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Data Protection - Can care home group refuse to give me my mum's location ?

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  • Data Protection - Can care home group refuse to give me my mum's location ?

    Hello Group and thank you in advance for any pointers and information you may be able to provide.
    I'm trying to find out where my mum is. She is 85 years old and she was in a care home that closed down earlier this year and residents were moved to other care homes within the group. My sister, who is next of kin, apparently received a letter a few months back from a home regarding my mum but tore it up and threw it in the bin and apparently cannot recall the name of the home. I am not in touch with my sister, I know this from one of her children. I have found out the name of the group that run the care homes, but the person I spoke to said under GDPR they are unlikely ot be able to help me and tell me my mum's location because I am not next of kin. She also said she'd need proof of my id, which is understandable. I emailed her my request with copies of my birth certificate and my mum's birth certificate to prove I am her daughter. My question therefore is is this: if they refuse to tell me where she is, is there a clause under data protection that I can use to get them to disclose the information? Thanks again.
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  • #2
    "Next of Kin" isn't a legal term. It'll just be the person of contact the care home have written down on their paperwork, and the person that your mum has given permission to the care home to disclose information to.

    Does your sister not have anything to do with your mum anymore ? ( I'd guess she doesn't visit her if she doesn't remember the name of the care home)
    Does she have power of attorney do you know?

    Is your mum in a position where she can give permission for the care home to inform you of her whereabouts ?

    We may not win by protesting, but if we don't protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win. Hetty Bower

    Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Vitamin33 View Post
      Hello Group and thank you in advance for any pointers and information you may be able to provide.
      I'm trying to find out where my mum is. She is 85 years old and she was in a care home that closed down earlier this year and residents were moved to other care homes within the group. My sister, who is next of kin, apparently received a letter a few months back from a home regarding my mum but tore it up and threw it in the bin and apparently cannot recall the name of the home. I am not in touch with my sister, I know this from one of her children. I have found out the name of the group that run the care homes, but the person I spoke to said under GDPR they are unlikely ot be able to help me and tell me my mum's location because I am not next of kin. She also said she'd need proof of my id, which is understandable. I emailed her my request with copies of my birth certificate and my mum's birth certificate to prove I am her daughter. My question therefore is is this: if they refuse to tell me where she is, is there a clause under data protection that I can use to get them to disclose the information? Thanks again.
      Thank you, Amethyst. I didn't realise next-of-kin wasn't a legally binding term, so to speak. It has crossed my mind that my mum could give permission, if she is compos mentis, but I'm not sure she is. My sister has a lot of issues and, no, she doesn't see my mum anymore, and I very much doubt she has POA. I think my mum put her as next of kin because she is the eldest. I will let you know what happens. I have emailed the group. Many thanks again.

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      • #4
        Could you not phone up all the care homes in the group and ask to speak to your mum by name. The care home's where she isn't will say she's not there and you should with process of elimination be able to work out which home she is in by what they say to you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jinxer View Post
          Could you not phone up all the care homes in the group and ask to speak to your mum by name. The care home's where she isn't will say she's not there and you should with process of elimination be able to work out which home she is in by what they say to you.
          Thanks Jinxer, I have started that process, but so far no luck, although I have been explaining the situation and the care managers have simply said when I've provided her name that they don't have her living at their home. But your suggestion to just ask to speak to her is much simpler, and I will do that in future if no joy from the group head office. I didn't tell them I'd been phoning around. I guess there is also a chance that she was placed in a home outside of this group, if there weren't any places free at their homes. I have downloaded a directory of care homes in the borough and if I don't hear back from the group I will just start phoning them all, and hoping I luck out.

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          • #6
            The other thing you could do is get in touch with the Salvation Army they have good resources for finding lost relatives and reuniting them. Social services may also be able to help.

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            • #7
              Thanks again, Jinxer.

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              • #8
                Thanks again to Amethyst and Jinxer. The care home group have now given me my mum's new address, at a care home belonging to another group.

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                • #9
                  Great news. I hope it goes well when you get in contact with her.
                  We may not win by protesting, but if we don't protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win. Hetty Bower

                  Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                  Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                  If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                  Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                  Comment

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