Information Sharing Guidance

Data protection rules are not a barrier to information sharing so long as it is in the right context and situations. This page sets out some key points around information sharing.

 Seven golden rules for information sharing

  • Remember that the Data Protection Laws are not a barrier to sharing information but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.
  • Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
  • Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.
  • Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgment, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgment on the facts of the case.
  • Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.
  • Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
  • Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it - whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose

In summary sharing information is vital for early intervention to ensure that children and young people get the services they require. It is also essential to protect children and young people from suffering harm from abuse or neglect and to prevent them from offending.

Information Sharing Guidance and protocol have been produced and key departments and agencies have agreed to comply with the protocol.

This page was added to the website on 2 July 2015
8 November 2015 to include document downloads

Document downloads

pdf icon Information Sharing Practice Guidance [341kb]

word icon Information Sharing Protocol [453kb]