy and Practice Manual

·         Public Records Act 1973

·         Health Records Act 2001

·         Health Records and Privacy Information Act 2002

·         (NSW) Privacy and Personal Protection Information Act 1998

·         (NSW) Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002



11.Related Documents

·         Client Personal Information Access Application Form

·         Clients Rights and Responsibilities Form