Describe the possible tensions that may arise between telling others of Hannah’s decision and keeping this information totally confidential.

NOTE: Please be aware that the information on this page is a very rough draft and has not been fact-checked so should be used accordingly (taken with a pinch of salt)! However, it should (hopefully) give you some pointers and set you off in the right direction.

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.

Hannah may be upset with me for breaking confidentiality, resulting in her being less open or friendly with me in future. If Hannah’s daughter was to find out that Hannah hasn’t been taking her medication, she may get angry which could cause tension between mother and daughter. Hannah may also blame me for this.

If I kept this information totally confidentiality, it would result in tensions between myself, my managers and my co-workers as they would, quite rightly, assume I cannot do my job properly and cannot be trusted. I would also expect to receive a disciplinary at the very least. If Hannah’s health were to deteriorate as a result of not taking her medication, her family and friends would not be happy with me. I could also be charged by the police for neglect.