Thursday, 10 October 2013

confidentiality in psychiatric settings? a one-way street

Confidentiality means different things to different people.  

The Nursing & Midwifery Council says: "Confidentiality is a fundamental part of professional practice that protects human rights."

Health and social care definition: "Confidentiality means not sharing information about people without their knowledge and agreement."

NHS Fife on its website, under 'Information & eHealth' says: "All staff must be vigilant about their own behaviour and that of colleagues to ensure confidentiality is maintained at all times."

However, in psychiatric settings, as a person on the receiving end of services, whether as a patient or carer, I have found that confidentiality is a one-way street.  The power lies with the professional and they can do what they like with information about me and mine.  

They can write about us in notes, copious amounts, subjective opinions, fictionalised to justify practice and get them off the hook.  And we who have been judged and found wanting don't have a leg to stand on.  Sometimes literally if we're detained and being force fed psychiatric drugs until we fall over or zonk out.

I thought I'd seen it all.  Wrong.  The latest episode was confidential information released without permission at a meeting.  In what seemed like an attempt to silence me.  No surprise there then.

Bet they get away with it.  Again.

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