Information Requests and Responses
The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 gives councils, and other public bodies working with them, various powers to support and protect adults at risk of harm. It confers on 'Council Officers' a duty to investigate cases of suspected harm to an 'adult at risk'. Section 4 of the Act states that a council must make inquiries about a person's wellbeing, property or financial affairs, if it knows or believes that the person is an adult at risk of harm, and that it might need to intervene to protect their wellbeing, property or financial affairs.
To assist with such inquiries, professionals may receive requests for further information from the council. All responses should include relevant and proportionate information in relation to the risk of harm. Where there is any dubiety about the identification of the council officer, you should verify this with the agency directly.
Guidance is offered below on responding to these requests.
Health records pertaining to the adult at risk can be requested under Section 10 of the Act. Bodies holding these records have a legal duty to co-operate with inquiries, and health professionals may also be asked to examine and interpret these records.
It is worth noting that under Section 49 of the Act, a person commits an offence by, without reasonable excuse, refusing or otherwise failing to comply with a request made under section 10.
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