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3.10 Information Sharing


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Key Principles
  3. Required Action


1. Introduction

Information sharing between agencies is of paramount importance in Safeguarding Adults. This chapter sets out the key principles of sharing information, and action required when a member of staff receives information about potential Abuse or neglect.

The Care Act emphasises that early sharing of information is the key to providing an effective response where there are emerging concerns. No professional should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to the safety and wellbeing of the adult. If a professional has concerns about the adult’s welfare and believes they are suffering or likely to suffer abuse or neglect, then they should share the information with the local authority and, or, the police if they believe or suspect that a crime has been committed.


2. Key Principles

  • Every worker, manager and professional, from whatever discipline, must communicate and co-operate with others to protect the Adult at Risk;
  • Information must be shared lawfully and proportionally between agencies on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. This should be explained to the Adult at Risk and, where possible, they should be told what information will be shared.


3. Required Action

  • Where the Local Authority receives information about potential Abuse or neglect, they should act, even if Consent has not been given, in circumstances where:
    • It is believed the Adult at Risk may lack Capacity to make an informed choice;
    • A criminal investigation may be required;
    • It appears there is a wider public interest (i.e. there are other adults or children potentially at risk).

Staff must not guarantee confidentiality to anyone who discloses Abuse. It should be noted that in certain circumstances full disclosure may be ordered by a judge or ombudsman.

The decision of whether to share confidential information must be made on a case-by-case basis. Consent should be sought where possible unless seeking Consent would place the person at additional risk. All decisions made in terms of withholding or sharing information must be recorded.

End