PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNICATION IN
ADULT SOCIAL CARE SETTINGS
For this unit, you will complete tasks to demonstrate your knowledge of the importance of effective communication in adult social care settings, and ways to overcome barriers to meet individual needs, wishes and preferences in communication. You will also address the principles and practices relating to confidentiality.
You are a social care worker, and a service user, Hannah, tells you that she is unhappy taking her new medication as she thinks she does not need it and so she is throwing it away. You know from her care plan that Hannah does need to take the medication regularly and gets confused. Hannah begs you to keep this confidential and not tell anyone especially her daughter, who she sees regularly, as her daughter will be very angry.
Bi) How would you explain the term ‘confidentiality’ to Hannah?
Bii) Describe the possible tensions that may arise between telling others of Hannah’s decision and keeping this information totally confidential.
Biii) Describe ways to maintain confidentiality in day to day communication.
Biv) Explain when and how a social care worker should get advice about confidentiality.
In this case it is important to balance Hannah’s rights vs the duty of care towards her.
Hannah is putting herself at greater harm through not taking medication. By explaining to Hannah that although you wish to respect her right to maintain her confidentiality, our duty of care to her is to protect her from harm. This overrides her wish for confidentiality, so she might want to consider what she wants to tell us in future. I would only pass on information to those senior to me who are involved in safeguarding her. Information would only be shared with her daughter if she consented to it.
Hannah may see this as a breach of her confidentiality, however, if you take time from the start and clearly describe the issues that fall under ‘duty of care’, she