Access to provider information

All provider services will keep records of their activity in respect of all the individuals for whom they provide care and support. Records will include documents, reports and care plans shared with the provider by statutory services. These should be made available as part of adult safeguarding enquiries where necessary. Other documents will be generated by the service related to meeting the needs of the individuals they support either in the individual's own home or in a residential setting.

Records held by provider services in respect of the adults at risk they are supporting are the property of that service. If that service is commissioned by Salford City Council or the local NHS then there is deemed to be a de facto ownership by the relevant authority. The authorities will have a right of access to the records in respect of safeguarding activity; to comply with contract monitoring processes; and to meet legal requirements made of the authority by a court.

Records including daily information records, accident reports, medication charts, weight and nutrition charts and financial information about individuals may form an important part of a safeguarding enquiry. It is expected that provider services co-operating with adult safeguarding processes will facilitate access to such information when it is requested by officers conducting a safeguarding enquiry.

An IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate) also has the right to examine and take copies of any records they believe may be relevant to the enquiry and their role. 

Records may be requested verbally or in writing and a written receipt given for records taken. If removing original documentation a photocopy of them will be taken and transported in line with the organisation's policy for the safekeeping of confidential information. The provider should retain the original documents to enable them to continue to meet the individual's assessed needs. The provider must ensure that the original documents are kept secure. Police officers and CQC compliance inspectors may need to remove and retain original documents in which case they will provide photocopies to the provider service as necessary.

Remember individual user records are integral to the delivery of the care and support that person has been assessed as requiring so need to be intact and available to care staff at all times.

Enquiry officers should liaise with relevant other statutory agencies prior to requesting access to records. This would usually be done in strategy or other safeguarding meetings. The police and CQC inspectors can, in certain circumstances, seize records as part of carrying out their statutory functions. Community, Health and Social Care contract and commissioning section and the NHS continuing care funding team may also assist in obtaining relevant records and should be involved in the discussions.

If there are problems in obtaining records, providers should be referred to the relevant section of the adult safeguarding procedure guidance. Any problems in gaining access to records should be reported in the appropriate safeguarding meeting and recorded in the minutes.

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