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Professionals sharing parents medical history with school

(11 Posts)
smugtandemfeeder Wed 21-Nov-12 07:22:21

Sorry I haven't been on here for ages. DS has now been diagnosed with ADHD (Woo hoo!!) and is being reassessed for autism (Woo Hoo!)

Just a quick question. When we got DSs diagnosis letter it was copied in to the school. It was very long and included full details of my medical history and my husbands. I really didnt want the school to know these details.

Is this normal? Are there any rules about what information professionals can share with the school?

Data protection is usually so strict but i'm wondering if there is a special regarding schools?

I cant do much about it anyway as its been done now and the person who shared it is the only one who has supported us and I dont want to damage that relationship.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 21-Nov-12 07:26:50

No, when I got DS's dx letter it was sent to me and I was told that it would be going to his school and that I could delete any of the information about me and my family that I wanted to before it was sent.
So I did, and the school got the edited version that still had everything they needed to know in it.

ChristmasTreegles Wed 21-Nov-12 09:46:30

If you told the paed that you were happy for the school to be given your DS's information, I imagine they didn't think twice about it. Although tbh they should have edited out any medical information pertaining to other family members (including you and your DHs) as they did not have permission to share that information, only your DS's.

DS2's paed is pretty careful about stuff like that - I don't think I've ever seen a letter go to the school that has any information that I would question. She sends us copies of any letters she sends to ANYONE regarding DS2.

If it is a concern, then simply ask the paed not to send cc's of letters to the school, and then you can make a copy of any letters for the school properly edited if you like.

AgnesDiPesto Wed 21-Nov-12 09:46:44

No they should not have done that.
You may have signed a form (usually very early on before you realise the implications) about your child's data but its very unlikely you have signed anything consenting to your own data being shared.

GMC guidance here

ICO Code

You could complain to the NHS Trust using their formal complaint procedure. Or if you don't want to make a big deal of it you could just write to the person saying you think it was a mistake and asking them to be careful not to do it again. You could ask to resend a short version and request the school destroy the original. Also ask the NHS to mark their IT system / file to note that your medical information should not be shared

The only exceptions are child protection concerns.

Ihavenobum Wed 21-Nov-12 13:34:02

I didn't even know they look at the parents medical files...I also thought they ask for permission when copying others in because you have the right to keep Dc's info personal(unless you needed the school to see). My ds is in the process of a possible Dx but to be truthfull if he does get one I don't think anyone else needs to know so I hope they do not copy them in without my knowledge.

AtoZandbackagain Wed 21-Nov-12 13:40:57

It is very wrong for medics to pass on medical information to any 3rd party without your consent.

Am I the only one who is starting to really really annoyed angry about this blurring of boundaries between health and education??

Schools should educate - not act as psuedo psychologists etc, of which we've seen plenty of examples on here.

The only medical information that needs to be provided to school with respect to SNs is the Appendix C - Medical Advice that a Community Paed provides as part of the Statementing process - and these are usually pretty basic.

Any other medical information should only be passed to school with your consent.

quietlysuggests Wed 21-Nov-12 13:48:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whatthewhatthebleep Wed 21-Nov-12 14:52:21

I remember signing several times about sharing info with other proffs involved, but no...never seen any of my family history or med details copied into cc letters...ever ...and I wouldn't be very happy either if this had ever happened...

I would request the return of this document and have the prof amend the content to provide the necessary info only to 'others'. It is likely about the secretary maybe not following correct proceedure and creating specific doc to you and condensed version which should have been cc'd to others....whatever the fault has been, you are unlikely to be told why/how, etc but should get an apology at least....and hopefully a very careful review of best practice, etc therafter.

pinkorkid Wed 21-Nov-12 16:37:39

I would do as agnes suggests. In a similar situation where report on ds included family health history eg any other incidences of asd, mental illnesses in the family, we were asked by camhs to confirm that we were happy for whole document to be shared or if we wanted to edit out any personal details from the versions that went to other parties. We chose for full version to go to gp but edited version to school and LA.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 21-Nov-12 16:45:39

Can't really add to the advice already given.

Just wanted to say 'Whoo hoo!' Your DS got a DX, you are no longer a shit parent! wink I hope the ASD assessment gives you a conclusive DX as well, one way or the other.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 21-Nov-12 16:52:40

This is poor practice - probably based on lack of understanding. It probably breaches the DPA and certainly breaches clinical confidentiality.

Consent is only one factor for the legitimate disclosure of information under the DPA but there are no other grounds which would justify it in this case.

My recent experience with the ICO has been very poor: they have been unwilling to get involved.

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