Reviewed May 2012
This is a general Confidentiality Policy for Re-gain. Due to the diverse nature of mental health work, projects may be required to have their own Confidentiality Policy which is more specific to the particular service but is guided by the principles of this policy.
All Re-Gain employees and volunteers agree to: -
(i) Respect and adhere to this policy
(ii) Respect the confidential nature of all information disclosed to them by users of Re-Gain services
(iii) Ensure that information regarding the operation of Re-Gain is kept confidential including any details of employees or volunteers
(iv) Respect the anonymity of service users if they choose to remain anonymous
(v) Agree to not disclose to any service user unnecessary personal information
Re-Gain workers are required to agree to the policy laid out below.
1, A clients contact with Re-gain is confidential to Re-Gain. In quoting confidentiality, workers use the following statement:
Re-Gain provides confidentiality except in circumstances where a service user is endangering their life, the life of another or if a child is at risk of harm. (See child protection policy).
Information shall not be passed on to any third party, except in the circumstances outlined in section 2 below or unless the service user requests this to be so.
2, Confidentiality shall only be breached in the following circumstances:
i, In certain circumstances Re-gain is legally obliged to say whether or not a client has used the Re-Gain services. For example, where the police have reasonable suspicion (accompanied by written verification from a senior police officer) that a person they believe has contacted Re-Gain, may have committed a crime currently under investigation.
ii, As the law stands
There is no legal duty to disclose information about a child or person to the parents, social service, police or any other authority. It is possible however, that failure to disclose such information could in certain circumstances be regarded as a breach of general duty of care, if it resulted in (for example) harm to a young person or child.
Where a child (under 18) has been reported missing to the police Re-Gain may disclose whether or not that child has contacted the service. Further information will only be disclosed if the child is believed to be at risk. Where a service user is believed to be concealing money made from drug-trafficking or involved in terrorist activity, Re-Gain will release this information to the Police and break confidentiality without informing the service user, as required by the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1993 and Terrorism Act 2000.
iii, Confidentiality exists to protect the service user, employees, volunteers and the Re-Gain services. However, in certain circumstances, keeping confidentiality may lead to harm to the service user or another person. Workers must liaise with a supervisor and/or manager. Only the minimum amount of information to safeguard the person at risk should be disclosed. In the event of a death of a client Re-gain will assist the statutory authorities in any way possible.
iv, Where a service user is misusing Re-Gain services by harassing workers or causing an interruption to service delivery, then Re-gain may release information about a service user as appropriate to the police and/or other authorities.
v, To another health professional directly linked to the service user, with consideration to the service users best interests and wherever possible with their consent.
Due to the confidential and often anonymous nature of our services, when a service user is a risk to themselves or to others, we may not have sufficient information to effectively involve a third party.