Privacy, Confidentiality & Access to Personal Information

Last Reviewed: May 2015

Next Review Date: May 2017

1. Purpose
To ensure that the client’s and/ or carer’s / advocate’s or guardian’s personal information is maintained and used solely for the purpose that it was collected, access is appropriately authorised and consent is obtained. Senior Helpers is committed to a culture that protects privacy and will endeavor to protect the personal information it collects, stores, discloses and uses.

2. Applies To
These guidelines apply to all services provided by Senior Helpers.

3. References
Aged Care Act (1997)
Home and Community Care Act (1985)
Aged Care Principles
Community Care Common Standards
SA Carers Recognition Act 2005
Privacy Act 2001 & National Privacy Principles
Freedom of Information Act 1991
SA State Records Act 1997

4. Definitions
Access - providing to an individual, information about himself or herself that is held by Senior Helpers. This may include allowing that individual to inspect personal information or to obtain a copy. 

Consent - voluntary agreement to some act, practice or purpose.

5. Procedure
At the initial assessment and at reassessment the client and/ or carer, advocate or guardian will be verbally informed about their right to privacy, confidentiality and how to access their personal information. The client and/ or nominated carer, advocate or guardian has the right to withdraw consent to the release of information at any time. The client, their nominated carer, advocate or guardian will be:

  • Informed of the reasons for collecting the information that is recorded in the client’s personal records.

  • Asked to sign the Assessment Form consent section.

  • Informed that in an emergency, release of the client’s information may occur to the service user’s nominated carer, advocate, guardian or medical

  • professional(s) as recorded in the Assessment Form.
  • Informed that they can access information from the client’s file or electronic records by notifying the office in writing. Information will be provided in 3 business days to the person making the request.

  • Informed that information recorded that relates to the client may be amended if incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

  • Informed that they have the right to contact the Privacy Commission to make a complaint or comment in regards to Senior Helpers staff members who dealt with the privacy issues.

Where personal information is sought from a third party, information will only be released to an authorised person following the client’s, nominated carer, advocate or guardian consent.