Accessing your records
We need to keep records so that we have a clear picture of what we are doing and why. Records are essential to allow us to provide effective services and co-ordinate our work with others like the health service and organisations providing services on our behalf.
Are they Safe?
We take the responsibility of keeping records seriously and take care that information given in confidence is kept securely. There are occasions when we have to share information with others, for example your doctor, nurse or an organisation providing services to you on our behalf. As required by the Data Protection Act 1998, where information has to be shared, we will ensure that only the minimum information necessary is disclosed. This information will be shared with your interests in mind.
Can I see my Records?
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives individuals the right to have access to personal information about themselves kept on computer and in writing. You can do this by making a request to have access to your records; the Act calls this a ‘subject access request’.
You can see information recorded by Wirral Department of Adult Social Services or by other organisations providing a service to you on our behalf.
Only you will be allowed to access your records, but you can give your permission for someone else to see your records on your behalf.
Some adults are unable to exercise control over their records through disability or mental illness. In such cases, applications for access can be made on their behalf by a person acting under an order of the Court of Protection or acting within the terms of an Enduring Power of Attorney.
What can’t I see?
Some information recorded is exempt from disclosure and you will not be able to see:
- records about other people (even if you are related to them) unless they give their consent for you to see their records;
- information we have received about you from others unless they are a ‘relevant person’ or give their permission
- information which is considered seriously harmful to you or others;
- records where a legal professional privilege could be maintained, for example, legal advice we have sought in relation to your case; and
- information held for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime
We can also refuse access to records, for example, in cases where a person makes another identical or similar request within a short period of time after a previous request to see their records.
If you feel you have been refused access to your records unjustly, you have the right to complain about this decision.
Making a Request
To make a subject access request you need to:
- make the request in writing
- provide suitable proof of identity (e.g., birth certificate, driving licence etc.)
- provide sufficient details to locate the information you are requesting
If a subject access request is made via a solicitor there will be a £10 charge
Data Compliance Officer
- Department of Adult Social Services, Hamilton Building, Conway Street, Birkenhead, CH41 4FD
- 0151 666 4296
How long will it take?
We will arrange for you to see your records within 40 calendar days of receiving your request. If you would like to see something specific, please let us know as we may be able to respond in a shorter timescale.
If we are unable to find any records relating to you or have problems in getting them ready for you, we will let you know.
The Information Commissioners Office
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. They can be contacted at:
First Contact Team
Information Commissioner's Office
0303 123 1113