The NHS is responsible for paying for people in care that are deemed to have a health need but with experience, we have found that the NHS avoid their duties thereby avoiding funding people’s care and instead, the person in care has to use their assets to fund their care.
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If a person is intending on making a complaint to a Local Authority or NHS Trust then they may require information to either strengthen the complaint or to see whether other applicants have succeeded with a similar complaint. There are two aspects to this – public information and personal information.
If a person wishes to make a complaint either against a Local Authority or NHS Trust, they may require other information such as local policies to see how other people have been treated in similar situations.
Certain information is not permitted to be viewable to the public and this relates to client confidentiality. Aside from this, the public should be able to obtain information in the public domain.
This Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to the Local Authority and NHS. Both must have a publication scheme and provide information in response to requests. There are some exceptions to this including information reasonably accessible to the applicant, information relating to security or prejudicial matters, personal information and confidential information.
The Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights govern the law relating to personal information. The obstacle is confidential information.
The Data Protection Act 1998 states that data controllers must comply with data protection principles. Under this Act a person (being the data subject) has a general right to find out about and receive copies of personal data of which they are the subject.
The Data Protection Act 1998 does not apply to someone who has died since personal data relates only to a living person. However, there will still be issues of confidentiality. Information for a deceased person will usually be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Access to Health Records 1990.