Latest development – re-examination of concerns – 9th August 2019
NOTE: F’s two concerns are very rare, perhaps even unique. In respect of his Social Care Assessment, had he been given the assessment document to verify and sign it, as is the practice at ALL of the local authorities we asked, there would NOT have been any reason for him to complaint about the incompleteness of the document and incorrectness of the information; as he had confirmed, by his signature, it to be true and correct. This Blog would NOT exist.
In respect of the Disclosure of his HIV+ related information, there is NO evidence that a case/complaint has ever been presented to the Information Commissioner, the NHS, or the Department of Health, for disclosure without CONSENT of this highly confidential and sensitive information. Due to Ms Leverne Parker, RBKC Chief Solicitor and Monitoring Officer’s whim, this has become the FIRST EVER event, without a precedent.
It must be borne in mind that had RBKC complied with F’s May 2010 Amendment to his Information Sharing Agreement, and the NOTICE it became, in accordance with paragraph 10 of the DPA, addressed to Ms Jean Daintith, RBKC’s Executive Director of Adult Social Care, this Blog most probably would NOT exist, as any HIV relevant information would have been removed from F’s files in May 2010. It would not still be available in SEPTEMBER 2011 when it was sent to the Local Government Ombudsman in violation of F’ Agreement.
DPA’s Paragraph 10-(3) provided RBKC with adequate time to tell F if there were any legal reasons preventing RBKC from removing this information. RBKC failed to do so. Also, the Department of Health stated in June 2014 that “local authorities are NOT entitled to ask for, or routinely receive, an individual’s confidential medical records, including information about a person’s HIV status.” Therefore, it follows, that RBKC should NOT have had F’s HIV relevant information in the first place, let alone record it and disclose it without his consent/knowledge.
In this public Blog, we wish to submit for Trial by Social Media, case concerning the conduct of Mr F’s assessment for Adult Social Services and the subsequent willful and wanton disclosure, without any legal requirement to do so, of his HIV+ status and relevant clinical details, by his local authority – The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, RBKC.
On 1st June 2018, F advised RBKC that he decided NOT to proceed as an LiP and go through the Courts with perhaps a very lengthy and costly case. Instead he will submit his concerns to the General Public, for their comments and advice, in what would be a Trial by Media.
This advice stated that Ms Parker, the RBKC’s Chief Solicitor quoted paragraph 29 of the LGA 1974 as the authority to disclose F’s information. On closer review, Ms Parker’s statement is INCORRECT. She quoted the 1972 version of the Act. It is the 1974 version of the LGA that contains the new paragraph 29. This confirms that Ms Parker could not been bothered to confirm veracity of her statement, wholeheartedly hoping that F would believe whatever he may be given under an RBKC letterhead.
You are invited to comment, on either the relevant subject page, or the Desired Outcome page, of this Blog. Or on Twitter, using #HIV and/or #RBKCandHIV, or email us on RBKCandHIV@gmail.com
Despite the Department of Health statement, that local authorities are NOT entitled to ask for, or be provided with confidential medical records, including details of person’s HIV status, RBKC collected and recorded F’s highly sensitive clinical information about his HIV status, without his consent or even knowledge. This information was eventually disclosed to the LGO, without F’s consent or even knowledge, as addressed here.
This Blog also endorses the accusations that local authorities can and do, conduct their Adult Social Care Assessments in accordance with their own agendas, as there is NO credible external independent oversight and audit of this activity. Local authorities can do exactly as they feel fit, without any fear of retribution, as there is none to be had. In turn depriving the needy, vulnerable, often disabled, residents of their Boroughs, of a better quality of life, well-being and independence. In F’s case of £ 40 per week.
It also endorses the Law Commission’s findings in their scoping report ‘ Data Sharing Between Public Bodies’, that poor understanding of data sharing legislation exists at local government level, due to poor education/training of the staff, who handle individuals’ information.
Before proceeding to the Blog proper, you may wish to read about a more recent event, which began on 20th November 2018, relating to F’s Post Open Heart surgery at home. Even under the new management of Dr Quirke, it illustrates RBKC’s inability and confusion to understand this, relatively rare, but simple, event.. Read more…
IMPORTANT PREAMBLE dated 8th November 2018 relating to Disclosure of F’s Information: When F found that RBKC reneged on their promise to provide a copy of the ‘list of documents’ sent to the LGO, as addressed on the ‘Disclosure page‘ on 9th November 2018, he reminded RBKC of this fact.
An automated response from Ms Stella Baillie, informed F that the specific email address was no longer in use and any enquiries should be directed at the Westminster Council. No further details were given. Enquiries revealed that this amoral husk of humanity, who has caused so such grief to many, has been quietly PENSIONED OFF, no fanfares, no great thank yous.
The Horton Street Town Hall must have heaved with delight, under the sotto voce mutterings of ‘Good Riddance’, when this impostor left the building for the last time, very much like at Westminster, a decade or so, ago.
She will now enjoy a Gold plated PENSION, paid for by Borough Residents, many of whom have suffered from her whims, depriving them of better quality of life, wellbeing and improved independence. Her comeuppance will not only come on these pages, but also when she takes the stand, as she should, at the GRENFELL Inquiry and answer questions about social housing allocations at GRENFELL. This has quite a few miles to run, retired or not.
Ms Maclean’s response regarding ‘CONFIDENTIALITY‘, and the handling of St John Hospice letter, demonstrate RBKC’s unequalled arrogance, utter disregard for law, order and procedures of this land and their moral bankruptcy. So well demonstrated at Grenfell, where so many unidentified innocent young souls were cremated alive.
Mr F could not find legal advice, for a fee or for free, or get a legal professional to take on his case. Perhaps because there is NO precedent in English law that a case/complaint has ever been brought against anyone in the Courts, or to responsible regulators, for disclosing individual’s HIV+ status, WITHOUT HIS EXPLICIT CONSENT.
RBKC has become the FIRST EVER, UNIQUE in English law, to be a party to such a worrisome event. This does not mean that a disclosure had never happened. It is assumed that past perpetrators were prudent enough to resolve the matter locally, to the full satisfaction of the victim, ensuring that the matter went no further. No such effort was made by RBKC. Even when told of F’s interpretation of the legislation, Ms Parker, RBKC’s Chief Solicitor and of Grenfell fame, stuck to her understanding of the matter, failing even to consider F’s right to Confidentiality, as addressed on the Deletion page.
In this context, the way disclosure was handled by the ECHR, is shown in Z v Finland and I v Finland. Also of interest is the way London’s Brent Council handled their uncertainty whether they should disclose foster parent’s HIV+ status to a child’s biological father. Furthermore, the ICO imposed a Monetary Fine on a Soho HIV Clinic in September 2015, for merely inferring by an accidental disclosure of Clinic’s Newsletter recipients that they may be HIV+, creating a public and media frenzy over the event. Had such a disclosure happened, at say TESCO, the event would passed by unnoticed.
In F’s case, RBKC NOT only disclosed, without his CONSENT or any legal requirement to do so, F’s full identity, but also full clinical details of his HIV+ condition.
In respect of Mr Leak, F’s Social Worker, the latest information is an automated reply, telling all and sundry that he is NO longer employed by RBKC..
In respect of the ‘assessment’ process, events PRIOR to the issue of the ‘decision letter’ are important, as RBKC wholeheartedly hoped that by NOT giving F clear opportunity to challenge the decision, he would accept the outcome and move on.
It is clear, from the subsequent events, that RBKC did not expect him to query anything, least of all compliance with the Department of Health guidelines. In this respect RBKC relied/hoped on the usual ignorance of procedure by the ‘general public’ and take a warped advantage of it. How many other individuals have suffered in the same way?
Before you proceed any further, let’s make one important thing clear:
Putting aside any other provisions, had Ms Stella Baillie, RBKC’s Director of Adult Social Services and the authority’s Caldicott Guardian ensured that Social Workers and other employees followed the legislation, codes of practice, guidelines and the Caldicott Principles, in the conduct of F’s assessment and the eventual disclosure of his HIV+ status, without F’s CONSENT and even knowledge, or a legal requirement to do so, this Blog would not exist.
Although asked by the legal department for guidance on the LGO’s request for F’s information, she chose NOT to respond; thus reneging on her responsibilities as RBKC’s Caldicott Guardian.
It must also be appreciated that F was NOT aware of any assessment questionnaire, let alone asked to participate in its completion. He had NO idea how the Assisted Self Assessment Questionnaire, ASAQ, looked like, let alone that he should have verified the answers and signed it.
It was NOT until 11th February, 2012, 16 MONTHS AFTER the alleged assessment, that F saw, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, the handwritten, incorrect, unverified and unsigned by him ASAQ, signed only by the Social Worker, on a wrong date, allegedly used on his assessment.
This came to light after all the complaints and decisions were made, based on a WRONG document, equally incomplete, unverified and unsigned FACE Report.
Due to Ms Baillie’s failure to impose compliance with Guidelines, RBKC have ended up in an unenviable situation, when they are unable to provide a credible evidence that F had anything to do with the completion of the ASAQ. In fact, it could have been completed by whomever, wherever and whenever, scoring the answers to arrive at a predetermined result. The ASAQ is nothing but a worthless forgery, reviewed by equally worthless ‘panel’, deciding on F’s quality of life, independence and wellbeing, as addressed on the Assessment page.
Most disgusting is RBKC’s complete disregard with customary arrogance of F’s May 2010 amendment to his Information Sharing Agreement, which is one of the cornerstones of data handling process, addressed on the Information Disclosure page.
As a consequence, F was NOT aware of what information RBKC disclosed to the LGO in response to his request. RBKC deemed it NOT NECESSARY or ethically/morally prudent to let him know. Had the LGO not informed F that he had received old Care Plan Reviews, which contained his HIV+ relevant information, F would not be any wiser.
Very disturbing is HCPC’s statement that the processes and procedures for both handling and sharing of personal information at RBKC is flawed. This is illustrated by the way RBKC handled a copy of St John’s Hospice letter, which was made available to Ms Carter.
If this applies to Adult Social Care information, what causes concern is whether same cavalier attitude exists in respect of CHILD SOCIAL SERVICES INFORMATION. It would be naive to think that there is any difference between them.
Even after F made RBKC aware that his right to Confidentiality was ignored and handling of his HIV+ specific information was NOT subject to the DPA, reconfirmed by ICO on 6th November 2016, Ms Parker told F on 25th November 2014 “ I do not want to rehearse previous arguments because we will not agree but I would like to explore a practical way forward which meets your approval.” Ms Parker’s proposal is addressed on the Deletion page.
To this day, NOBODY is prepared to accept the responsibility to deal with the clear breach of the NHS Statutory Restrictions on data handling, applying to F’s HIV relate information, highlighted by this Blog
He also saw, for the very FIRST TIME EVER copies of the 146 confidential documents sent to the LGO, some of the not only clearly disclosing his HIV+ status, but also provided clinical details of his condition’s progress, the life saving medication he must take and the inevitable nasty side effects he suffers as a consequence. Information, had RBKC complied with his May 2010 Amendment to his Information Sharing Agreement, would have been long removed from his files.
Therefore, all the complaints about his assessment, were based on a wrong form, the also unverified and unsigned FACE report.
F thought for a while that perhaps he was too protective of his personal information. This was swiftly dispelled on 1st September 2015, when an accidental disclosure of Soho HIV Clinic Newsletter subscribers’ email addresses was made. The frenzied media and individuals’ interest, made F to realise that a disclosure of individual’s HIV status was indeed a serious matter.
RBKC seem to require, for whatever purposes, details of F’s HIV condition, hence keeping the details on his file. The FACE Report dated 21st October 2010, clearly states that ‘Is the person the responsibility of RBKC: YES. Yet, in order to update that information, not a sole from RBKC’s Adult Social Services has enquired about it since that date. This would question whether it is actually imperative for RBKC to have ever required this information.
Short Overview what this Blog is all about.
Earlier events leading to the creation of this Blog.
You may also perhaps like to consider a case relating to disclosure of HIV+ status by a local authority. The case is Brent v Mr N. Had Ms Parker, RBKC’s Chief Solicitor and others involved in F’s matter, were anywhere near the Brent Council, would have in an assumed temporary lapse of sanity, disclosed on a whim of unjustifiable NECESSITY, prospective foster father’s HIV+ status. This might have created unnecessary distress and uncertain future for a child. Thank God, Brent Council had the presence of mind and seek legal guidance in what is was very rare matter.
They adhered to the well known principle: “If you are NOT absolutely SURE that you have the legal right to disclose person’s HIV+ information, you MUST NOT disclose it. It will than become the responsibility of the requester to provide a Court Order, explicitly asking for this information. As we all know, a Court Order can be challenged by the information holder, refusing the disclosure for specific reasons.
Very disturbing is the fact that NOBODY, the ICO, PHSO, HCPC, etc, asked F’s Social Worker, or indeed the RBKC, to provide a legally sound document which COMPELLED the Social Worker to unequivocally permit access to F’s CONFIDENTIAL file and allow unrestricted cull of 146 documents from F’s file, without his CONSENT or KNOWLEDGE. This serious omission might suggest that there was some collusion between these parties and RBKC, to ensure that a copy of this crucial document is NOT asked for.
RBKC’s and other’s involvement in F’s case:
Despite the fact that local authorities are NOT entitled to ask for or receive individuals’s confidential records, including details of person’s HIV status, RBKC collected F’s information. recorded it and disclosed it without his consent or even knowledge. To this day F was NOT told WHY was his HIV information needed.
3. Conduct of his Adult Social Care assessment‘ for Adult Social Care carried out by RBKC, whilst disregarding relevant Department of Health Guidelines. In addition, endlessly asking for MEDICAL information to provide a new assessment to be made, despite the fact that local authorities are NOT entitled to ask for, or received individual’s confidential medical information, including details of person’s HIV status.
When RBKC plainly got fed up F’s requests for answers to specific questions, Ms Daintith, Executive Director for Housing, Health and Adult Care Services, told F on 2nd March 2012, that ‘as he was no longer receiving a ‘service’, RBKC will NO longer reply to any of his questions. Telling F to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner was absurd. These matters have nothing to do with him; they are for the LGO to consider. In effect, F was to told to fuck off and not to bother RBKC any more.
Therefore, to this date, RBKC have NOT justified the points raised in his complaint to the LGO, relating to RBKC’s non-compliance with the Department of Health guidelines, because the LGO chose NOT to ask RBKC anything about this matter. This is addressed in more detail on the Assessment page.
RBKC are entitled to carry out a ‘re-assessment’ for services, when they feel fit. However, F cannot understand why his DLA re-assessment in late 2008 was not taken into consideration. At that time F completed a detailed 37 page assessment document, providing additional information. Document in content very similar to the ASAQ, used by RBKC. Comments were provided by his clinical specialists and his GP. Based on this rigorous re-assessment, DWP confirmed that his DLA should continue at levels agreed in 2000.
4. Complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman about RBKC’s conduct of F’s assessment for Social Care.
5. RBKC’s disclosure of F’s HIV+ status and relevant clinical information to the Local Government Ombudsman, without any legal requirement to do so.
It must be remembered that had RBKC complied with F’s May 2010 amendment to his Information Sharing Agreement, which turned out to also be a NOTICE in line with paragraph 10 of the DPA, there would NOT have been any of F’s HIV relevant information to disclose, as it would have been removed in MAy 2010, in line with Department of Health statement.
Although every piece of legislation, guidelines and codes of practice stress the importance of CONFIDENTIALITY and the individual’s CONSENT relating to disclosure of HIV related information, it appears that by some magical, consistent agreement, all of those involved in the saga, as you will read, shied away from even mentioning CONFIDENTIALITY and CONSENT. Understandably so, because that would open up a new can of worms and steer the matter in a very undesirable direction. So, all of those involved, chose to keep quiet.
The most absurd comment, clearly outside of the Realm of Sanity, was made by Ms Bowes of PHSO, who echoed ICO’s statement ‘that the information the Council had provided to the LGO was not obviously irrelevant to LGO’s request for information. They did not think it was likely the Council breached the Act. We do not think ICO’s approach was unreasonable and it did not therefore amount to an administrative fault.’
This is utter nonsense. It must be remembered that a single mention of the acronym HIV, or inference to it, in a wrong context, is a breach of the NHS Statutory Restrictions on data handling.
However, of interest is the ICO handling of the ‘accidental’ disclosure of email addresses of subscribers to Soho HIV Clinic’s Newsletter on 1st September 2015.
The ICO imposed a hefty penalty on the Trust, for merely implying that those subscribing to the Newsletter, may be HIV+.
It must also be considered that F’s clearly identifiable HIV+ clinical information has ended up on an unknown number of computers. Not only within RBKC, but the LGO; God only knows how many people became unwittingly aware of F’s HIV+ status? . Both organisations have compulsory backup procedures; the internet service providers are also obliged to keep copies of all communications for a predetermined period of time.
6. Complaint to the Information Commissioner about RBKC’s disclosure to the LGO of F’s HIV status.
To this date not a single organisation has confirmed that they are responsible for administration of complaints dealing with breaches of the NHS Statutory Restrictions on data handling – the NHS(Venereal Regulations)1974. They all keep referring F to each other.
8. Complaint to the Health Care Professional Council about F’s Social Worker’s failure to protect his information and allowing access to F’s confidential medical information without proper legal authority.
9. HCPC and RBKC’s “formal request”, which as claimed by RBKC compelled Mr Leak to put aside his professional and legal responsibilities to F and permit wholesale cull, by whomever, of F’s documents from his file, without his consent/knowledge. So far, RBKC have been UNABLE to provide a copy of this important document.
11. Request for assistance from RCJ and the Pro Bono Service. It was this unbelievable encounter that compelled F to ask the ‘Court of Public Opinion’ for their advice, opinion, comments.
12. Complaint to the NHS about disclosure of F’s HIV+ status.
30. Bullying tactics used in an attempt to shut down our first Blog.
This Blog publishes the actual documents received from RBKC and all of those involved in this matter. It highlights the willful, wanton and arrogant disregard for the relevant legislation, guidelines, codes of practice, by not only RBKC, but also by all involved in this matter.
Although disclosure of HIV related information is governed at least by the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality and Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, there is a dire dearth of legal advice, case laws and precedent relating specifically to disclosure of HIV related information without consent.
Therefore, this Blog reflects our understanding of the various laws, guidelines and codes of practice relating to handling of HIV relevant information.
In addition to RBKC, the following were involved in the saga
The Law Commission, for reference only
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