Sharing information and General Data Protection Regulations

Where there is a concern about an adult at risk of harm or you are made aware of such a concern, agencies have a responsibility to share and exchange relevant information with other professionals. This should be done without delay (within 24 hours) and with confidence, following your own agency/service procedures.

All staff should be aware that their own agency will support them if they have shared personal information in these circumstances using their professional judgement. Recent reviews have highlighted misconceptions about information sharing. Existing legislation does not prevent the sharing and/or exchanging relevant information where it is believed there are concerns about the protection of adults at risk of harm. In addition, agencies are lawfully able to share confidential information where disclosure is necessary to protect the individual or another third party. This extends to all practitioners working with adults who may be self-harming or neglecting themselves.

It is important that we are open and transparent and make people aware that we will share information when we suspect an adult is at risk of harm. It is also important that staff record any decisions to share or not to share information and their reasons for doing so.

For further advice and guidance staff should speak directly with their supervisor/manager or with their organisation’s Data Protection expert.