Sometimes, you may be asked for information directly under the law – for example, if a court has ordered you to disclose the information
You have a legal duty to keep to orders made by the court. You should tell the service user if you have had to disclose information about them by law, unless there are good reasons not to – for example, if telling them would affect how serious crime is prevented or detected. You should also only provide the information you have been asked for and keep a record of this.
Keep in mind that not all requests from solicitors, the police or a court are made under a legal power that means you must disclose information. If disclosure is not required by law, and cannot be justified in the public interest, you must get express consent from the service user.
Requests from service users
Service users have the right to see information you hold about them and it is important that you respect this.
Our standards of conduct, performance and ethics say that:
You must take appropriate action if you have concerns about the safety or well-being of children or vulnerable adults (7.3)
In these situations, the following apply.
- If you are employed, you should follow local policies and processes for raising a safeguarding concern. This might include informing the local council or the police.
- If you are self-employed and you are concerned that someone has caused harm, or could pose a risk to vulnerable groups, you should refer the matter to the Disclosure and Barring Service, or in Scotland, Disclosure Scotland. You may also want to inform the local council or the police.
Confidentiality and data protection are specialised areas of the law and we would always advise registrants to seek independent advice where they have concerns in this area.