Seeing a living person's social care records

Someone else’s records can only be seen if they give their permission. This also applies if they are a close relative.  Parents can only see their child’s records if they have legal parental responsibility. If the child can give consent, their permission must be sought.

To see someone else’s records, whether you are a relative, solicitor or someone advocating on someone’s behalf, you need to:

Follow instructions and complete the form on the apply for your social care records page and provide proof of your own identity.

Send us the completed form along with written authorisation from the person whose records you are requesting. This authorisation must say that they agree to you seeing their records and that this agreement was given willingly. We will need to contact them to confirm authorisation.

Applying on behalf of someone else 

If someone using our services is unable to apply themselves, you can apply on their behalf if:

  • You have parental responsibility for them
  • You are the person named on a Court Protection Order
  • You have enduring and legally valid power of attorney for them
  • You are their advocate

If you are acting on behalf of someone, but you don’t have an official right to do so (as listed above), please contact us using the details below.


Seeing the records of someone who has died

Though technically a Freedom of Information request, it is unlikely that we will release the information under the Act. This is because the information is still subject to a duty of confidence, and is of a very personal and sensitive nature. This is in line with guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office.

In order for us to disclose this information, we require: 

  • The request to be in writing - please state your reasons under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You do not need to complete the application form
  • Proof that the requester is a personal representative is the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate

Once we have all of the above, the request will be processed and responded to within one calendar month, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and Access to Health Records 1990.

If you wish to see these records please write to:

Head of Legal and Democratic Services
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
SO14 7LY

Adoption records

Adoption records are covered by the Adoption Act 1976 and the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983.

Arrangements to see adoption records are usually made through our post-adoption team, they can be contacted on 023 8083 2978. There is no charge for seeing adoption records.

Appealing against a decision

If you have been refused access to social care records and you wish to appeal against the decision you can write to the

Director for People
Civic Centre
Southampton SO14 7LY

If you are not satisfied with the response received from the relevant Executive Director, you can write to  the Information Commissioner for a ruling on the decision. The address is:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane