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Information sharing

Information about how the council shares data between services.

Sharing your information

In many cases when you give your personal information to the council there will be no need to share it.

On other occasions, we will need to share your personal information with another department or organisation. For example to deliver a service you require or to ensure your welfare and protection.

Sometimes we will need to ask you for your consent to share your information. But at other times it will be considered reasonable to share without your consent. If we do need to ask for your consent you will be given the option to say no. We will explain why we are sharing your information and who with, apart from in a few situations when the law permits otherwise.

The Humber Information Sharing Charter

The Humber Information Sharing Charter [PDF, 244Kb] provides a framework for the effective and secure sharing of information across the Humber region. For a list of organisations signed up to the Humber Information Sharing Charter please see the Information Sharing section on the North East Lincolnshire Council Information website.

If you want to know more about information sharing

For more information please see the Information Commissioner’s website.

What to do if you are not happy with information sharing

If you are not happy with any aspect of how we have shared your information please see our Information Complaints page.

Sharing health and care information – Caldicott Guardians

A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person responsible for protecting the confidentiality of people’s health and care information and making sure it is used properly. All NHS organisations and local authorities which provide social services must have a Caldicott Guardian. For further information see the Caldicott Guardian page on Gov.UK

There are seven principles and they are specific to Health and Social Care Services.  Our Caldicott Plan [PDF, 403Kb] provides further information.

The Caldicott Guardians for Social Services are:

  • Tom Hewis, Principal Social Work, Children’s Services
  • Wendy Lawtey, Principal Manager, Adult Services

The Caldicott Guardian for Public Health is:

  • Stephen Pintus, Director of Public Health
Principle 1 – Justify the purpose(s)

Every proposed use or transfer of confidential information should be clearly defined, scrutinised and documented, with continuing uses regularly reviewed by an appropriate guardian.

Principle 2 – Don’t use personal confidential data unless it is absolutely necessary

Confidential information should not be included unless it is necessary for the specified purpose(s) for which the information is used or accessed. The need to identify individuals should be considered at each stage of satisfying the purpose(s) and alternatives used where possible.

Principle 3 – Use the minimum necessary personal confidential data

Where use of confidential information is considered to be necessary, each item of information must be justified so that only the minimum amount of confidential information is included as necessary for a given function.

Principle 4 – Access to personal confidential data should be on a strict need-to-know basis

Only those who need access to confidential information should have access to it, and then only to the items that they need to see. This may mean introducing access controls or splitting information flows where one flow is used for several purposes.

Principle 5 – Everyone with access to personal confidential data should be aware of their responsibilities

Action should be taken to ensure that all those handling confidential information understand their responsibilities and obligations to respect the confidentiality of patient and service users.

Principle 6 – Comply with the law

Every use of confidential information must be lawful. All those handling confidential information are responsible for ensuring that their use of and access to that information complies with legal requirements set out in statute and under the common law.

Principle 7 – The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality

Health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share confidential information in the best interests of patients and service users within the framework set out by these principles. They should be supported by the policies of their employers, regulators and professional bodies.

The seven principles are simple steps to ensure the security of information and to protect the confidentiality of patients or service users.  Every employee is responsible for information security and for ensuring that:

  • Any information obtained, either directly or indirectly from or about a client is not disclosed to any person, organisation or body who does not need to know or who does not have an authorised right to access that information.
  • Every use or transfer of personal information, including e-mail, is clearly justified. Personal information should not be used unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Consent is sought wherever possible for the recording, retention and sharing of personal information.
  • Appropriate information is shared with other professionals if it is in the best interests of the client or is necessary to safeguard another professional.
  • Wherever appropriate, personal information is anonymised, for example, for statistical reporting.
  • Reasonable steps are taken to ensure that all information recorded is accurate and up-to-date and that information is only changed or modified by someone authorised to do so. (If a patient or service user advises that their information is incorrect, a correction a should be made immediately or a note added to the file if correction is not possible or inappropriate).
  • Security passwords are not be shared with any other person.
  • Patient or service user records or systems are not accessed unless there is a business reason for the access.

Contact

informationgovernanceteam@northlincs.gov.uk

01724 297000

Information Governance Advisor
North Lincolnshire Council
Church Square House
30 – 40 High Street
Scunthorpe
DN15 6NL