What if a safeguarding partner is reluctant to share information? - Adult safeguarding: sharing information
There are only a limited number of circumstances where it would be acceptable not to share information pertinent to safeguarding with relevant safeguarding partners. These would be where the person involved has the mental capacity to make the decision and does not want their information shared and:
- nobody else is at risk
- no serious crime has been or may be committed
- the alleged abuser has no care and support needs
- no staff are implicated
- no coercion or duress is suspected
- the public interest served by disclosure does not outweigh the public interest served by protecting confidentiality
- the risk is not high enough to warrant a multi-agency risk assessment conference referral
- no other legal authority has requested the information.
Safeguarding adults boards should set out a clear policy for dealing with conflict on information-sharing. If there is continued reluctance from one partner to share information on a safeguarding concern the matter should be referred to the board. It can then consider whether the concern warrants a request, under Clause 45 of the Care Act, for the ‘supply of information’. Then the reluctant party would only have grounds for refusal if it would be ‘incompatible with their own duties or have an adverse effect on the exercise of their functions’.