During the time that you attend the group, there are various ways that communication is shared with third parties. These include;
• An electronic record of the group session and any relevant information about the individual group member concerning his or her progress. This information is accessible only to clinicians working with the group member and who are employed by the Trust. For example, they may include a group member’s CPN, or Psychiatrist or Care Coordinator. This record enables up to date communication to take place between professionals involved in the system of care.
• The person who has referred the group member will already have received a consultation report about that individual and the recommended further treatment option, (in this case a group). This report will have been copied to other professionals involved and who are not employed by the Trust – for example, the group member’s GP, or social worker or primary care psychologist.
• Once a group member has begun group therapy, the group leader(s) will write to the original referrer on approximately a 6 monthly basis, this will be a brief communication, advising them of the group member’s progress in the group, any changes made and any concerns about clinical risk as is appropriate.
• If during the course of your group therapy treatment, your therapist considers that you are at risk of harm due to your health issues, and he or she considers that another intervention may be helpful, he or she may discuss with you the possibility of contacting your GP or a third party on your behalf to provide more immediate support. It is important to note that if a therapist is sufficiently concerned about the immediate wellbeing of yourself or others there is a duty of care to ensure safety and your confidential information may be shared with relevant professionals, such as your psychiatrist or the crisis team without your consent. We would however endeavour to inform you of this prior to this communication whenever possible.
• Your therapist is not at liberty to share information about you in the group that has been communicated to him or her by a third party outside the group. For instance, if your therapist is approached by a third party about a matter of medical confidence in relation to one of the group members, he or she is not at liberty to share this communication with the group. In this instance, he or she may speak to the group member individually and is likely to encourage this communication into the group although it would remain the decision of the group member as to whether to do so or not.