201 Health and Social Care

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Confidentiality

Confidentiality is an important principle in health and social care because it functions to impose a boundary on the amount of personal information and data that can be disclosed without consent. Confidentiality arises where a person disclosing personal information reasonably expects his or her privacy to be protected, such as in a relationship of trust. The relationship between health and social care professionals and their patients/clients centres on trust, and trust is dependent on the patient/client being confident that personal information they disclose is treated confidentially.

To maintain an individual’s confidentiality there are many things staff members can do such as keeping conversations private, avoiding being overheard, not gossiping about individuals, not leaving personal information exposed, knowing who information can be shared with etc.

In some situations you may need to share confidential information with medical professionals and other care staff for example a individuals health deteriorates and you have to seek medical help the doctor has to know the individuals past history. If a new individual moves into your home you have to enclose the individuals health needs to care assistants who provide the individuals care so that they ensure they are doing right by the service user.

Confidentiality can become hard at times to keep for example an individual confides in you that they are being abused but asks you not to tell anyone, It is your duty of care to ensure everyone in your care is safe from harm. If this situation comes up you must speak to your line manager and home manager. If you feel this situation has not been dealt with you can consult the Care Quality Commission and also speak to the safeguarding advice line for more advice.
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