Your rights of access to your personal records held by Bath & North East Somerset Children’s Service
We keep records on all the people who use our services. In this leaflet we explain your rights to see your records and how you can go about doing this.
Why keep records?
We have a duty to keep records and we have to keep details of your needs and circumstances to make sure you get the help and assistance you require. We also need to keep a record of the work we do with you.
What sort of information will be kept?
This will depend on your circumstances and the kind of services you need. We will only ask for information that we need in order to provide you with services. If you are not sure why we are recording information, please ask.
Sometimes information from other people such as doctors may also be kept on your file.
How are these records kept?
On written files or on computers. We have a duty to keep records confidential and only people who are authorised to see them can do so. If you would like more information about confidentiality, please ask for leaflet ‘Confidentiality in Bath & North East Somerset Social Services’.
How do I arrange to see my records?
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you a legal right to apply to see information held on you. This is called a subject access request. If you would like to see your records you will need to put your request in writing to the Data Protection and Complaints Officer at P O Box 25, Riverside, Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DN, email firstname.lastname@example.org
In your letter please tell us:
Your full name and address including any old addresses where we may have known you
Your date of birth
The service you received from us
If you find it difficult to write a letter you can ask us for help.
If there is a particular issue or question you want to know about please tell us. We may be able to reply to this kind of query more quickly.
Can I see what has been written about me by other agencies / professionals?
Yes, but only if those agencies/professionals agree.
What happens after I make my request in writing?
We will acknowledge your letter within 5 working days.
It may take up to 40 days to disclose your records. This is because we have to follow strict legal rules. For example, if your records contain information about other people we have to ask them if they will agree that you can see it.
You will also be asked for proof of your identity e.g. passport, driving licence, benefit book or similar official document but we will explain this when we write to you.
You will be invited to one of our offices to see your records, in private. A member of staff will stay with you to answer any questions. If you need your records in a different language or format please let us know. You can bring someone else with you to see your records if you wish.
What if I think information in my records is wrong?
If you think the information is factually inaccurate you have the right to request this is amended and we have a duty to put right information which is wrong within 21 days. If you do not agree with information held it may be possible to include your views on the file. Please speak to the Data Protection and Complaints Officer about this on 01225 396867.
Can anyone else see my records?
Only if you say they can. If you want someone to see your records on your behalf we have to make sure that you want this to happen.
Can I have a copy of my records?
Yes. We do not charge a fee for this at the present.
Can you refuse to let me see my records?
Yes, in some cases we cannot by law disclose records and there is some information which we do not have to disclose. For example, we may not disclose information if it:
- Could cause serious harm to your or anyone else’s physical or mental health
- Could reveal another person’s identity
- Is being kept for the detection, apprehension or prosecution of crime
- Is about your adoption
If this is the case we will explain this to you.
Access to adoption records
Adoption records are governed by separate rules. If you are interested in gaining access to adoption records please contact the Duty Social worker in the Family Placement Team, telephone 01225 395332.
Do I have any right of appeal?
Yes, if we refuse to give you access, or refuse to correct information you think is wrong, you have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner or the Courts. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
The Information Commissioner
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Enquiry Line 01625 545745
Please use this form to report issues with the content of this page. If you wish to contact somebody about the service provided, please use the contact details found in the 'Contact Us' section of this page.