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TitlePrivate and Confidential?: Handling Personal Information in Social and Health Services
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Page 1

Edited by Chris Clark and Janice McGhee

Handling personal information
in social and health services


Page 2

Private and
Handling personal information in the
social and health services

Edited by Chris Clark and Janice McGhee

Page 128


Public protection in practice

note was the effective liaison between some MAPPA and church
groups (recognised as a potential site of grooming by sex offenders),
resulting in defined procedures for disclosure to church liaison officers
to ensure that the church attendance of known paedophiles could be
restricted to non-family services. This removed the necessity to tell the
whole congregation, but enabled ‘chaperoning’ by key members of the
congregation and restricted access to children. This procedure ensured
public safety, informal supervision, some community reintegration and
support, and disclosure only on a need to know basis ensuring minimal
risk of vigilante action. Such an approach also appears to realistically
balance public protection with a limited guarantee of privacy for the
offender – a limit that most offenders interviewed understood and

Figure 6.1: Process for controlled disclosure (best practice)

Identification of
those who ‘need

to know’





Attend with offender
at disclosure, or

check accuracy of

Is offender
willing to


Has offender
provided consent

to disclose?
Make a disclosure

Refer to MAPPA
for decision to

disclose without

Source: Wood and Kemshall (2007)

Page 129


Private and confidential?

This controlled disclosure was supported by a contract with the
offender reiterating the restrictions on attendance but also the reasons
for disclosure – thus, the ‘rules’ were transparent and accountability

Disclosure is made in a range of circumstances, most notably:

• where there is evidence that grooming behaviours may take place
(for example through leisure clubs, churches, employment);

• where others (including other service users) may be at risk (for
example in supervised accommodation). It is extremely rare for
other service users to be told, but staff and managers are told in
order to enable more appropriate placements and for greater
vigilance to be exerted;

• to protect past or potential victims (for example, there may be a
controlled disclosure to a past victim or relatives indicating release
of an offender);

• to schools and colleges if grooming behaviours need to be
prevented. In the case of young offenders, limited and controlled
disclosure may be made to school or college staff. (Wood and
Kemshall, 2007)

Controlled disclosure needs to be handled sensitively, and requires:

• preparation and discussion with those receiving the information;
• an informed decision (via the MAPPA) as to what level of disclosure

is required. For example, this might be about the risk factors but
not necessarily cover all of the offender’s offence history;

• covering the key triggers for offending behaviour and the
requirements for successful risk management. ‘This is what you
need to look out for…’; ‘If you see X you need to do Y’;

• mechanisms and procedures for support (for example, rapid
telephone contact with key personnel/supervising officers via
mobile phones). (Wood and Kemshall, 2007)

MAPPA personnel and supervising officers in police and probation
were consistent in their view that this approach was effective. In
particular, it was seen to reduce anxiety in those who were told, and
those receiving the information were clear as to what to do and why,
and who else they could or could not disclose to.

Page 256



see adoption: records

Court Process, 131
personal: Nepal, 52–4, 59

Reder, P., 157
Reissland, R., 51
relational theory, 19–21
A Report on the Surveillance Society

(Wood), 2–3
research, 57, 201–3
responsible authorities: MAPPA, 111
Re-use of Public Sector Information

Regulations, 216
Rice, Anthony, 122, 123
Richardson, S., 156, 198, 222
Richmond, M., 21, 24
rights, citizens: and confidentiality,

risk management: MAPPA, 124–5
Rushbrooke, R., 131, 138, 139

The Same as You? (Scottish Executive),

Samuels, E., 130, 132, 133, 134
Scarman, Lord, 102
Schechter, D., 136
Scloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital,

scope creep, 88

access to adoption records, 130–1
adults with incapacity, 193–5
child protection, 151, 155, 156
development in children’s services,

information sharing, 226
Joint Future report, 210–12
mandatory reporting, 160
privacy research project, 176

Scott, J. K., 203
Scott Baker, Justice, 141
Scottish Consumer Council: personal

data, 223
Scottish Executive, 70, 71, 72

adults with learning disabilities, 192,

child protection, 68–9, 77, 151, 153,
154, 160

Scottish Freedom of Information (FOI)
scheme, 93

Scottish Information Commissioner, 93
Scottish Social Services Council, 37,

secrecy: in adoption, 132–3, 139–42
security of data, 89–90

SEED (Scottish Executive Education
Department), 183

SEHD (Scottish Executive Health
Department), 169–70

Selman, P., 136
Serious Further Offence report on

Anthony Rice (HMIP), 122
Sexual Offences Prevention Orders

(SOPOs), 115
sexual offenders, 112, 115, 121
Sharing Information about Children

at Risk: A Guide to Good Practice
(Scottish Executive), 69

Sherwin, S., 19, 20, 27
Siegler, M., 65–6
Sincerity, 40
Sinclair, R., 154
Singer, P., 65
Single Shared Assessment (SSA),

169–70, 200, 211, 223, 226
Singleton, P., 177
Slatalla, M., 180
smart technology: and vulnerable adults,

Smith, N., 191
social care services: information sharing

with health sector, 209–27
social networking, 105, 179–80
social policy drivers, 172
social work, 2, 3–4, 23, 36, 77, 221–2
Social Work Services Inspectorate, 199
social workers, 21, 139, 152–8
South Asia: individualism, 50
staff structures, information sharing,

stakeholders, 75, 78–9
statute law and regulations, 214–16
Steeves,, 105
Sternberg, E., 65
Stevenson, O., 156
substance misuse: and child protection,

surveillance, 2–3, 7, 87, 123–4
Swain, P. A., 2, 221
Swedberg, C., 105
SWIA (Social Work Inspection Agency),

75, 76, 157

Tarasoff v Regents of the University of

California, 68
Tawney, R. H., 22
Taylor, A., 156
TB and HIV in Nepal, 51–2
technical standards: data sharing, 217–18
technology, 12, 25, 232–3
telecare, 200–1

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Private and confidential?

terminology, 93–4, 226
Tessman, L., 19, 24
third party disclosure, 117–18
Thomas, R., 105
Thomas, T., 121
Thompson, I. E., 65, 67
Thomson, J. A. K., 63, 67
Tierney, P., 56
Timms, N., 130
Tooman, P., 159
Toulmin, S., 65
treatment protocols, (WHO) TB, 54–5
trends, 231–5
Trinder, E., 136
Triseliotis, J., 133, 140
trust, 20, 22, 38, 41–5, 235–9
trustees, professionals as, 236–9
Truth and Truthfulness (Williams), 40
truthfulness, 4, 37–9, 39–45, 45–7

UK Children Go Online study, 180
US, 26, 121, 132, 133, 134, 140, 159

Van Bueren, G., 132, 135
Victoria Climbié inquiry, 69, 152
vigilantism, 118, 119
Violent and Sex Offender Register

(ViSOR), 116
virtue ethics, 17–19, 67
vulnerable adults, 8, 191–2, 200–1

Wales: access to adoption records, 130–1
Wallon in Alvergnat, C., 180
Walport, M., 105
watchful truthfulness, 4, 45–7
Waterhouse, L., 149
Web 2.0, 179–80
Weimerskirch, A., 65, 79
Western Australia: policy development,

Westin, A. F., 171
White, S., 152, 158
Williams, B., 40
Williamson, S., 113
Willow, C., 173, 175, 176
Wilson, S., 23, 175
Windt, P. Y., 67, 77
Wolfensberger, W., 191
Wood, D. K., 2–3, 87, 160
Wood, J., 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123,


World Health Organization: TB policy
in Nepal, 54–5

Yeo, M., 25
You and Your Adopted Child (Public

Affairs Pamphlet), 133
Young Children’s Citizenship (Willow),

young people: privacy and identity,

youth crime audit: Outer Hebrides,

Youth Justice Board, 77
Youth Justice Evaluation Project, 69–70,

youth justice strategy, developing, 76–7

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