1. The Context
Good record keeping is a requirement under the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
It is essential to facilitate the effective safeguarding of Adults at Risk and also to demonstrate that customers’ cases are managed effectively and efficient, and that safeguarding decisions and actions in individual cases are taken or pursued lawfully and without maladministration.Accurate, complete, current and professional records provide evidence – for good or bad – about the management of a given case. Where a case is managed well, good records are the first line of defence to query or challenge: poor quality records, however, immediately put an organisation on the defensive, as a well-managed case will have little proof, while a poorly managed case will have holes in the story where allegations and assumptions can go unchallenged.
The Human Rights Act 1998 brought into English law a distinct and different approach to thinking about rights, responsibilities and remedies. Also, courts appear increasingly willing to hold local authorities and individual practitioners to legal account. In addition, documentation in relation to the Safeguarding Adults process can be central in providing supported evidence when making referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service Barred List. In light of this, the importance placed on keeping detailed, accurate records is crucial.Record keeping is an integral part of professional practice and should assist the process. It demonstrates accountable actions and helps to focus work. It is essential to 'evidence' actions and decision making through record keeping. Simply stating the decision and action taken without giving the reasoning behind this is not acceptable. Evidencing decision making, even if the actions taken turn out to be problematic, will help to demonstrate intentions.