Social care records – your rights, your information

Social care records – your information, your rights (PDF, 94 KB)

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you rights about how we handle information about you, and your social care records. This covers both adults and children who are using our social care services.

Why do you need my information and how is it used?

We need your information to provide you with public services.

The Warwickshire County Council Privacy Notice explains in general terms how we use different types of information. Below we provide more information how we use your information for social care.
We abide by the Social Care Record Guarantee issued by the National Information Board for Health and Social Care that describes how we use your information for providing social care and keeping it safe.

Warwickshire County Council’s full privacy notice

Social care record guarantee (PDF, 85.06 KB)

Please contact us if you would like us to send you printed copies of these.

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What sort of personal information might you have about me?

Personal information means details such as your name, address and phone number. These are the most common details we record as they help us to contact you when necessary. We might ask for more details depending on why we are in touch with you. For example, we might ask for the following details:

  • your date of birth (our services are obviously different for children and older people) and whether you are male or female.
  • details about your family and friends, and any other professionals you deal with (such as your doctor, so we know who to contact in an emergency).
  • details of your income and savings (we charge for some of our services).
  • your reasons for being in touch with us (so we can offer you the services you will find most useful).

The reason we ask for certain information is usually obvious, but if you’re not sure, please ask us.

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Can I stop you from using my information?

You cannot stop us from using your information, but you can take steps if you think we are doing it in a way likely to cause you unnecessary damage or distress. You have a right to claim compensation if we break the law.

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Can I see my information/records?

If you want to see your care records you will need to contact us with your details.

We ask that you provide as much detail as possible such as:

  • your full name and current address;
  • contact email and phone numbers;
  • any previous names;
  • date of birth;
  • details of any siblings or other family members;
  • previous addresses, dates or periods that you were in, or receiving care;
  • proof of identity.

Proof of identity should be two official documents which show your date of birth, name and current address on it (separately or when combined) such as a current drivers licence, current passport, utility bill, council tax bill etc (we can’t accept birth certificates). Please do not send original documents, good quality copies are adequate if you are uploading using the online form or sending by post – note we will not return these.

If you wish, you can appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf.  If you are applying to see someone else’s records you will need to enclose their signed permission or other legal documentation (e.g. Parental rights or Power of Attorney) to confirm their request.

The most secure method is to use our online form.

Or you can write to us. We have a request form that can be downloaded or requested.

Social Care – access to personal records form (PDF, 56.02 KB)

Due to the sensitive information you provide we would advise sending completed forms by post rather than email.

Post to:

Information Management
Warwickshire County Council
Shire Hall
CV34 4RL

We may charge a fee for this service, as allowed to by law, and if so this will be indicated on the form or our response.

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What happens after I have asked to see my information?

We initially will:

  • confirm we have received your application for information, within five working days;
  • confirm your identity or the identity of the person acting on your behalf;
  • give you details of who you can contact if you have any questions;
  • clarify what information you would like see;
  • request any fees due, if charged.

We will then:

  • try to provide your information within 40 calendar days;
  • try to explain anything that is not clear in your records;
  • arrange for someone to go through your records with you if you wish.

Sometimes, due to the size of the files, it takes us longer than 40 days. If this happens we will agree a date with you when we give you some information and explain what further information we can provide.

There may be some circumstance where it is not possible to provide all the records. For example, if the information is about other people who have not given their permission for you to have it, or if it is likely to cause serious harm to someone or could obstruct attempts to prevent or detect crime.

If it has been a long time since you had any contact with us, we may have destroyed your records as we are not allowed to keep them forever.

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What happens if I am not satisfied with the response?

There are a number of stages you can go through. First contact the officer you received the response from, you can ask for an “internal review” if you are not satisfied, then contact the Information Commissioner.

Please see our access to personal information and the data protection act page and the section on “What happens if I am not satisfied with the service I receive?” for full details of the procedures.

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Can I make changes to my records?

You can:

  • ask us to correct or remove any information that is incorrect or unnecessary, and pass on correct details to anyone we gave the wrong information to;
  • ask for an explanation of any automated decisions (for example, decisions made with the help of computer programmes);
  • appeal to the courts or the Information Commissioner if we refuse to give you copies of your personal information.

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Independent advice

You can get more information about your rights and the Data Protection Act from the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

The Care Leavers’ Association have independent advice on accessing care records. Contact details can be found on their website.

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Social care records – your rights, your information was last updated on March 23, 2017.