My personal information

Explains your rights to see and have copies of your personal information, and how to complain if access to your records is refused or if what is written about you is wrong. Applies to England and Wales.

Your stories

How the Mind Legal Line helped me

Susan blogs about how the Mind Legal Line helped her when her mother developed psychosis and was sectioned.

Susan
Posted on 21/04/2015

Terms you need to know

Term

Meaning

Advocate

An advocate is a person who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. Having an advocate can be helpful in situations where you are finding it difficult to make your views known, or to make people listen to them and take them into account.

Find out more on our advocacy information page.

Attorney

An attorney is a person over the age of 18 whom you have appointed to make decisions on your behalf about your welfare and/or your property and financial affairs. You need an attorney if you are unable to make such decisions yourself. If you do not have the capacity to appoint an attorney, the Court of Protection will appoint a deputy to perform this role.

  • A health and welfare attorney makes decisions about things like your daily routine, your medical care, where you live and, if you specially request this, whether you should have life-sustaining treatment.
  • A property and financial affairs attorney makes decisions about things like paying bills, collecting benefits and selling your home.
Capacity

'Capacity' means the ability to understand information and make decisions about your life. Sometimes it can also mean the ability to communicate decisions about your life.

If you do not understand the information and are unable to make a decision about your care, for example, you are said to lack capacity.

See our legal pages on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for more information.

Court of Protection

The Court of Protection makes decisions and appoints deputies to act on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions about your personal health, finance or welfare.

Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 is the law that gives you rights to look at and have copies of information held about you by various organisations and agencies.

Data subject

This is the person to whom the information relates. If you want to access information held about you, then you are the data subject.

Enforcement notice

A document sent to an organisation by the Information Commissioner's Office setting out the action it needs to take to comply with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998. Failure to comply with an enforcement notice is a criminal offence which can result in a fine.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Regulations in force from 25th May 2018 which tell organisations how they can use your personal information. Also gives you rights to access, correct and erase personal information held about you.

Health record

Any record of information relating to your physical or mental health that has been made by or on behalf of a health professional.

Inaccurate data

Information that is incorrect or misleading as to any matter of fact.

Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

The independent body responsible for making sure that organisations comply with their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Manifestly unfounded or excessive

If you make a subject access request that is 'manifestly unfounded or excessive' the organisation can refuse or ask you to pay a fee. This could include where your request is for an unnecessarily large amount of information or is the same as a recent request you made.

Personal information (or personal data)

Information which relates to you in such a way that you can be identified from the information. It might be held on computers, in emails, be printed, in handwritten documents, in photographic images, videos or audio recordings.

Redact

This means removing the relevant information. It can be done by crossing through the relevant information with a black marker pen and then photocopying the document or by using a computerised programme specially designed for this purpose.

Subject access request (SAR)

A written request to an organisation asking for details of the personal information they hold about you.

 


This information was published in May 2018. We will revise it in 2020.


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