What is an information sharing protocol or agreement?
An information sharing protocol or agreement provides a framework for the secure and confidential obtaining, holding, recording, storing and sharing of information between participating partner agencies or organisations.
It is an agreed set of principles about sharing personal or confidential information and it enables each organisation signed up to the protocol to understand the legal powers and circumstances in which it should share information and what its responsibilities are.
Organisations involved in providing services to the public have a legal responsibility to ensure that their use of personal information is lawful, securely controlled and protective of the rights of individuals.
This balance between the need to share information to provide quality service and protection of confidentiality is often a difficult one to achieve.
Why do we need to share information?
Sharing information about individuals between public authorities is often essential if we need to keep people safe, or ensure they get the best services.This sharing must only happen when it is legal and necessary to do so and adequate safeguards are in place to protect the security of the information.
Information sharing protocols
Devon County Council has the following agreements with partners:
An an overarching protocol for sharing person-identifiable information between Health and Social Care Organisations in Devon called the Devon Health and Social Care Data Sharing Agreement
- An operational information sharing agreement for Continuing Health Care
There is a Data Sharing Code of Practice for sharing information about children, young people and their families which agencies recognise as good practice and other Working Practice Agreements have been developed under this code:
- Model Protocol on the Exchange of Information in the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse Cases – any requests received by Devon County Council under this protocol should be sent to the Information Governance Team
Devon County Council are signed up to all the Information Sharing Agreements owned by Devon and Cornwall Police with the exception of the Housing Protocol.