This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 7.2c Explain why it is important not to disclose anything about the individual that they may wish to be kept private unless it is appropriate to do so. This could include: Health condition, Sexual orientation, Personal history, Social circumstances (Care Certificate, Standard 7: Privacy and dignity)
NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.
In general, people like to keep personal information about themselves private.
This can include information such as their health condition(s), sexual orientation, personal history and social circumstances.
If this type of information were to be shared with others, it could make the individual feel embarrassed, lead to others treating them differently or put them at risk of discrimination.
- An individual that has been diagnosed with terminal cancer may want to tell the news to their family themselves or may not want them to know at all.
- An individual that is homosexual may have been discriminated against in the past and is scared it could happen again if others knew their sexual orientation.
- An individual that has previously been detained under the Mental Health Act may not want others to know because it could lead to assumptions being made about them or prejudice directed at them.
- An individual that has been abused may be put at risk if their abuser has access to their address or other contact details
It is important that you respect the privacy of others in your role as a care worker by ensuring you adhere to privacy guidelines. Not only is it part of your duty of care, but it is also a legal requirement as legislated by the Data Protection Act 2018, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Common Law.
Of course, sometimes it is appropriate to share information. For example, you would need to pass on information about an individual’s health conditions to their GP or nurse if they were unable to do so themselves. In these cases, you should always attempt to gain consent from the individual beforehand.