Archiving Section Papers

Does anyone know the legal requirement if archiving was going digital, do the original section papers have to be kept or can they be shredded once they have all been scanned into archiving storage.

There isnā€™t really any such thing as ā€˜original section papersā€™, especially now that forms can be produced digitally from the start. However, the golden rule of records management security, is to ensure as far as practicable that there is only one copy in existence, so if for instance you have statutory forms uploaded to the patientā€™s electronic record, any paper records should be securely destroyed and any digital copies stored elsewhere, should be deleted.

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Thank you that clears it up

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All section papers, including electronic ones, have an original version. In the case of electronic ones, this is the digital version completed by the author and saved in Word or PDF format in the electronic record. A printout of the digital form is merely a copy.

If the original is paper, I would always retain it whilst the detention is in force, in case the patient transfers to another provider, so that the original papers can accompany the patient.

Richard Jones comments:

Provided that the scanning process and procedures are compliant with the British Standards Institutionā€™s Code of Practice for Evidential Weight and Legal Admissibility of Electronically Stored Information, the paper version of Forms used under the Act can be destroyed under confidential conditions. Information about the Code of Practice can be accessed at