Personal details and your records
If you want to see the records we have about you, the person you deal with will show you the current records they hold. However, if you want to see the full records, you will need to make a formal request.
Information we keep
We keep a record (case record), if you or a member of your family have been referred to, assessed by, or are receiving a service we have provided or arranged. We may keep the case record on a computer, in paper files, or both. After your assessment we will ask you, or your representative, to sign your records to confirm;
- the details are correct
- we have your permission to share the information with other professionals as necessary
We need to know:
- what would best meet your needs
- what services you are receiving
- who to contact in an emergency
- about your family circumstances
- about your health, work or school and, in some cases, your finances
If the member of staff you normally see is ill, is on holiday or leaves, the records help to make sure that there is consistency and continuity in what we do to help you.
Permission to share your information
If we can, we will ask your permission before we share the information we have about you with others. Although we must keep your information confidential, we need to receive information from, and give information to, others to provide you with the best possible service.
This could include talking to:
- Your GP, nurse or health visitor
- The police
- Housing authorities
- Other local authorities
- Home carers
- Agencies involved in providing services
- The Criminal Records Bureau.
Shared information will include your:
- Ethnic background
- Religious beliefs
By law, we must talk to others to do our job properly. In certain circumstances we may have to do this without your permission.
For example, when we need to:
- protect your vital interests
- administer justice
- meet any legal obligation we have
If we have to share information without your permission, we will give the minimum necessary to meet our responsibilities.
Access to your information
We will keep the information you give us confidential. However, other staff within social care and the council will need to see some of your information. No single member of staff has sole responsibility for helping you. In most cases, other people, including members of your family, cannot see your file without your agreement.
If you are under 18 you have the right to see information we hold about you. As long as we consider you understand, what you are asking to see and why you want to see it. If you cannot understand, your parents can ask to see this information. We will allow your parents to see the information if we consider it to be in your best interests. We may refuse or limit access if providing the information would be likely to result in serious harm to anyone, including you, or if you do not want your parents to see the information.
If you are an adult incapable of managing your own affairs, someone can apply to see your information if they are acting within;
- the terms of Enduring Power of Attorney
- an order of the Court of Protection
If you are a disabled adult we can allow your parents, carers or representatives to see your information if you give your permission.
We will only allow others to see your information if we consider it to be in your best interests. This may involve making enquiries about the person wanting to see your information, or talking to other relevant agencies.
Information you can see
You have a right to see most of the personal information we keep about you.
You can expect:
- the information we hold to be accurate, up to date and relevant (we will correct it if it is not)
- we will keep your information confidential, we will share your records with you, and encourage you to sign them
- we will do all we can to make records available to you the format, that helps you to understand them (eg in your preferred language, in large print or on audio tape)
- to receive copies of your assessment, care plan and review of your circumstances
Information you cannot see
- Information about members of your family or other people
- Information which an individual health professional or another agency gives us in confidence. If the information identifies them as the source, unless they agree. If you ask to see the information, we will ask for their permission to release it
- Where legal restrictions preventing us from releasing the information. We will tell you that the information exists and why we cannot let you see it
- If we believe that showing you the information would seriously harm your, or someone else's, mental or physical health. This is very rare
- If revealing the information would damage a criminal investigation
Requesting to see your full records
We will arrange for you to see the information as quickly as possible. It may take time to get agreement from anyone who has given us information in confidence, and to bring together the records from different parts of the council, but access will be granted within 1 month. Should we need more time we will let you know.
We will arrange for you to see the records at the office closest to you and at a time that is convenient for you. You can bring a friend or interpreter with you. A social worker or care manager will be at the office. Whenever possible, this will be somebody who is familiar to you.
We can provide photocopies of any documents. You will have the chance to tell us if you think any of the details are wrong, and ask us to correct them. If you ask us to make any corrections, we will tell you what we will do, in writing, within 21 days.
If you, or the person asking to see the information, are over 18, we ask for a fee of £10. In certain circumstances, we may not make this charge. You should discuss this with the person who is arranging for you to see your records.
To meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. Children and young people whose personal data is collected by the Local Authority, should be issued with a Fair Processing Notice. The Fair Processing Notice summarises the information held about them, why it is held, and with whom it is being shared.
Parents / carers of the child or young person are also notified of the Fair Processing process.
View the Fair Processing notice.
If you are not happy about the decisions we have made about access to information, or about correcting the records, follow our complaints procedure within 28 days.
If after following our complaints procedure, you are still unhappy you can appeal our decision to the Information Commissioner.