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8.1.2 Retention and Destruction of Records

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in April 2015. Appendix 1: Records Retention Schedule for Adult Social Care was updated; there are several new retention classes and two sections highlighted in red that have been retired from use.


Contents

1. Record Type – Service User
  1.1 Introduction
  1.2 Definition of a Service User Record and Carer Record
  1.3 Case Closure
  1.4 Retention, Archiving and Destruction
  1.5 Permanently Archive
  1.6 Destruction
  1.7 Retention Schedule (Preliminary Retention Classes for Adult Social Care)
  1.8 Guidance for Recording information about Paper Files in CareFirst
  1.9 Completion of Records Disposal Guidance/Template
  1.10 Transferring Records to Storage
  Appendix 1: Records Retention Schedule for Adult Social Care


1. Record Type – Service User

1.1 Introduction

Adult Social Care is dependent on its records (in whatever format) to operate efficiently and to account for its actions. Records are kept for as long as they are required for legal and administrative purposes and are then destroyed or retained as archives to ensure a permanent record of the activities of the department.

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires that personal data shall be: adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose(s) for which they are held (the third principle); accurate and where necessary kept up to date (sixth principle); and not kept for longer than is necessary for its purpose(s) (fifth principle).

This guidance relates to all service user and carer records and associated records (e.g. complaints, financial) created, received or maintained by staff in the course of carrying out their functions.

1.2 Definition of a Service User Record and Carer Record

A Service User Record and Carer Record is information created, received and maintained as evidence and information which has been stored as a record in either paper file or electronic file.

This includes the following information:

  • Assessment, Support Planning and Review;
  • Case notes/Diary Sheets;
  • Correspondence;
  • Complaints;
  • Financial;
  • Contract documentation relating to a specific service user/carer;
  • Service modules e.g. residential, respite, home care and day services; 
  • Safeguarding modules;
  • Registrations.

1.3 Case Closure

The decision to close a case record and apply the retention and destruction schedule is the responsibility of the Team in which the case record was held.

1.4. Retention, Archiving and Destruction

The retention period is applied to the person’s record after the case is closed (usually following the last contact made with the department). Generally personal information should not be held for longer than that specified in the attached retention schedule and should be destroyed, unless it is felt it should be retained permanently because it is of historical significance or a high profile record.

There must be legitimate reasons for extending the retention/archive period in order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

This applies in the following circumstances:

  • Records relating to cases where legal action is pending or that are being used in investigations for example by the police or internal audit. These must not be destroyed until the threat of litigation has passed;
  • Information that has been requested under the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is an offence to alter, deface, erase, destroy or conceal such information. Records that were due for destruction but were subject to a Freedom of Information request should be retained for six months after the last correspondence on the matter in accordance with The National Archives Retention and Disposal Guidelines;
  • Where work has triggered major criticisms of the service;
  • The retention/archiving period needs to comply with the retention period of a partner agency because the record has been integrated e.g. Mental Health or Learning Disability.

1.5 Permanently Archive

Please note that permanent archive arrangements with East Sussex are under review and further information regarding this will follow. In the interim please retain or store any records that fall into the following categories:

  • The work is of historical significance;
  • High Profile cases e.g. serious case reviews.

If you have records that are not covered by this Retention Schedule, please do not assume they can automatically be destroyed. Please contact Peter Bode, Corporate Records Manager - Tel: 296634

1.6 Destruction

To prevent unauthorised or accidental disclosure of personal information, it is important to exercise care in its disposal. 

1.7 Retention Schedule (Preliminary Retention Classes for Adult Social Care)

See Appendix 1: Records Retention Schedule for Adult Social Care.

1.8 Guidance for Recording information about Paper Files in CareFirst

Please contact Sue Smith for a copy on Tel: 295852 or see Recording Principles Procedure, Section 17, Records Moved to a new Location Must be Monitored.

1.9 Completion of Records Disposal Guidance/Template

Please contact Laura Scott-Smith (Tel: 295049) or Peter Bode (Tel: 296634) for a copy or see Records Disposal List and Records Disposal List Template.

1.10 Transferring Records to Storage

Please follow guidance on transferring record consignments to Modern Records File Storage available at http://wave.brighton-hove.gov.uk/LGCSDocumentLibrary/Records Management/DeepStore Online user guide 2 0.docx


Appendices

Click here to view Appendix 1: Records Retention Schedule for Adult Social Care

End