§ Mr. Dhanda
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that local authority social services departments abide by confidentiality guidelines. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
The protection of privacy and confidentiality by local authority social services is one of the criteria taken into account in the course of the inspection and assessment of performance carried out by the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
The Department has carried out a range of activities to ensure local authority compliance with confidentiality guidelines. In 2001, the Caldicott principles and processes for the management of confidentiality and access to personal information were extended from the National Health Service into social care. At this time, councils with social services responsibilities (CSSRs) were required to appoint social care Caldicott guardians to take the lead in this within their organisations. The Department has issued guidance on confidentiality issues and is currently preparing an information governance toolkit for social care, which will include further guidance on confidentiality and information sharing.