5 Recording and reporting
Whether your role is to support a family member in their home, or in yours, as an unpaid carer or whether you work in a paid social care role, you are likely to have to maintain some kind of record or communicate with others in writing. These may be official or unofficial documents, but they need to be accurate, factual, clearly written and kept confidential if they contain personal information.
If you work in a paid role, the organisation you work for will have policies in place regarding record-keeping and reporting of incidents and you should be aware of these and follow procedures.
If you are an unpaid carer, any records you keep will be helpful in informing social care and medical services about changes of condition or changing care needs for the person you are supporting, and also changes in your own needs. You should always remember that your needs as a carer are also important, and well-documented records can lead the way to increased support for you in your role as well as for the person you care for.
A diary or communication book will help keep everyone informed about what is going on in the life of the person you are supporting, such as social events and medical appointments, as well as reminders for anyone else who may be supporting the person; for example, ordering medication or collecting prescriptions. Bear in mind that this is a public record, and that you shouldn’t record anything in there that is private or confidential.
Communication books are not an appropriate place to write personal comments or criticisms of other staff members. You shouldn’t use them to have ongoing ‘conversations’ with other members of staff.