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Information governance records management policy

Records Management is the process by which an organisation manages all the aspects of records in any format or media type from their creation, all the way through their lifecycle to their eventual disposal.

As a Public Authority subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the Trust has a duty to follow the Code of Practice for Records Management published by the Lord Chancellor in accordance with section 46 of the FOIA. The code provides guidance to public authorities on keeping, managing and destroying records.

The Data Protection Act sets in law how personal and sensitive information may be processed and largely influences the way we handle care records. Further guidance on the confidentiality aspects of record keeping is provided in the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice and the Trust Data Protection Policy.

The Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016 provides records management guidance for NHS and Social Care organisations based on current legal requirements and professional best practice. The Trust is committed to following the guidance issued in the code of practice and the procedures outlined in this policy are largely based on the guidance included in this Code of Practice.

The Trust’s records are its corporate memory, providing evidence of actions and decisions and representing a vital asset to support daily functions and operations. Records support policy formation and managerial decision-making, protect the interests of the Trust and the rights of patients, staff and members of the public. They support consistency, continuity, efficiency and productivity and help deliver services in consistent and equitable ways. Any information, whatever its medium, is considered public sector information and subject to the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (RPSI). RPSI does not apply to information that would be exempt from disclosure under information access legislation, i.e. the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Good records management is a mandatory corporate function and the Trust is committed to its ongoing improvement.  This policy has been adopted by the Trust Board and the organisational benefits from doing so include:

  • better use of physical and server space.
  • better use of staff time.
  • improved control of valuable information resources.
  • compliance with legislation and standards; and
  • reduced costs.

This document sets out a framework within which the staff responsible for managing the Trust’s records can develop specific policies and procedures to ensure that records are managed and controlled effectively, and at best value, commensurate with legal, operational and information needs.