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Access to your social care records

We need to keep records of some of the information you give us so we can make sure you get the right help and support. We no longer keep lots of paper files, most of our information is kept electronically. You have a right to know what information we keep about you and to know that it is treated as confidential and not passed on without your permission. This page explains why we keep social care records and other sorts of information, what the records contain, and how you can arrange to see your records if you want to.

Why do we keep social care records?

We need to keep information to make sure we are providing the right services to you and to show how we are spending public money. We may also be given information about you by someone else such as a member of your family or your doctor. You may be sensitive about giving us information about yourself or your family or carers and we know that you expect any information provided to be treated as confidential.

What is in the records?

The kind of information we keep will include details like your date of birth and your name and address. Depending upon the nature of the service that we provide we may also need to keep information of a more personal or sensitive nature. This could be things like your personal circumstances, health, lifestyle and financial situation.

We will also keep a record of meetings with you and others, decisions that have been made, and services that have been provided. These are usually kept on a computer. 

Your records are always treated as confidential and are held securely. They can only be seen by the people who are directly involved with assessing your needs or providing you with a service. We do not give them to anyone else unless we have your permission to do so. There are laws about how long we have to keep information. Some social care records are held for many years, but others are destroyed after a period of time.

Can I see my records?

Yes. Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to see a copy of the information that we hold about you. However, there are certain situations where this may not be possible and if this is the case we will tell you why. There is no charge to see your records.

How can I see them?

If you want to find out what information the Council holds about you, we will ask you for some information in writing to help us find your records. The easiest way to do this is for you to fill in a Subject Access Request Form (SAR), we will also ask you to provide identification such as a passport, birth certificate and a utility bill with your address on so that we are sure that we are disclosing the correct records to the right person. 

When you request access to your information, you must:

  • complete and sign the Subject Access Request form
  • pay a non-refundable payment of £10 (card payments only) to be made by telephone on 020 8227 5788
  • provide one form of identification

Print and sign the subject access request form and send to us via email with a scanned copy of your ID or by post with proof of ID enclosed.

What will happen next?

Once we have the required information, £10 fee, and proof of ID your request should be complied within 40 days.

In exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to comply within this period you will be informed of the delay and given a timescale for when your request is likely to be met.

In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act 1998 permits us to withhold information, for example information likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of you, or any other person.

Information relating to or provided by a third person who has not consented to the disclosure, including images removed or obscured.

If we can’t give you some or any of the information, we’ll tell you why.

Request your information:

Private and Confidential For the attention of: Information Governance Manager

Freedom of Information. London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Barking Town Hall, Barking IG11 7LU. 
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