Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea – RBKC

Ms Stella Baille’s  responsibilities, among other things  as  RBKC’s Director of Adult  Social Care and their CALDICOTT GUARDIAN,   is to ensure that RBKC employees comply with all the relevant legislation, procedures and codes of practice,  in  not only carrying out assessments, but also handling  of service users’ personal confidential information.

Had RBKC responded to F’s  May 2010 amendment to his ‘Information Sharing Agreement’,  as requested to do,  he would not have had   reasons to complain about the willful and wanton  disclosure of his confidential medical information about his HIV+ status without any legal requirement to do so.  This Blog would not exist.

RBKC  amended F’s ‘Confidentiality Table‘,  to reflect the  instructions that his explicit written consent  must be sought, when a disclosure of his medical information is contemplated, including his HIV+ status. NO action was taken regarding the removal if his HIV+ specific information from his file.  There was NO communication between F and RBKC on this matter.   Although RBKC failed to reply,  which they had ample time to do, F  had no reason to assume that this  was NOT carried out.  As it transpired later on, a very foolish assumption, indeed.

Ms Jean Daintith, RBKC  Executive Director for Housing, Health and Adult Social Care told F in a letter dated  18th May 2011 thatAll our procedures and policies are in line with the Department of Health guidelines and there is no evidence to suggest that our service users are put at any risk as a result of them.’

Being aware of these is one thing; following them is another.  However, there is NO credible evidence that RBKC followed any of them.  On the  contrary, they were ignored with an arrogant indifference,  with the knowledge that there is NO independent oversight or audit.  In fact, RBKC can and do, exactly as they feel fit.  They have done so before 2010 and doing so today, a year after the GRENFELL disaster, under  the new  leadership of  Dr Quirk.

It can be alleged that RBKC failed to follow :

Common Law Duty of Confidentiality

Department of Health ‘Data Protection Act 1998 – Guidance to Social Services

Department of Health ‘Confidentiality  – NHS Code of Practice

Department of Health’s ‘Prioritising need in the context of Putting People First: A whole system  approach to eligibility for social care – Guidance  on Eligibility  Criteria for Adult Social Care – 2010‘ 

Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints(England)Regulations 2009

ICO’s ‘Data Protection Act 1998

ICOs’ ‘Data Sharing Code of Practice

Caldicott Principles

Article 8 of the Human Rights Act and the

NHS Statutory Restrictions on Data Handling, which are referred to in paragraph 46 of the ‘NHS Code of Practice’.

It can be alleged that RBKC  failed to properly address:

1. Amendment to  ‘Information Sharing Agreement

In October 2008,   RBKC ignored basic principles of  Confidentiality  and the possible unpredictable  consequences this may cause,  when considering a new  email signature block. Use of it by F’s Social Worker, caused F unnecessary anxiety and concern. As a result of his complaint, the text of the signature black was changed.  F was told that the offending email was removed.  This is a very naive assumption, taking into consideration how the email system works and the various obligations to keep copies and backups, that ALL copies were removed.  In fact, NOBODY is truly aware how many copies of any message exist.

To ensure that in future his information was handled  in accordance with his wishes, on 10th May 2010,  F issued an amendment to his ‘Information Sharing Agreement, which was later recognised to be a ‘Notice in compliance with paragraph 10 of the Data Protection Act.

2. Collection of personal confidential HIV related information

3.  Conduct of Assessment for Adult Social Care service

In March 2010 RBKC carried out F’s Financial  Assessment.

In October 2010 RBKC decided to carry out an  ASSESSMENT of his eligibility for adult social care.

F was unhappy with RBKC’s justification  of their non-compliance with the Department of Health  Guidelines,   while conducting his Adult Care assessment for the provision of a domestic help.

 When no satisfactory resolution was reached,  on 18th May 2011, F  was told to escalate his complaint to the  Local Government Ombudsman,  LGO; which he did on 12th July 2011. 

4. Complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman – LGO

5. Disclosure of F’s HIV relevant clinical information

6. Deletion of information 

7. Non-compliance with Notice under Section 10 of the DPA

8. Non-existent ‘formal request’ for F’s information

 

 

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