Access to Personal Files

We receive numerous requests from adults and children who have received social care services at some stage during their life asking to see the personal information we hold on them.

You can find out if we hold any personal information about you by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it
  • tell you why we are holding it
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to, and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.


We handle all information in a manner that respects the rights of individuals and which complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act. To request any of your personal information held by the Council, e-mail or write to us to us at the address provided below. If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by contacting us using the same contact details.


We need to keep your personal information to help us make decisions about services provided to you, and to plan future services

Everyone who receives a service from Health & Social Care will have some type of record.

Different information is kept, depending on the reason for your contact with us. The record will include basic information such as your address, date of birth, next of kin, and details of any contact you have had with social care workers.

There will also be copies of your assessments and care plans. Any decisions made about you will be recorded, with explanations why those decisions were made. There may also be information from other professionals you are involved with.

If you require further information regarding the content of your file, please contact the Access toFiles Officer 0151 934 3405

Open case files are held by your social worker or the manager of your home/centre. Information is held on paper files and on a secure computer database. Paper files are locked in secure cabinets when not in use, and all computers are password protected.


Closed paper case files are archived in secure storage rooms, and electronic files are closed down.

Yes. We welcome your contribution, and your social worker will record your views on your file.

All staff are required to keep information confidential, and only authorised staff can access your information.

Under the Data Protection Act you have a right to access your records, however there are legal restrictions on some types of information.

By completing a subject access request form. This can be obtained from your local Social Care Office, or by contacting the Access to Files Officer on 0151 934 3405. Alternatively, you can complete an electronic version of the access to files request form.

The form can be printed blank for you to complete by hand and sign, or you can save a copy to your computer, which allows you to fill in your details electronically and print a copy to sign.

You need to provide two forms of identification, one which confirms your identity and one which confirms your current address. Please send only photocopy documents, do not send originals as these can be lost in transit.

Acceptable confirmation of identity includes:

  • Current Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Unexpired photo card driving licence (full or provisional)

Acceptable confirmation of current address includes:

  • Utility bill dated within the last three months
  • Council Tax bill for current year
  • Unexpired old style paper driving licence
  • Bank statement dated within the last three months
  • Benefits Agency / State Pension correspondence (on letter-headed paper) dated within the last three months.

As a parent you do not have an automatic right to your childs’ records. Proof of parental responsibility may be required and we may asked your child for consent to share their information.

If you want to nominate a friend or representative to access your records on your behalf, you will need to confirm this on your request form. They will also need to provide two forms of identification from the above list.

We will provide access to your records within forty calendar days of receiving your completed application form and identification.

An Access to Files Officer will read through your entire record and remove any information which is not about you. We may also need to contact other services and people such as schools and health professionals, for permission to release any third party information they have provided.

Sometimes the volume of information may take longer than forty days to process. Where appropriate, we will contact you to discuss timescales when we receive your request.

Any errors within your record will be corrected. If you disagree with any statements within your record, your comments can be added to the record for reference.

Records are kept in accordance with the authority’s Retention and Disposal Schedules. The length of retention will depend on the type of service you have received from us. The Access to Files Officer can confirm the retention period for your record.


Last Updated on 08 May 2017

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