Protocols will help keep confidentiality

The government allayed fears last week that regulations designed to
encourage joint working between the NHS and councils would lead to
problems around confidentiality.

During a House of Lords debate, Baroness Greengross raised concerns
that delegating local authority administration of charging for
social care to the NHS could result in many more staff having
access to confidential financial information.

But Baroness Andrews, the government’s health spokesperson in the
House of Lords, said that all organisations would be required to
adhere to strict protocols on information-sharing and

She said the fewer people involved in managing the process of
information, the more likely it was that confidentiality would be

“Therefore, all information about the person’s care and financial
arrangements under the new arrangements may be kept within one
organisation and team,” Andrews said.

Care managers will undertake the financial assessments while they
are arranging the care package.

Andrews said that it was a voluntary scheme that would only be used
by “a small number of care trusts and NHS-led partnerships which
are transferring sections of administration from councils to the

The regulations would introduce “new ways for agencies to work
together to provide the best service for local people,” and staff
teams could be grouped so that social workers, district nurses and
care assistants could work together in the same teams, she added.

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