Carers confidentiality
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Carers & Confidentiality. Ruth Hannan, Policy & Development Manager. Contents. Overview of the confidentiality concept Exercise – what is confidential information? Limits and exceptions to confidentiality (Machin) Principles and Solutions Further resources.

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Carers & Confidentiality

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Carers confidentiality

Carers & Confidentiality

Ruth Hannan, Policy & Development Manager


Contents

Contents

  • Overview of the confidentiality concept

  • Exercise – what is confidential information?

  • Limits and exceptions to confidentiality (Machin)

  • Principles and Solutions

  • Further resources


Overview of the confidentiality concept

Overview of the confidentiality concept

Keeping something confidential = keeping it private.

In health and social care, this means:

“information confided [to a professional] should not be used or disclosed further, except as originally understood by the confider, or with their subsequent permission”

(NHS Code of Practice on Confidentiality, 2003)


Carers confidentiality

Common-law right, butHuman Rights Act 1998

creates legal right to privacy.

Also Mental Health Act 2007’s participation principle (involvement of service users and carers) as well as guidance to ensure carers have access to information.


But what is the point of keeping personal details confidential

But what is the point of keeping personal details confidential?

Maintaining a patient’s confidentiality is vital for:

  • building trust,

  • developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships,

  • and so help that person recover.


Potential conflicts

Potential Conflicts

We all share the same aim: for the cared for to be as well as possible. However, there can be a:

  • conflict between carers’ need/want to know vscared for’s right and desire for privacy

  • conflict between professional’s duty of care vs institutional penalties for breaking confidentiality

  • conflict between professional’s duty to patient vs need to safeguard family and other carers


Experience of confidentiality

Experience of Confidentiality

  • Practice and Training in your area?

  • Good practice?


Why share information

Why Share Information?

  • Helps professionals keep in touch with situation & gain greater understanding of support available to service user and family

  • Helps promote service users’ recovery by helping carers provide more consistent and informed care

  • Helps support carers’ own needs – especially useful for GP surgeries – may prevent crisis.

    Great - but the question remains how to do this…


Confidentiality limits and exceptions

Confidentiality: Limits and Exceptions

Confidentiality is:

 not an absolute right,

 not an absolute duty,

  • situational

    “The principle of confidentiality may operate to limit the

    information, about the user, which the professionals can

    divulge.”[1]


Limits of the concept machin

Limits of the Concept (Machin)

  • Service user cannot prohibit professional from engaging with carer – info, advice, etc. as long as no confidential information disclosed

  • Service user cannot prohibit professional from receiving information from the carer

  • Professional can talk to carer about factsthe carer already knows

  • Confidential information can be disclosed with service users’ consent

  • 1-3 about non-confidential information, 4 is about

  • confidential information.


Exceptions to the concept

Exceptions to the Concept

Lawful breaches of confidence:

  • Disclosure in the Public Interest

  • Team Working: the “need to know”

  • For the benefit of a user incapable of consenting to disclosure


Useful resources

Useful Resources

  • Partners in Care – www.partnersincare.co.uk

  • Triangle of Care Virtual Ward - http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/mental_health_virtual_ward/triangle_of_care


Carers confidentiality

Ruth Hannan

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0161 864 3003


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