News and Notices

Important reminder for all staff when recording information

All staff are reminded that any written information, whether electronic or on paper, is classed as a ‘record’ and may therefore be released if requested as part of a Freedom of Information (FoI) or Subject Access Request (SAR). This means that if this information is covered by a request, then DCHS has a legal duty to release this information unless there is a valid exemption. Organisations across Derbyshire have seen a large increase in requests for information from the public and media.

Records can include anything that staff write in, such as:

  • Patient records (electronic such as SystmOne / Inform, or on paper)
  • Employee records on ESR or in personal files (electronic or paper)
  • Emails
  • WhatsApp messages
  • MS Teams comments during meetings or through ‘chat’
  • Information entered in other parts of MS Teams such as Forms
  • Letters, memos, notebooks and diaries
  • Photographs

It is essential that staff follow DCHS’ Code of Conduct and are professional in all correspondence whether internal or external to the Trust.  Any information that is no longer needed (i.e. it is not subject to or has reached its retention period) must be deleted / destroyed.

Staff are reminded in particular that their NHSmail account must not be used as a storage system as this can lead to emails being held that should be deleted, and information is also not accessible to other staff when needed. Any emails that need to be retained should be saved on the network in a suitable folder and not stored in your NHSmail account. Please note that emails held within the NHSmail archive are still subject to FoI and SARs.

Wherever possible, staff should try to save records in one place, for example all information about a patient should be held in their clinical record, including the scanning and attaching of additional paper notes. Likewise, managers should ensure that all information about a staff member is held in one employee record.

Please can all leaders discuss this in your next team meetings.
Any queries should be sent to E: dchst.info.gov@nhs.net.

issued on behalf of ​​​​​​​

Jim Austin
Chief Information & Transformation Officer
Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust