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Social Workers access to my medical files

(108 Posts)
MissKegs Sun 12-Dec-10 18:40:46

Does anyone know exactly what information Social Services are allowed to obtain from your GP/HV and what they are allowed to put in reports?

I realise that Child Protection issues play a part in this and because I have been diagnosed with PND they will continue to monitor my files but what confuses me is when my Social Workers starts including in reports details of my visits to GP regarding a Urinary Tract Infection, another visit regarding pain relief for Gallstones and the most recent report stating that I had attending a consultant appointment regarding the insertion of the Contraceptive Implant? Are they allowed to include all this irrelevant information in reports regarding my children's well being?

Hopelesslydisorganised Sun 12-Dec-10 18:46:13

Tbh this sounds irrelevant and I am not sure why they are putting it in a report. In my experience of reading reports the only stuff needed is anythin ehicvh might impact upon the child. So depression might (but loads of women go through PND) a UTI won't have a negative impact apart from "Mum needs the loo right NOW so the lunch can wait 2 mins".

On he other hand if there is suspicion of fabricated illness either self or towards the children it might be relevant.

If it's a straightforward concern about maternal depression seriously impacting upon a child (and this can happen in rare cases) then the other stuff is irrelevant.

WestVirginia Sun 12-Dec-10 20:53:59

Ask your GP not to tell Social Workers anything about your Private Medical records.

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 09:26:30

I wouldn't follow WestVirginia's advice if I were you. This is the quickest way to have a social worker think you have something to hide, then not let up until they've discovered what it is.

They need your authority to access your medical records, but you should cooperate fully. I'm assuming there are court proceedings. You should be aware of the concerns that they have and be able to judge for yourself the relevance of the report. You don't mention whether the proceedings are private law (contact or residence) or public (care). If public you will have free legal advice irrespective of your means.

Marjoriew Mon 13-Dec-10 09:50:21

Agree with Resolution. West Virginia/Lucinda Carlisle has his own axe to grind re: Social Services.
I had to be involved with them re: getting residence of my grandson. Best to be up front - they are much easier to deal with if it's a level playing field from the start.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 09:50:27

Are social workers capable of interpreting accurately medical reports?

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 09:52:04

Social workers are incable of understanding mental Health issues.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 09:57:09

Who told SS in the first place that you had PND?

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 10:51:03

If there are no care proceedings (yet) a refusal to be open with medical records may prompt the Local Authority to issue.

I have dealt with a number of care cases where the parent has made things worse for themselves by failing to cooperate with social services enquiries. Please don't fall in to this trap.

If you are having any difficulties coping in any way then social services are there to help you. They have a stautory duty to do so. Problems occur when parents have problems that they refuse to acknowledge, so don't deal with. If you are able to acknowledge any problems you have, and ask for help, they will be delighted with you and support you all they can. I'm not saying you do have any problems, as I know nothing about your case, but hopefully this advice will help.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 10:53:18

They very rarely fulfil that statutary duty.

Many social workers do not understand medical conditions.

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 11:01:20

West V - whatever experience, bad or otherwise, you may have had with social workers, please don't encourage others to take against them. In my experience social workers respond very well to parents who need and ask for help. They have crap caseloads full of really difficult parents. Parents who welcome their help are few and far between, but offer to social workers the opportunity to work with a family to keep them together.

I speak as a solicitor who acts for parents in care proceedings.

Would any social workers care to put their head above the parapet?

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 11:06:16

In my experience Social Workers break up families who ask for help.

Many doctors deliberately fail to refer caes of PND to Social services because they know that social workers are incapable of handling those case sensitively and appropriately.

They do not have to deal with "crap" parents.

You seem to be just as prejudiced as many social workers.

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 11:12:33

I said crap caseloads, and difficult parents. By definition they never get to meet that many parents who are bringing up children without difficulty. Most cases they are involved in will involve one or more of the following:
1. Mental health problems
2. Drug or alcohol abuse
3. Domestic violence
4. Child abuse

In fact I cannot recall ever dealing with a care case that doesn't involve at least one of those factors.

I hope you'll agree that this will make the parents difficult to deal with.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 11:14:30

I do NOT agree that the parents are difficult to deal with.

In my experience social workers are difficult to trust.

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 11:32:12

Then I feel sorry for you. There are some good SWs and some bad ones, as in all walks of life. You may have come across one of the bad ones.

If you think that a parent addicted to crack cocaine, who suffers from a personality disorder, and who makes ends meet by walking the streets on the game, and who goes home each night to be slapped by her latest Schedule 1 offender boyfriend, is a parent you would find easy to deal with, you must train to be a social worker immediately. Your talents are wasted.

If you think that the situation in the paragraph above is extreme or fanciful, I don't blame you. I would have thought so too before I started doing this kind of work.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 11:40:40

Many SWs do not tuy to form a good relationship with both the parents

Debs75 Mon 13-Dec-10 11:45:09

I agree SW's are hard to trust. Ours is opening a case file due to neglect by the parent's as we have 4 kids and we don't tidy up a bit.

We have always been open and honest with all SS and it feels like we have been mugs. My youngest is 4 months and I know I have mild PND but daren't go to the dr's for help as what if the SW finds out?

ArthurPewty Mon 13-Dec-10 11:49:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 11:54:10

You should see the doctor. Far better that it is treated, than neglected and allowed to worsen.

As I mention above, social workers aren't concerned about people with needs provided the parent can identify the need and seek appropriate help.

I recall one mother I acted for 3 years ago had trouble coping. The relationship with her social worker was poor. There was no trust. Then the social worker changed, and something clicked between the mother and the new SW. Mother started to confide in the SW, and ring them when she needed the respite. That case ended with the children remaining with mum, who looked upon social services thereafter as her personal advice line. What had concerned them was not that she occasionally needed help, but that she never asked for help when it waqs needed.

Debs75 Mon 13-Dec-10 12:00:34

We have asked for help when needed and on the whole they are good but they get ideas and then are like a dog with a bone. One of the ideas is we should get a cupboard to put dc3s toys in. WHY? We have no room and they are in big tubs already. They make me feel like a naughty child who doesn't know right from wrong.
their timing sucks as well. I was rushed in for induction with dc4 4 weeks early and that day they had a meeting about making the kids 'kids in need' or care or something. On the report there was several steps with the last one being kids taken from family. Not what you want to read when you are worring that your newborn might not make it.

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 12:07:05

I agree. It sucks. They often lose sight of the big picture, and some of the things they can pick holes in are very annoying. Try the line of least resistance. Smile nicely at them, say you'll do your best to get a cupboard, but point out it's hardly significant harm.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 13:54:51

You can NEVER win with Social Workers, They criticise you for asking for help and they criticise for failing to ask for help.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 14:35:48

Do they treat you better if you make a complaint against them?

Resolution Mon 13-Dec-10 15:01:02

It's human nature. How do you react to a complaint made about you? Most people get defensive and try to justify their position. It's best to understand what it is that concerns the SW at the outset, be open in answering questions, and be willing to take advice. They have heavy caseloads, and will reserve most of their time for those cases where there is no cooperation.

WestVirginia Mon 13-Dec-10 15:03:54

Social Workers are just not honest and not trustworthy. They often try to bully people into doing what they want. They do not listen to people. The government should cut the money spent on social services.

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