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 that ‘All 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 :
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‘
ICO’s ‘Data Protection Act 1998‘
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:
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.
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.