Explain when and how a social care worker should get advice about confidentiality.

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.

A social care worker may need to get advice about confidentiality if a situation arises that they are unsure about. For example, somebody may ask for an individual’s personal information but the worker may not know if they are authorised to be given it.

Social care workers should, in the first instance, get advice about confidentiality from their line managers and company policies. Up-to-date training can also help keep them informed.

Further information can be obtained from the local authority or current legislation (e.g. The Care Act 2014, Data Protection Act 1998).

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