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Home Resident Social Care and Wellbeing Contact us How to access your Social Services records

How to access your Social Services records

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If you wish to access your records from Conwy County Borough Council and if you spent time living within Conwy and received a service from us, please continue reading.

As with any large organisation, we need to keep records so that we have a clear understanding of what has happened and why. By law, you have the right to see records we keep about you.

What do the records contain?

We keep information about our involvement with people who use our services. This information is kept in records which may be in writing or held on computer. If you have been in contact with us, have met a social worker or receive services from us, we will have some records about you and our work with you. The person you are dealing with, usually a social worker, will explain to you what information they will be recording and why we need this information.

Are my records confidential?

Keeping records is an important part of our everyday work. We take the responsibility very seriously and take extra care that information we receive in confidence is kept securely. There may be times when we have to share information with others for a variety of reasons. Under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation, if we have to share information, we must take great care to make sure we only give out the information that is needed. When we share information we always have your interests in mind. Your social worker will explain to you what information we need to share and who we will share it with.

Can I see the records you hold about me?

By law, you have the right to see records we keep about you. The Data Protection Act 1998 gives people the right to look at the information relating to themselves that we keep on computer and in writing. Under the Act, you can see the personal information about yourself the Council holds for its social care work.

How do I see my records?

You should make your request in writing or by completing the form below and send it to:

Records & Archive Manager
PO Box 1
LL30 9GN

Or by email to: subjectaccess@conwy.gov.uk

If there are specific things you want to find out from your records, it will help if you tell us about them when you write to us. This will allow us to give you access to the information you need more quickly.

What happens next?

You will receive a letter of acknowledgement. When the records are available for you to see, We will contact you to discuss how you want the files to be given to you.  You can ask for a social worker to guide you through the records and answer your questions. As records contain very personal information, some people may need support and even counselling. The social worker will be able to arrange this for you if you need it.

Can I see everything?

Only you will be allowed to see your records. You can give your permission for someone else to see your records on your behalf. However, you need to give this permission in writing. You will be able to see paper and computer records we have.  Children have the right to see their records and to control who else can see them. If children are not able to understand the nature of the request, their parents will have the right to ask to see their child's records. If parents are separated, both will have an equal right to request to see their child's records as this is part of their parental responsibility. You can see information that our staff have recorded. You can also see records that other organisations keep if they are providing a service to you on our behalf.

What can't I see?

You will not be able to see:

  • records we keep about other people without their agreement, even if you are related to them;
  • information we have received about you from others unless they are a relevant person or they give their permission (under the Data Protection Act 1998, a relevant person might include a nurse, social worker or doctor);
  • information which is considered to be seriously harmful to you or others;
  • records relating to work where legal proceedings are underway; and
  • information held to protect or detect crime, or to prosecute offenders, where your request for this information is likely to affect either, or both, of these purposes.

We have the right to refuse access to records in those rare cases where a person is making repeated requests to see their records.

If you feel you have been refused access to your records unfairly, you have the right to appeal against this decision. For more details contact the complaints officer:

Statutory Complaints Officer
PO Box 1
LL30 9GN
Telephone: 01492 574078

How long do you keep records?

This will vary depending on the service you receive from us. We keep some records much longer than others, for example, records of children who have been in care and who have been adopted.  Adults records are kept for shorter periods of time than children’s files.

How long will it take?

How long you have to wait to see your records will vary depending on how many records you have and how complicated they are. In any event, we will be able to arrange for you to see your records within a month of receiving your request. The records will belong to us and cannot be removed from the office, although you can have a copy (either electronic or paper) of the information held on file.

What happens if the records are wrong?

You will already know about most of the information in your social care records as we aim to work with people who use our services. However, if you think the records are wrong, we can change them. We will ask you to provide evidence about what you think the differences are. We would hope to reach an agreement about the proposed changes, but if we cannot do this, we will place your comments on file, together with the information that you do not agree with.

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