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Why Is Confidentiality An Important Issue? Why Is It Also A Difficult Issue?

931 words - 4 pages

Confidentiality is an important issue because without it, professionals would find it difficult to build relationships with their clients. Trust in a carer/client relationship is important, as a client would not want to share personal information with someone if they felt it was not confidential and Fulford (2001) agrees that confidentiality is a function of relationships. This could be why new employees in the caring profession find it difficult to relate to their clients until a relationship has been formed.

When a person gives information about themselves to other people such as doctors or carers, that person is giving their consent for the professional to share the information given. ...view middle of the document...

Having policies, employment contracts and codes of practice should enforce confidentiality. However, it is common knowledge that care workers do sometimes discuss clients or residents with their partners, friends and relatives, even if they do so without mentioning the client's name (Unit23, p70). A resident would feel betrayed if they knew that they were being spoken about to others outside the group of people who are bound by a confidentiality policy (Unit 23, p70).

However, records are kept on an every day basis in the caring profession. Workers in a residential care setting, have to record all residents' behaviour and daily living routines in the residents care plan folder. These are called 'daily records'. If a resident has a fall or does something beyond their normal behaviour, then this is documented for future use and by doing this it allows for continuity of care (Unit 23, p65). All of this information is confidential and should be kept that way. Professionals usually sign a contract which states that the breaching of confidentiality will result in termination of their employment (Unit 23, p69).

One of the difficulties of confidentiality could be carers and professional workers being burdened with the choice on whether or not to share certain information about their clients. For example, if a client or resident has been ill, the carer may not know if it was alright to discuss this with the clients' relatives or not. Cordess (2001) suggests that if a worker is struggling with the decision of whether or not to disclose information about a client, then the worker should approach their line manager to discuss what should happen. In September 1998 the Crime and Disorder Act was introduced. Section 115 of the act introduces the 'Sharing of information principle' which may be helpful to workers struggling with issues...

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