To ask for your help in how to complain?(29 Posts)
Brace yourselves....it's a long one.
BACK STORY - Basically myself and my Sister have very little contact. A few years ago her children were taken into the care of their Father - we do not know the reasoning behind it and the Father has never really said either. We will call the children A & B.
Yesterday I received a letter from the "Multi Agency Referral and Assessment Team". What I found strange first off was that it didn't have my full name...let's say for instance my name is Natasha...it said Tasha and also had my maiden surname and my married surname. SO basically Tasha Smith/Jones.
When I opened the letter it said they had received information about one of my children (I have three) and could I contact them as soon as possible. It had the deadline as Tuesday 24/10/2017 at 12pm. I got the letter at about 11am and called them straight away. I felt sick wondering what the hell was going on.
When they answered they asked for the child's date of birth that the letter concerned and I said I didn't know which child it was about. They then asked for the eldest date of birth so I gave it to them. They replied with "Oh I sent the letter...that was quick...I only sent it yesterday....you're A & B's Mum is that right?". I explained that I wasn't and was A & B's Auntie. At this point the lady started panicking and said she had the wrong information. I told her the name of my Sister and said I could get hold of her on FB but didn't have any further information. I sent my sister the details and that was that. She spoke to them and that side of it isn't relevant to this post.
Today, I had a message out of the blue from same sister saying "Did you take an overdose and go into A&E in December 2013?". I did and I hadn't wanted anyone to know. There was only my Husband and Mother In Law who knew so how the hell could she have got this info? I said it wasn't me and asked why she had asked. She said that in April 2014 (when she had a third child with someone else), they had to do a Pre-Birth Assessment. She said written in this was that she had taken an overdose in December 2013 and she had to dispute it and get a Social Worker to confirm they had got their information wrong.
Now that she knows they had A & B's Mum as me, they have basically done a Pre-Birth Assessment on my information which they sent to her back then. So she knows that the information in this report related to me and not her and has details of an overdose I took many years ago which I didn't want anyone to know about.
How would you go about complaining? Solicitor? Council? I just don't know where to start and now my head is in bits as I have been on Anti-depressants since the overdose.
Sorry for the long post and please be kind.
I’d be looking for a solicitor based on the sharing of sensitive information, but I don’t know whether that’s the right course of action to take. I’m sure someone who knows better will be along shortly.
Do you want to complain or are you after a little 'compensation'?
I want to complain. I never expected to have to explain myself 4 years down the line to something I never wanted anyone to know never mind a family member I barely speak to!!
A stern letter is all that's needed. It's a cock up and they need to get their records straight for the future.
Not sure what your hoping to achieve.
They made an error it has since been corrected. What more is there to do ?
@auntBessiesuck what a horrible comment, you're a nasty piece of work.
Op I would initially contact citizens rights and see where you go about raising this issue.
This should never have happened
That sounds awful.
Look up the website for your Multi Agency Referral and Assessment Team - There should be details about how you can make an official complaint.
It's an error that has been there for at least 4 years. If they deem my sister to be an unfit Mother to her children and have me down as their Mother then surely that could have caused me problems with my own children? It is only because they have a shit dad too that anything has come to light.
Oh no - this sounds awful. It sounds as if it is a mess. They have told you that she has been reported to SS and have given your sensitive personal medical information to her.
It sounds like social services. But it also sounds as if the hospital have passed on your data. There is an information commissioner who might be able to advise. I don't know if they will do any more than slap their wrists though and tell them not to do it again.
I’d start with the ICO who will be best-placed to advise. This is a very serious breach of data protection. Sorry you had to go through it, OP. https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
(The ICO can’t help you get compensation but they can force the organisations concerned to get their act together, which I think is what you’re looking for in this instance.)
@auntBessies wow...just wow!
OP I would seek advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. How terrible having this brought back up when you are still trying to recover from it.
This is a huge breach of confidentiality! I would definitely take legal advice op- it's completely unacceptable and there should be serious repercussions.
Thank you @peachgreen this is what I needed. I knew I wanted to complain but didn't know where to start and who to! Nothing to do with compensation as someone else stated but rather my privacy has been severely invaded!
I was going to suggest PALS, but the ICO sounds more appropriate. This is a huge breach of your information, and I completely understand how furious and betrayed you must be feeling. Who else might have incorrect information about you?
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The op has no way of knowing if it's been sorted or not!
I would be upset too. I would contact the person responsible for data/information at each agency you know to be involved and ask them what has happened and what they are going to do about it.
Agree with advice above, is the MARAT governed by the council or private? Website should give you clues... as multi-agency it may hard to unpick where the error first occurred (assume NHS due to medical notes, but that may also be wrong)
Contact information governance as well for all agencies involved (each organisation should have something similar) so that you've covered all bases to ensure the information is corrected from this point on.
CAB would also be good but I've found getting an appointment (phone or face to face) quite difficult in the past.
And yes, absolutely consult a solicitor (if there's negligence I also don't think it unreasonable to expect some form of no win no fee... unless you want to find legal proceedings yourself. It's not so much about compo but more ensuring the process to correct errors is taken seriously with the weight of the law behind it)
Huge data protection breach, no cross referencing or fact checking and I would be livid.
Human error happens but there are policies & procedures to follow that should stop small errors becoming so huge.
This particular error could have serious real life consequences & it will be taken seriously. Good luck & I hope you and your sister's relationship is strong enough to ensure this information won't be used against either of you (by either of you).
Sorry long post, I'm fuming on your behalf.
Gosh, I'd be absolutely livid! Yes, I second the ICO. They're (in my experience) very easy to deal with and will be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck!
BTW - not that it makes it ok but do you have the same initials as your sister or do you think it's possible that she has fraudulently given your name as hers?
If you want to complain about a specific person then you can report them to the HCPC if you are in England or the SSSC if you are in Scotland.
If it is the agency in general then the ICO is best.
Holy shit. I would be up in arms. How on earth did this possibly happen? Could it be possible that your sister pretended to be you at some point? Aside from that, it's hard to imagine how such a massive screw up could have happened.
I don’t think “a stern letter” will fix this!
You need a solicitor and an official complaint. There is something seriously wrong with their system if something like this happens, and it needs to be addressed ASAP.
Seen lots of duplicate records in the system but never this.
Council complaints system and ICO
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