You are a social care worker and a service user, Hannah, tells you that she is unhappy taking her new medication. 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 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.
Day-to-day, confidentiality can be maintained by being mindful of how personal information is stored and discussed.
Personal records and documentation should be kept in a secure place where it can’t be accessed by the public or non-permitted individuals.
Discussions about individuals should only be done in private, where there is no risk of being overheard by others. Personal information should only be discussed with others on a need-to-know basis.
Personal information that is stored in digital format should only be on secure, password-protected devices and, again, only people that have authorisation should have access to it.
Envelopes and letters should be marked as Private & Confidential.