Children's care professionals processes

Data sharing and fair processing

By law we must cooperate with other organisations and individuals to improve the wellbeing of children and young people. This includes information sharing where appropriate to make the best decisions for children and young people at risk.

Data sharing

All partners have signed up to an Information Sharing Agreement that specifies what data can be shared within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), and what happens to that data once the MASH manager makes a decision about a case.

Organisations signed up to the MASH are:

  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Community Safety Board
  • Education establishments (all primary and secondary)
  • Essex Police
  • Essex Probation
  • G4S Sexual Assault Referral Centre
  • Local Children Safeguarding Board
  • NHS England for GPs
  • North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board
  • South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Thurrock Council

Each agency will assess whether it is appropriate for their information to be shared on a case-by-case basis.

Information is held securely and confidentially. The MASH has physical, electronic and managerial safeguards that make sure sensitive information is accessed only by those who 'need to know' about it.

Only relevant parts of the information disclosed during a MASH process will be passed to non-MASH professionals that receive the case.

In some cases, a MASH worker may hold confidential information that the MASH manager needs to know to make a decision, but which is too sensitive to be shared elsewhere – for example, when an ongoing police investigation is taking place. In these cases the MASH system will show that is confidential information held, but it will not reveal the information itself.

Fair processing

We make sure that personal and sensitive information we hold is protected and kept safe and secure.

We have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.

Our staff is trained how to handle confidential information and must complete a refresher course every year to make sure they're working to good practice standards.

Most of the personal information you have given us will not be shared outside the council without your consent, and will only be used to provide the service you've requested or to improve the quality of our services.

If there are concerns that a child or an adult may be at risk of significant harm, however, we may have to share your personal information with organisations we work with.

We will only share information in compliance with the law and our multi-agency information sharing agreement.

You are entitled to request copies of the information that we hold about you at any time under the Data Protection Act.