Protecting Your Privacy

Our organisation recognises and respects each client’s right to privacy and confidentiality. We observe the Australian Privacy Principles in the Australian Privacy Act 1988 in protecting personal*  and sensitive**  client information as far as is legally permissible.

Collection, Use and Disclosure of Information

Personal information is collected, used or disclosed by our organisation for the following purposes only:

  • To provide services to the client;
  • To manage our internal business operations, including to meet any legal requirement;
  • To provide the client with information about our organisation and the services we offer;
  • To provide information to the person they tell us may receive information about them in an emergency, and our related entities;
  • To inform organisations and carers who assist us in operating our business; and
  • To provide information to or receive information from other service providers that the client receives services from.

Clients are advised that by signing the Home Care Agreement they authorise us to use, disclose or obtain their personal information for these purposes.

Clients are asked to renew consent at the time of annual reassessment by signing the Client Consent Form. Where a situation arises requiring release of information and it is not possible to immediately gain written consent, verbal consent is obtained by the Care Coordinator and documented in the client record.

Client Rights

We observe a client’s right to choose not to provide personal information we request in the course of providing a service to them. Clients may also opt to communicate anonymously at times in their dealings with us. Clients are advised however, that not providing personal information and/or maintaining anonymity may impact on our ability to provide an appropriate level of service or respond to their communication.

Storage and Security of Information

All reasonable steps are taken to protect personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Safeguards to protect personal information include:

  • Secured office premises
  • High level secure online platform
  • Log ins and passwords required for all online systems
  • Access to information stored electronically is restricted to staff whose job requires it
  • Movement of hard copy files between sites is discouraged. Where movement is necessary, files must:
    • Be signed in/out in the Records Movement Register before leaving and on return to the premises by the person removing the file
    • Be carried in a locked case o Not be left unattended in a vehicle at any time.

Access

  • Clients have the right to access their personal information at any time. Requests for access:
  • Are responded to within 14 days unless the nature of the request requires an extension of time in which case the applicant is informed of the reasons in writing
  • Do not incur a fee
  • May be denied where our organisation is required or authorised to refuse access by law in which case the applicant is informed of the reasons for refusal in writing
  • May be addressed by considering the use of a mutually agreed intermediary to allow sufficient access to meet both parties’ needs where our organisation is not required to provide the access requested
  • Should be submitted to the Privacy Officer on the Request to Access/Correct Personal Information form.

Clients requiring assistance in completing/lodging the form can contact the Care Coordinator for assistance.

Correction

We aim to ensure that all information we hold about clients which we collect, use, or disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Clients:

  • Are advised to promptly notify us if there are any changes to their personal information
  • May ask us at any time to correct personal information we hold which they believe is incorrect or out-of-date
  • Are responded to within 14 days
  • May request a statement is attached to the information noting that the client considers it is not accurate, complete or up-to-date where we disagree as to the accuracy of the information
  • Do not incur a fee for requesting correction, correction of personal information or having a statement attached
  • Can request that we notify relevant entities of the correction to their information.
  • Submit the request for correction using the Request to Access/Correct Personal Information form as described above.
  • Clients have the right to appeal a decision to deny access to, or correction of, their personal information by contacting the Privacy Officer.

Staff and Carer Responsibilities

All staff and carers have individual responsibility for maintaining the privacy, security and confidentiality of information as set out in this policy. Staff and carers acknowledge this responsibility in signing:

  • The employment contract
  • Position description
  • Privacy and confidentiality agreement
  • Code of conduct.

Staff and carers are advised that they:

  • Will have access to and may be given confidential information in the course of their employment
  • Are not permitted to disclose or use any confidential information except where required in the proper course of their duties
  • Must use their best efforts to prevent the disclosure of any confidential information including:
    • notifying management of any request for information about a client
    • ensuring client records (hard copy or electronic) and mobile devices to access same are secured at all times
  • May be dismissed for serious misconduct if they breach confidentiality 
  • Must familiarise themselves with and adhere to this policy and related procedures. 

Care Coordinators have responsibility for determining the necessary client information provided to carers to enable them to carry out their duties safely and efficiently. This would reasonably include:

  • The outcome and any action taken on completion of the Home Safety Checklist
  • Alerts about pets or other identified risks
  • Living arrangements – who resides at the property
  • Relevant medical history eg diabetes, epilepsy, allergies
  • Behaviours
  • The task/duties they will perform
  • Any client instructions or requests.

Privacy Breaches

Any suspected breach of privacy should be reported to Local Guardians immediately for prompt investigation. Investigations are managed by the Privacy Officer in consultation with management. The findings of privacy investigations will be documented and reported to the complainant and management.

Clients have the right to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) if they are dissatisfied with the response to a complaint or an appeal about access to or correction of information.

OAIC telephone: 1300 363 992

Online via: http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint

*Personal information is defined under the Privacy Act 1988 as: information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. Examples include: an individuals name, signature, address, telephone number, date of birth, medical records, bank account details and commentary or opinion about a person.  

**Sensitive information is defined under the Privacy Act 1988 as: a type of personal information and includes information about: an individual’s racial or ethnic origin; health information; political opinions; membership of a political association; professional or trade association or trade union; religious beliefs or affiliations; philosophical beliefs; sexual orientation or practices; criminal record; genetic information; biometric information that is used for certain purposes; biometric templates. 

We are different!

Our innovative model maximises the funding to individuals for care, with prices below half that of any other home care provider in Australia and generally doubling care hours comparing to traditional providers.

With over a decade of experience supporting tens of thousands of aged care clients, Local Guardian’s deploy best practice technology to offer homecare packages a low 6% administration charge (of package value) to oversee the care, quality systems (safeguarding) and finance.

Case management including provider selection and scheduling, can be self-managed, or outsourced to a provider of client’s choice or completed by Local Guardians as required on an hourly basis or 12% fee. Full Case Management would equal 18%, compared to full self-management of 6%.

Other unique innovations include: free cab charge cards, real time statements via smart phone access; our own debit cards, allowing more flexibility in spending; and thousands of existing providers to search.

Home Care Benefits

  • “Family portal” access
  • Keep profile and contact details up-to-date
  • View budget and actual expenditures online 24/7
  • View calendar, carers and their notes, 24/7
  • Relevant documents and key contacts available
  • Take over care management to maximise care plan budget