In order to be an open and transparent organisation, the Trust is committed to making the maximum amount of information publically available at minimum inconvenience and cost.
We aim to make information available via our website and send out information electronically by email or secure data transfer.
Where necessary and upon request, we will also provide information in alternative formats, such as hard copy, if asked to do so.
From time to time, individuals may request access to information held by the organisation and, depending on the nature of the information being sought, requests will be considered under different legislation and one of four different access regimes:
- Requests from an individual (or their authorised representative) about their own personal data and information about them will be handled and dealt with in accordance with the Data Protection legislation – UK Data Protection Act 2018 (UK DPA 2018) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). More information available here
- Requests from a relevant authorised representative (the executor or person with a claim arising from the death) about a deceased patient's care record will be handled and dealt with in accordance with the Access to Health Records Act 1990. More information available here
- Requests for environmental information will be handled and dealt with in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). More information available here
- All other requests for information will be handled and dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI). More information available here
For independent advice and guidance about the Data Protection legislation, Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office or visit their website.
Click here for more detailed information on the process.
These requests are handled within the Trust by specific Subject Access Request (SAR) leads within each division. Please contact the relevant divisional SAR lead directly for advice and guidance.
From 1st April 2023 onwards, all Subject Access Requests (SAR) and access requests must be logged on Radar. This to ensure that the Trust has a complete record of all such requests and it can monitor compliance with these requests.
It is imperative that all such requests are identified and correctly categorised on Radar since requests may have different legal deadlines dependent on which legislation they are being requested under.
Please note that several of our generic email accounts have recently been consolidated and merged together. If you are experiencing any difficulties emailing these accounts or replying to emails from the previous email accounts, please delete the email address from your auto complete box in Outlook and try reselecting the new email address from the global address book.
Information Governance Team
|Corporate - Human Resources||
Head of Workforce Development
|Corporate - Occupational Health||
Occupational Health Department
Access to Records Team
Admin – Access Team
Health Records Manager
Health Records Department
Under Data Protection legislation, the police can request access to person confidential information for the prevention or detection of crime and/or for the prosecution of offenders.
Requests from the police and other law enforcement agencies must be made formally in writing on a fully completed Data Protection Form / Information Disclosure Request Form (previously often referred to as a Section 29 Form), the format of which may vary from force to force or agency to agency. This will set out what information is required and the reasons why it is needed. It is important that all requests are made using this form. Ideally these should be signed by the requesting officer and also a senior officer.
The form should clearly include details of:
- The crime/incident under investigation;
- What information they require access to and why;
- Whether the individual is the (alleged) perpetrator or victim, and;
- Whether the indivdiual is aware of the disclosure request and has consented to the disclosure (or whether seeking consent would prejudice your investigation and, if so, how and why).
Police requests must be sent to the Information Governance (Access to Records) Team at SAR
Never feel pressurised or bullied into disclosing information regardless of who the request is from.
Whilst we clearly want to assist the police with their investigations and enquiries, we have a duty of confidentiality to our patients and need to ensure any disclosure is lawful and appropriate. Any decision on disclosure lies with the Trust and disclosure should not be excessive and should be pertinent to the case in question.
Guidance is also available within Section 5.5 of the Data Protection Act Policy (IT14) available on the Trust website.
Three specific event types are available on Radar for access to record requests:
- Subject Access Request (Living Individual)
- Access to Health Records Act (Deceased Individual)
Other types of requests may come from a variety of sources such as NHS organisations, government departments, housing associations, the police, the coroner, the courts, etc. - see table below:
|Request Type||Example(s) of Requests From|
All requests supported by a court order or a coroner’s request. These may come from Crown, County, Family or Coroner's courts.
It is imperative that, upon initial reciept, the court is checked to confirm who it is actually served on and who it actually compels to provide the requested information to the court.
If the court order is served on and compels Mersey Care to release the information then it would be logged on Radar under 'Other'.
If it is not served on or compelling Mersey Care then it would become a SAR requiring consent (or authorised authority) and would be logged on Radar under 'Subject Access Request (Living Individual)'.
|Crime / Investigation / Prosecution||Police, Counter Fraud and other law enforcement agencies.|
|Employment and Social Security||Request for employment and social security purpose from other organisations.|
|Health and Social Care||Requests for direct care purposes from other organisations, including NHS organisations and local authorities (eg social services, continuing healthcare).|
|Regulatory||Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Home Office, Care Quality Commission (CQC), General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC), Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), etc.|
Radar Healthcare: Access to Records Event Training (Presentation)
Access to Records Requests - Guide to Complex Requests (IG Guidance)