Vicky Rowett - OT for Complex Needs Service, Children's Health and Disability (CHAD)

I accessed the information governance and managing risk information on the Digital Practitioner website. Whilst a lot of the information on the website is useful as a refresher as I have to engage with IG training fairly regularly, it was really useful to review this and consider other aspects of IG which may not necessarily be covered in the standard training provided by LCC. It was really useful to consider information sharing as a means of improving service provision; by being able to be specific about what it is we need to share and why we need to share this, information sharing does not need to be a scary prospect. 

When meeting a family, the first thing I do is ask them to sign a consent form to allow me to contact other professionals involved with their child’s care and share information where necessary. Watching the online video by Skills for Care around information sharing made me consider the way in which I present and request parents to sign our consent form. I feel that it would be beneficial to families to understand exactly what information we share with other professionals and why. I also feel that explaining this in a way that demonstrates a more integrated way of working would allow parents to feel more at ease at the prospect of information about them and their children being shared across services. 

Watching this video has also allowed me to consider that it could be more empowering for myself and the families I work with if we can have an open discussion around information sharing rather than feeling overwhelmed. Families know that we as a service write a number of reports around their child’s needs but do they always know exactly what we do with those reports once they have been written? It is also important to consider that even if families know who we are sharing information with, they might not always know why this is being shared. 

As I found the links and videos available on the Digital Practitioner website useful in providing a clear understanding of information governance and managing risk, I think it would be really useful for families to have access to a similar resource specific to the service I work in. This would allow families to develop a better understanding of not only what our service does, but the information we gather, record and share and the reasons why we do this. The information I read also reiterated a responsibility on us as practitioners to be clear ourselves as to why we are gathering and sharing information and to ensure only necessary information is being shared. Whilst I always gain consent from families before sharing their child’s information, it is important for us as practitioners that this is not taken for granted and discussions regularly happen with family about the way in which that information is used.