Legislation relevant to sharing information

Children’s Act 1989

Section 17 – general duty of local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area, who are in need, and so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families.

Section 47 – where a local authority is informed that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is subject of an emergency protection order or is in police protection or there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm , there is a duty to investigate.

Children’s Act 2004

Section 10 – promote co-operation to improve wellbeing

Section 11 – arrangements to safeguard and promote welfare

Common Law Duty of ConfidentialityLegal precedent states that if information is given in circumstances where it is expected that a duty of confidence applies, that information cannot normally be disclosed without the information provider’s consent. You cannot use or share information which was originally provided in confidence without the individual’s permission, unless there is an overriding reason in the public interest for this to happen or another law or power permits disclosure.
Crime & Disorder Act 1998

 Section 17 – duty of each authority to exercise its functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions, and the need to do all that it reasonably can, to prevent crime and disorder in its area.

Section 115 – any person who apart from this section would not have power to disclose information to a relevant authority or to a person acting on behalf of such an authority, shall have the power to do so in any case where the disclosure is necessary or expedient for the purposes of this Act.

Data Protection Act 1998

 Section 29(3) – where disclosure is required for the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders

Section 34 – where a data controller is obliged by or under any enactment to make personal data available to the public

Section 35(1) – where the disclosure is required by or under enactment, by any rule of law or by order of a court

Section 35(2) – where the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings) or for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or establishing, exercising or defending legal rights

Education Act 2002 Section 175 – a Local Education Authority shall make arrangements for ensuring that the functions conferred on them in their capacity as a Local Education Authority are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
The Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015

Section 2 – Consistent identifiers – a requirement for health and adult social care organisations to use a consistent identifier (the NHS Number) for data sharing associated with facilitating care for an individual

Section 3 – A legal duty requiring health and adult social care bodies to share information where this will facilitate care for an individual.

Human Rights Act 1998  Article 8 Right of respect for private and family life
Local Government Act 1972 Section 111(1) – a local authority shall have the power to do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive to or incidental to, the discharge of any of their statutory functions
Local Government Act 2000Section 2(1) – a local authority shall have the power to do anything which they consider is likely to achieve the promotion or improvement of social well-being of their area.
National Health Services Act 2006

Section 82 – in exercising their respective functions NHS bodies and local authorities must co-operate with one another to secure and advance the health and welfare of the people of England and Wales.

Section 201(3)(d) – a disclosure of information may be made if it is for the purposes of criminal investigations or proceedings.

Section 201(6) – information to which this section applies may be disclosed in accordance with Section 201(3) despite any obligation of confidence that would otherwise prohibit or restrict the disclosure.

Whenever you share personal information, you must also comply with the Data Protection Principles.

You must also ensure that any sharing is necessary and proportionate and check whether the information is confidential, and if so, whether you have the power to share it.