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Good practice

Benefits of using WASPI

The public expects and accepts that public service providers may share their personal information in order to deliver services. However, this is coupled with other expectations; that such organisations will share information safely and securely, and will only share relevant information. The tragic Climbie and Soham cases are examples of high profile national failures, where personal information was not shared, and serve to emphasise the need to get things right.

Each sector - Local Authorities, NHS providers, Police, Fire, Schools and Voluntary organisations - has its own organisational standards, professional codes of ethics and culture around information. The WASPI Framework provides a practical approach to sharing personal information, providing common standards and templates for developing Information Sharing Protocols (ISPs) and Data Disclosure Agreements(DDAs). Its overall aim is to help public service providers deliver effective services while complying with their legal obligations – namely the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Benefits to organisations

  • Helps breakdown perceived barriers to sharing personal information.
  • Helps overcome legal complexities and misunderstandings.
  • Improves staff confidence, helps them make well informed decisions and reduce the uncertainty about whether personal information can/cannot be shared.
  • By encouraging the publication of ISPs, promotes the sharing of good practice and reduces duplication of effort.
  • Assists in compliance with the Information Commissioner’s Data Sharing Code of Practice.
  • Promotes a consistent and collaborative approach to what has historically been a difficult area for organisations to tackle.
  • Reduces the risk of inappropriate sharing of personal information and encourages safe, secure and appropriate sharing.

Benefits to the public

  • Facilitates the provision of better services focused on individual needs.
  • Potentially reduces the need for individuals to provide the same or similar information to multiple agencies.
  • Reduces the reliance on individuals to seek help or assistance by allowing public service providers to provide more proactive services.
  • Provides assurance that their information is shared in a structured and appropriate manner.