Access to your Health and Social Services Care records
Updated27 January 2016
Words you may need to know
Access - this means to get hold off, read or see
Health and Social Services Care records - These are the records that are kept about you from birth.
Code of Practice - These are guidelines which are expected to be followed by States Departments.
Subject Access Request - this is a formal request under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018
Information - reports, drugs sheets, forms, emails, letters, care plans etc
Guardian - someone who has been appointed by the Court to care for a minor or child
Identified - made known, who the person is
Frivolous or Vexatious- when someone is frivolous or vexatious they are out to cause a nuisance of themselves or are doing it for spite
Made in bad faith - being dishonest or false as to your reasons for wanting the information
Error- a mistake, something wrong
Access to your Health and Social Services Care records
You can ask to see your own personal records which are held by the Health and Social Services Department, but there are some reasons why they don't have to give them to you.
A copy of the States Code of Practice on Public Access to Official Information is available from the States Bookshop, Morier House, St Helier, JE1 1DD. The Code does not apply to records held by other organisations, for example Doctors or Family Nursing & Home Care.
How can I access my records?
If you wish to request access to your records, you should contact:-
The Information Governance Officer,
Health and Social Services,
St Helier, JE1 3QS
You will be sent a Subject Access Request application form to fill out.
Your request should say what information you require and why you want to have it. For example, by saying what happened and giving as much information as possible so the correct records can be obtained.
More than one application may be needed depending upon what information you are trying to get.
Who can access a Health and Social Services Care record?
The Health and Social Services Department looks after your information carefully and tries to make sure that no - one who does not need to see it has any access to it.
The following people may, most of the time, be allowed to access a health and social services record:
- a) you;
- b) another person you give permission for in writing to make an application on your behalf;
- c) the parent or guardian in the case of a child and a guardian under the Mental Health (Jersey) Law.
What happens after an application is received?
The application will be checked to make sure that all the details are given and correct. The Department who holds the information will try to give the information you have asked for within 30 days of your application being accepted.
An appointment will be made when you can come to the Department and the information you have asked to see will be made available. Any words or information you do not understand will be explained to you.
Can access to a record be refused?
The Code of Practice does say that under certain circumstances you might be refused.
These include if:
a) giving you the information might -
cause loss of privacy of another individual;
cause problems in law such as court cases which might happen or prevent justice being carried out ;
cause problems in any tribunal, public enquiry, Board of Administrative Appeal or other formal investigation;
give information which a lawyer has given to a client or authority or perhaps give medical information that is confidential;
cause harm to you if the information is held for the purposes of health or social care, including child care;
cause problems in health care or the carrying out of social work, including child care, by giving the name or information that could identify the person (other than a health or social services professional) who has not agreed to be identified;
b) the information you are asking to see was given to the authority in confidence on the understanding that it would be treated by it as confidential. They can however be asked if they agree to you having it; or
c) the application is frivolous or vexatious or is made in bad faith.
However, if you are not allowed to see the information, the reason must be explained to you.
What if I discover an error?
You can ask for any mistakes in the record to be corrected or put right. The Department will either change it or make a note against the record that you believe the information to be wrong.
What if I am thinking about taking legal action?
If you are thinking of taking legal action, and want access to a Health and Social Services record for this purpose, you may be better talking to a lawyer first. They will know how to get the information you need and the questions to ask.
The Department will usually make all the information which relates to your case available to your lawyer, but if you don't get proper legal advice, it might affect the successful outcome of your case. You need to get advice quickly as after a certain time, you cannot take a case forward.
The Health and Social Services Department will try to give you all the information you have asked for bearing in mind the reasons why they may not be able to above. However, you may appeal in writing to the Minister for Health and Social Services if:
- your application is turned down,
- you ask to correct something in a file and it is refused,
- you are not happy with what has been given to you or any other reason.
If you wish to appeal, please write to:
The Minister for Health and Social Services,
Peter Crill House,