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How to see your social care records

When you first work with social care services we will ask you to go through an assessment process to help you identify your support needs. We record this information and may also get information from other people and organisations. We use this to advise you on the range of services available to help you live your life the way you want.

This section tells you about the information we keep and how you can see this information if you want to.

The social care record guarantee

We hold your records in accordance with the social care record guarantee. This is a nationally recognised set of rules that govern how your information is managed and used within both adults and children's social care services and what control you can have over it. It is based on professional guidelines, best practice and the law and applies to both paper and electronic records.

The social care record guarantee includes information on:

  • An individual's rights to access their own records
  • How access to an individual's care record will be monitored and policed, and what controls are in place to prevent unauthorised access
  • Options people have to decide who sees their records
  • Access in an emergency
  • What happens when someone is unable to make decisions for themselves

You can also read the complete social care record guarantee [pdf].

How can I see my records? 

Complete the application form: Access to social care records application form [pdf]

Please include any information which may help us to trace your records, e.g. when and where services were provided.

You must send evidence of your identity (examples included on application form)

If you require the information on behalf of someone else, you must provide clear evidence of your authority to act for them, such as a letter of instruction or power of attorney

Send your completed application form to the Adult Social Care First Response Team. 

What happens next? 

We will confirm that we have received your request, in writing, within five working days. We will then:

  • gather your information together (your records may be in more than one building)
  • check the files
  • get any permissions we need from other people

This can take up to 40 days - we will let you know if it is going to be longer. Once everything is in place we will contact you to arrange a time for you to come to our office to collect copies of your records or view them with a social worker. 

What if I think my records are wrong? 

Your record contains two kinds of information - facts and opinions.

  • Facts are things like your name, date of birth, the help you need and the services you receive. If any of the factual information we hold about you is wrong please let us know so we can put it right.
  • Opinions are other people's views about your situation. You can't change recorded opinions even if you don't agree with them.

If you don't like what someone said about you please discuss it with the social worker - they will add a note to your file explaining that you disagree with that opinion. 

What if I want to comment or complain? 

If you need further help with your application please contact the Adult Social Care First Response Team.

If you wish to appeal against a decision refusing you access to your personal records or to amend your records, you may take your appeal either to the Information Commissioners Officer (address on the right) or to the courts.