Your data: learning disability service

How we use your information

If you are referred to us

We receive referrals for people who may be in need of care and support services from a range of sources, such as other professionals, GPs, nurses or hospitals, schools, relatives or neighbours of the person being referred, or from the person themselves.

If we receive a referral for you from someone else, we’ll always let you know that you’ve been referred, and usually the person who referred you will have told you or your guardian about the referral. We’ll also contact the person or organisation who has referred you. This is so they know we have received their referral. We may also want to find out a bit more about you and the reason for the referral, so we will often get in touch with you and with other professionals who have been involved in your care, to get further information in order to determine if your needs are likely to meet our eligibility criteria.

Our team will look at the referral in accordance with the eligibility criteria and decide what happens next. If the referral meets our criteria, which we will show you, we will be in touch with you or an appropriate other to arrange a needs assessment.

If you are assessed by us

As part of the assessment process we’ll ask you or an appropriate other person for information about your circumstances in order to understand what your care and support needs are. As part of the process we may speak to other organisations who are involved in your care and support. As part of the assessment process we will carry out a financial assessment and a risk assessment.

The information we collect during the assessment process and any further documents such as care plans, risk assessments, essential lifestyle plans etc are recorded on our Social Care Case Recording system as well as in our Care First system. You/and or your guardian will always be offered a copy of your assessment and any other relevant plan.

After you’ve been assessed

Once we have agreed your care plan, we will discuss with you or an appropriate other person the four options under self-directed support. If we are arranging a service on your behalf we will put information about your care requirements and your postcode area (for example: AB11) onto a Care Search system. The anonymised information is then sent to all Learning Disability Support Providers so they can then decide if they are able to meet your support requirements. Once a provider has been identified, your Care Manager/Care Co-Ordinator will then share more detailed information about your support needs with the provider and start to plan for how and when they are going to be able to support you.

Reviewing your care plan

We’ll review your care plan with you and/or appropriate other people on a regular basis. The first review will happen 6 weeks after your support has been put in place, the second at 6 months. After that, we’ll review your care plan with you and/or appropriate other people on an annual basis. We’ll also review your care plan with you and/or appropriate other people if your care needs significantly change at any time or if a review is agreed as being otherwise necessary.

If your care plan is updated because your needs have changed, you will be offered a copy of your new care plan, and we will share it with your care provider.

If you do not want to be assessed by us

If you don’t want to have your care needs assessed by us, we will still keep a record of your referral and your decision not to have a care needs assessment.

This is because we have a statutory duty both to make enquiries where we believe that an adult may be at risk, and a duty to undertake care needs assessments. It is important to have a record which evidences that we have carried out our statutory duty, even if you do not want a care needs assessment.

Joint working and sharing

The Public Sector (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act requires health and social care teams from NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council to work in an integrated manner to ensure services are delivered in a person-centred way.

This service is part of the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership.

While each partner retains separate records for you, we will work together to support you and this will involve sharing the required relevant information about you.

As part of our integrated working arrangements the Council also shares limited relevant information with the Scottish Government and NHS for the purposes of planning, delivering and monitoring services, and to inform the strategic design of integrated services.

Sometimes, during the process of supporting you, you and your Care Manager/Care Co-Ordinator may decide that it would be beneficial to refer or support you to access other Council services (for example, Housing) or outside organisations for further help or support. To do this on your behalf it will be necessary to share relevant and appropriate information about you with that service/organisation.

We will treat your case file confidentially, however, there may be times when information from your case file may be shared with other professional agencies particularly to prevent risk of harm to yourself or others.

The Council is obliged to participate in the National Fraud Initiative in Scotland and in terms of this passes information to Audit Scotland for data matching to detect fraud or possible fraud.  Details of this exercise can be found on Audit Scotland’s website.

How long we keep your information for

We will keep your information for five years, plus the current year, from the date that you no longer have identified care needs that we are responsible for, or from the date that you decide you no longer want to receive care services. If you decide you do not want to have a care needs assessment, we’ll keep your information for five years from our last contact with you.

Your rights

You have rights to your data, including the right to ask for a copy of it. See more information on all the rights you have, and how they work in practice.

You can email the Council’s Data Protection Officer on DataProtectionOfficer@aberdeencity.gov.uk or write to:
Legal and Democratic Services
Business Hub 6
Level 1 South
Marischal College
Aberdeen
AB10 1AB

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the body responsible for making sure organisations like the Council handle your data lawfully.

Our legal basis

We understand our legal and statutory responsibilities. Aberdeen City Council has a statutory duty under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to carry out needs assessments for people we think may need care services, and we have a general duty to promote social welfare by providing advice, guidance, and assistance. We also have a duty under the Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 to make enquiries where we think an adult may be at risk. Article 6 (1) (c) and Article 6 (1) (e) of the General Data Protection Regulations confirms what we are required to do by law.

In all of the above cases, the Council is also likely to process special categories of personal data. The Council understands our legal basis for doing so as Article 9(2)(h) of the General Data Protection Regulation, because processing is necessary for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services.


We have a legal obligation under Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000, to provide Audit Scotland with data to carry out data matching exercises for the purpose of assisting in the prevention and detection of fraud.


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