Healthcare is a partnership between service users, carers, families and professional care staff. Sometimes there can be difficulties in relation to confidentiality and sharing information. When a service user wishes to withhold information then these wishes must be respected by professional staff. It is essential that you are informed of this. Staff will ensure that you receive as much information as possible to help you in your caring role.
In some circumstances it may be possible to share information with a carer. Such circumstances would include where there is a risk of harm and sharing appropriate information with you will alleviate this risk, where there is another legal authority i.e. an Order of the Court, or where the service user is lacking capacity in relation to information sharing decisions and it is considered in the best interests for information to be shared with you.
When the clinical team are making a decision in the best interests of the service user, they will consider the following:
• Whether you are the person that provides care for the patient
• Whether there is any legal documentation in place to prevent sharing
• Whether any previous wishes are recorded which would prevent sharing of information
• Whether there are any safeguarding issues apparent.
As a carer, the team will ensure that you receive as much information as possible to help you in your caring role.
As an area of good practice, the team will:
• Discuss with the service user what particular information they wish to withhold, if any.
• Explain they are bound by law and professional codes of conduct and have a duty of confidentiality to their patients.
• Explain that they have the same duty of confidentiality to you as a carer in relation to any information you wish to discuss.
• Discuss the importance of confidentiality with you at an early stage and that views on information sharing are recorded.
• Explain to you what information can be shared and if information cannot be shared, what the reasons are for this.