Sharing information about you or your family

This page covers information we share about all people, including children, young people, adults and older people.

Page contents

Benefits of sharing information between agencies

There are many benefits to you and/or your family when information is shared between different agencies.

These include:

  • enabling referral to the most appropriate agencies who can meet your needs
  • providing professionals from different agencies with the most up to date information so that they can work with you most effectively
  • allowing agencies to tailor services and support specifically to meet your needs
  • removing the need for you to repeat your story and needs to multiple agencies
  • preventing unnecessary repetition of the work that is done with you
  • helping agencies to plan services
  • enabling agencies to respond more effectively to your changing needs
  • helping to provide you with the most appropriate service
  • enhancing our knowledge and understanding of your needs.

Principles of sharing information between agencies

Your and/or your family's information will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, the Human Rights Act 1998, and the common law duty of confidentiality. 'Processing' refers to the collection, storage, use and destruction of information. Professionals working in social services and the NHS will also process your information in accordance with Caldicott Principles.

This means that we are legally and professionally obliged to share and hold personal information safely and securely. Personal information should only ever be shared with people who have a genuine need to access it, and only the minimum necessary information should be shared.

In Surrey, different agencies have agreements in place to make sure that information is always shared in an appropriate way.

Sharing information between agencies with permission

In most situations, the agency or service involved will normally ask for your permission for your information to be shared. You may be asked to give your permission verbally, in a letter, or by filling in a form.

You are entitled to refuse to give your permission for information to be shared. However, this may mean that decisions are made based on incomplete information, which could affect the service provided.

You are also entitled to withdraw your permission to share if you have previously given it, or to decide to give your permission if you have previously withheld it.

Sharing information between agencies without permission

There are some situations when the law says we can share your information without your permission. For example:

  • to protect people who are or are likely to be at risk of suffering harm
  • for the prevention or detection of crime
  • to protect people who are at risk of being excluded from school or society.

Anonymised information may also be shared between agencies without permission, so long as it is impossible to identify who the information refers to. For example, statistics may be shared so that we can identify trends and plan services.

Agencies we may share information with

The agencies that information is shared with will depend on your individual needs. You are entitled to know who this information is shared with, so please ask the professional or team with whom you have contact. They will let you know unless there is a legal reason why we cannot tell you, for example if it has been shared for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.

Examples of the agencies that information may be shared with are as follows:

  • the police, the National Health Service, borough or district councils
  • housing services, care homes, voluntary and community groups or organisations
  • Youth Offending Team, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Schools, Educational Support Services.

Any questions or complaints?

If you have any questions regarding the sharing of your personal data, please contact the Corporate Information Governance Manager at Surrey County Council. If you would like to complain about the way your information has been processed, please contact the professional or team involved in supporting you.

Leaflet produced by Surrey County Council about sharing your information

A PDF download of the document 'Sharing your information' is available below, if you would like this document in large print, on tape or in another language please contact us on:

Files available to download

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