Transcription and Confidentiality

Definition of confidentiality

What is confidential data?

Any data that contains personal, sensitive or confidential information. This data might include, but not limited to:

  • Medical record, be that doctor, dentist, hospital, optometrist, any healthcare provider
  • Police records
  • School/education records
  • Government held information, such as driving licence or passport
  • Information held by social services
  • Legal proceedings or information held by a lawyer
  • Property dealings, including lettings or sales
  • Personnel/HR data, including contracts, grievances or disciplinaries


8 Principles of the Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. The Data Protection Act (DPA) is designed to protect personal data stored on electronically.

It requires that organisations must ensure the protection of personal information, that might include name, address, date of birth, bank details. There is stronger legal protection for more sensitive information, such as:

  • ethnic background
  • political opinions
  • religious beliefs
  • health
  • sexual health
  • criminal records

Any organisation with access to personal data has a legal responsibility to adhere to DPA.

The individual whose personal data is being held is known as the data subject.

The individual who is identified as being responsible for the security of the personal data is known as the data controller.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is responsible of overseeing and ensuring the DPA is followed.

Fingertips typing Services Limited Ltd is registered under the Data Protection Act acts in accordance with all the regulations set out by the ICO.

Ensuring confidentiality

Files are uploaded onto our web folders server.

Clients have a dedicated folder for their company. They can log in using a user name  and password provided by Fingertips. The client uploads their file into their Dictations To Do folder. There can be sub-folders in this folder, depending on urgency e.g. 4 hour, same day, overnight etc.

The system notifies the director that a new file is ready. Only the director and administrator has access to all folders. The manager will then transfer the file into the file that is specifically for typists. Typists only have access to that specific folder.

Once the transcription is complete, the manager will move it from the Typists folder to the client’s Transcriptions Done folder. The client can easily check the progress or completion of their files.

Clients can also send their files by YouSendIt (now called Hightail) and SendThisFile securely.

There is a strict non-disclosure policy provided by Fingertips Typing, which is adhered to by the typists.

Choosing Fingertips Typing

Fingertips has been established for over a decade, since director, Cathy Bennett, started the business. Our reputation is built on quality and trust – our transcribers are highly trained typists with experience in many different industries.

We’ve prepared this Privacy Statement to make specific reassurances that your information is kept confidential. This document will run through the different kinds of information collected and stored by Fingertips and explain what we will use it for.

Privacy Statement

Your personal details

To register for an account with Fingertips, you are required to supply your company name, your name, address, telephone number, email address and web address if applicable. This information will be used for invoicing purposes, as well as being added to the Fingertips customer database. The telephone number is used to contact the client in the event of unpaid invoices and any other work related reason that may occur.

Fingertips will not pass your personal details on to any third party.

Who can access my information?

The sub-contractors of Fingertips do not have access to the database and therefore to your information. Only the Director of Fingertips has access to the database, and the administrator who updates the database.

Visit our website for more information.

Written by Debbie Rowe, Transcriber for Fingertips Typing



An emotive subject, disclosure has two aspects to it, both of which can affect you as an employer.

The dictionary definition of disclosure is:


The two aspects of disclosure for an employer are:

  • Disclosure when recruiting
  • Disclosure made by an employee


Disclosure and Recruitment

DBSAs an employer, dependent on the nature of the role you are recruiting for, you may need to request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for a potential employee or you may need to do the same for an existing employee if their role changes.

Basically, the check, formerly called CRB check – Criminal Records Bureau – looks at

If the job role is working with vulnerable groups, in healthcare, or in a voluntary role – among others – then a check of the individual’s criminal record may be necessary. Examples of roles may include:

  • Working with children
  • Working with vulnerable adults
  • Working as a volunteer

There are different levels of DBS check, depending on the role.

  • Standard – checks are made for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
  • Enhanced – the same standard checks are made, as well as plus any additional information held by local police that’s reasonably considered relevant to the role being applied for
  • Enhanced with list checks – like the enhanced checks, but barred lists are also checked

Barred lists are a record of an individual who has been barred from working with vulnerable adults or children. Someone who has been barred from working with vulnerable adults is not automatically barred from working with children, and vice versa – someone banned from working with children, is not automatically banned from working with vulnerable adults.

More information is available, by clicking here, on Barred Lists.

Only an employer or licensing bodies can request a DBS check, meaning that an individual can’t do a criminal record check on themselves in order to be job-ready. What they can do is request a basic disclosure from Disclosure Scotland – the facility is available to the whole of the UK.

A DBS check can only be done on someone over the age of 16.

Pricing is set by the Disclosure and Barring Service, however, you may encounter additional charges if a third party is facilitating the application on your behalf. Checks for volunteers are free of charge.

A check can take up to 8 weeks, depending on the level of the check, whether the details given for the check are correct, and what police forces need to be contacted regarding the check.

Please note – it is a criminal offence to request a DBS check for a role where a check is unnecessary.

If, as an employer, you want to check if any of the roles in your business require a DBS check, the Disclosure and Barring Service provides a lot of useful information on their website, and a Guide to eligibility for DBS checks can be accessed here.


Disclosure by an Employee

The other aspect of disclosure is when an employee tells someone in your business that they are suffering from abuse of any form. The disclosure could be made to a colleague, to HR or if you are small company to you as a business owner.

What should you do?

Don’t panic. The person who is telling you about their abuse has been very brave and may have waited a very long time to tell someone. It will be a shock, and you are likely to feel helpless – recognising your feelings will help you to stay in control.

Offer privacy. The person may already have chosen a time and location in which to disclose where no-one else can hear. If not, try to find somewhere quiet and comfortable where you won’t be disturbed.

Stay calm. When the person discloses, they are not expecting you to fix the situation or make it stop. You are not taking on the responsibility for the situation. Manage your breathing to help you stay in control of your natural response to react.

Listen carefully. This is key. Listen. Don’t speak unless you are asked a question. Just listen. The person may just let it all out in one go as it’s been bottled up inside. Or they might be scared to actually voice what it is they have been going through and it will take time. It is okay to just listen.

Don’t promise not to tell anyone. It is likely that the person disclosing won’t want you to tell anyone else. You may need to tell the police or social services.

Reassure. Whilst you can’t make the promise not to tell anyone, reassure the person that you want to help and if you have to tell someone, it will be done in confidence, according to the company’s safeguarding/disclosure policy.

Follow reporting procedures. Your company should have a procedure, even if it’s a basic one, to help someone report a disclosure that has been made to them. Be sure that all staff know how to report a safeguarding concern.


About Abuse

Abuse is something that can be done to another person, without their full understanding or consent, that harms them in some way.

Abuse is anything that harms another person physically or mentally, or abuse can be done to oneself.

It may consist of a single act or repeated acts.


Who might be abused?

Vulnerable adults, children and young people are at risk from abuse, but anyone can suffer from abuse.

A vulnerable adult is defined as someone “who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”.

This definition of an Adult covers all people over 18 years of age.

An adult suffering from abuse becomes vulnerable because of that abuse.


Who can abuse?

whoThe reality is that anyone can carry out abuse, including:

  • Family, friends, neighbours, associates
  • Professional staff, paid care workers, volunteers
  • People who deliberately exploit vulnerable children and adults
  • Strangers

When and where can abuse happen?

when whereBe aware that abuse can happen anywhere and at any time.

  • At home
  • At work
  • In public places
  • In healthcare/care settings
  • Anywhere

Types of abuse

There are 10 types of abuse for adults:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial and Material
  • Neglect and Acts of Omission
  • Discriminatory
  • Pyschological
  • Modern Slavery
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Self-Neglect
  • Organisational Abuse


Whose business is it?

NobodySafeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Safeguarding means making sure that vulnerable children and adults are protected from abuse. Protecting and safeguarding is everybody’s business.


Organisations working with children, young people and vulnerable adults

There are many organisations that can provide support with safeguarding and disclosure. Please see below for links to websites that can provide advice for organisations working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.

NSPCC – for organisations working with children and young people

Charity Commission – for charities providing assistance or care to vulnerable children and young people

Social Care Institute for Excellence – advice on safeguarding adults and children

Resources and Reference Material

Local Safeguarding Children Board – enter the search term followed by your county or town to find information provided by your local authority

Local Safeguarding Adults Board – enter the search term followed by your county or town to find information provided by your local authority

Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board – this is an example of a local authority safeguarding adults board for Hampshire with lots of useful information for general consumption


Dealing with your own response

Fight or Flight

There are two primitive instincts that every human being has when faced with something that is unexpected, a surprise, or a threat – fight or flight. What happens in your body is automatic – your physiological reaction.

  • Fight – we are ready to do battle, bring it on
  • Flight – we want to avoid conflict, run and hide

Whether it’s fight or flight, the things happening in your body are the same.

  • Your heart beats faster and stronger

This helps take blood to where we need it most, such as legs, arms and lungs.

At the same time, blood is taken from places where it is not needed, such as fingers, toes and skin. These changes may cause a numb or tingly feeling. To start with, it may “drain the blood from your face” or make you go “as white as a sheet”.

  • Breathing quickens and deepens

This takes oxygen to the lungs, arms and legs via the blood stream.

This can cause chest pain and a breathless or choking feeling. There is a slight drop in the amount of oxygen and blood sent to the brain. So you may feel dizzy, confused and have blurred vision. This is not harmful.

  • Muscles tense

After a while, this may cause your muscles to ache and sometimes to shake with the tension of holding yourself still.

  • Sweating increases

You become self-conscious of the sweating, which in turn can make you more tense or nervous.

  • Bowels and bladder loosen

You may feel the need to go to the toilet.

  • Pupils dilate

As this lets in more light to our eyes, lights can appear brighter.

  • Digestion and salivation slow down

You may feel sick. You may have a heavy feeling in your stomach. You may have a dry mouth.

  • Vigilance improves

This means we pick up on things that we may not have noticed if we were calm. Our sensitivity and perception increases, but can mean we are easily startled, find it hard to concentrate, our mind goes blank or we feel irritable.

  • Anticipation improves

You are trying to think what will happen next. This may leave you feeling unsettled.

  • The reaction doesn’t stop once the perceived danger passes

You might find it hard to relax or let it go. Your body will be using lots of energy to deal with everything at the same time, and you may feel hot, flushed and tired.

Your wellbeing

You should take time to process the fact that someone has made a disclosure to you. Initially, you might just deal with what is happening, working on the adrenaline rush that is bound to happen, the feeling that you are able to help someone who has been suffering.

However long it takes, eventually the reality of what you have heard will hit you. It might be straight after the disclosure, it might be the next day having slept on it or even weeks later. You might experience guilt, especially if you have known the person involved for a while. You might feel sorrow or anger. Whatever you feel, it is good to talk to someone who knows you. You do not have to disclose what you’ve been told, or provide names, dates, locations, but what you do need to talk about is how it has left you feeling.

If you feel you need further help, talk to your HR department to see what support they can offer.











Transcription and Typing

First Typewriter

first typewriter

The first typewriter recognised as being “commercially successful” is one invented in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. [1]

The patent was sold for $12,000 to a company called Densmore and Yost, who tried to manufacture the machine. The company made an agreement with E. Remington and Sons to produce the machine.  In 1874,  the Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer went on sale. It had a QWERTY keyboard, and was a blind writer, as the keys struck upwards. It meant that the typist couldn’t see the characters as they were being typed. [2]

Learning to Type

Children these days learn the keyboard very quickly without ever having a typing lesson. Because they navigate the keyboard using one hand or just two fingers, does that make it wrong because they are not using the tried and tested methods?

Learning to type, in the traditional way, is about learning which fingers type which letters, lots of repetition, and then the development of typing by touch or touch typing, by muscle memory. It was believed that this was the most efficient way of typing. Once the individual has mastered touch typing, the development of speed is crucial.

Children today can learn to type by games that teach them whilst having fun. It becomes second nature very quickly as they are using mobile devices with keyboards from a very young age.

Typing speeds used to be the benchmark, along with accuracy, for administrative jobs. The job adverts used to state how many words per minute the individual needed to be able to type in order to be considered for the job. A typing test, at interview, was standard to check speed. Check your typing speed here.

Image courtesy of


Here are some best practice pointers for safe and efficient typing. You can view the web page here for full details.

Posture – sit straight, elbows at right angles, face the screen with head tilted slightly forward

Home keys – ensure you always return your fingers to the home keys between typing bouts

Take a break – ensure you take regular breaks, to rest your eyes and your hands, wrists and shoulders


Evolution of the Typewriter

Since the invention of the typewriter, the keyboard, as it has become known, has evolved hugely.

Click on the Timeline to learn more

The concept of the modern keyboard has also changed, with the invention of mobile technology.

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Typing Then and Now

When I learned to type, it was on the old fashioned manual keyboards, in a cold hut, whilst at sixth form college. Having mastered the basics, I then progressed to an electronic word processor that took on another learning journey. The keyboard was more reactive and faster, the keys required less pressure and what had been manual calculations before for tabs or centering were now a more automated process.

USB typwriter
USB Typewriter?

Typewriters and word processors gave way to computers, with small screens, small memory capacity and large keyboards. As technology progressed, screens got larger and so did the memory, and keyboards became more streamlined.

Eventually, the computers got smaller in physical size, massive in capacity and screen and keyboard condensed into one device. Typing can still be done manually on touchscreen with fingers or a stylus. But you can now dictate to your device and it is clever enough to recognise what it is you want to say.
The documentation produced has also changed. Letters used to be the only

Stephen Hawking

way to communicate, and these were typewritten or handwritten. Emails became another way to stay in touch, followed by text messaging.

Social media followed, allowing words to reach their recipient in a flash.

Technology exists to allow a user with a disability to type by having their eye movements tracked on a keyboard… Stephen Hawking.

The future is here – you can now buy a virtual keyboard, which a small bluetooth device projects on to a flat surface, offering the user a full keyboard experience. [3]

Virtual Keyboard.jpg
Virtual Keyboard

Whatever next?

Transcription and Typing

Whatever you  need typing, Fingertips Typing Services can help. We have years of experience of typing and transcribing a variety of projects, for example, but not limited to:

  • Interviews/focus groups/seminar/conferences
  • Medical reports
  • Property/lettings/estate agents reports
  • Legal/insurance reports
  • Education/dissertation/theses

Visit the Fingertips Typing website to see how we can help you work effectively, by providing a friendly, professional and personal service.

Written by: Debbie Rowe, typist for Fingertips Typing Services






Here in the UK, for some parts of the country, there is a vote to be cast on Thursday 5th May.

Voters in 41 police force areas in England & Wales, excluding London, will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner. [1] Turn out in the last PCC elections – in November 2012- was poor, at an average of 15.1%.

To find out more about the elections happening across the UK, visit the following links: [2] Continue reading Voting