Since the Data Protection Act 2018 was made law in May 2019, it has been necessary to publish guidance as to how its terms should be implemented, and, for instance how discretion ought to be exercised in order to provide good practise to the Data Subject. Our interest, of course, is limited to those who are, or were previously, in care, whereas the proposed guidance is of wider application to all.
The Information Commissioner’s Office issued a consultation for views on what form the guidance on access to records should take. One can read the consultation by clicking here
Although the guidance was going to be of general effect and not especially related to Care Records with their peculiar issues, we, as a Group, wanted to ensure that it took account of the special issues which those in care, and care leavers face when trying to access their records.
To read our response to the Guidance, you can read our whole response document by clicking the link below. In particular we made the following bullet points as well as provding detailed comments on the specific sections:-
“The issues that these people face include:
- defensive redaction of information particularly third-party information, often information which is already known to them
- defensive exercises of what should be an enabling discretion to provide third party information – both in decision making about getting consent from the third party and sharing that information without consent
- failure to understand what information on care records is not ‘protected’ information
- an overuse of the ‘serious harm’ test to withhold information, sometimes not properly informed by professional health advice about the individual’s current health and circumstances
- lack of sensitivity about explaining language, terms or professional jargon used in documents in their case file: this is particularly so for older adult carer leavers who are distressed by terms used
- lack of support to the individual during the SAR process and after their care records have been shared.”
Click here to read our response of a PDF File.