Policy and Procedure on Confidentiality

Bronntanas is committed to respecting client confidentiality and protecting personally identifiable and sensitive information from unauthorised disclosure, in line with the IACP, IAHIP, ECP Ethical Frameworks and current legislation, including GDPR 2018.

Information about a client will not be passed to a third party without the express consent of the client. The exceptions to this are:

 

  • When there is a child protection issue the practitioner has a statutory duty to inform the appropriate authorities.
  • Where a client presents a serious risk to him- or herself or others.
  • Where involvement with terrorism is suspected.
  • Where disclosure is authorised by client consent or the law, it will be undertaken in ways that best protect the client and in Accordance with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act which states: Disclosure should be appropriate for the purpose and only to the extent necessary to achieve that purpose.

 

Bronntanas endeavours to ensure that all members of the Association adhere to this policy and follow the procedure outlined below through appropriate awareness-raising and training.

 

All client records will be maintained in accordance with GDPR by the practitioners and to be stored and filed in a safe place. Bronntanas respects clients’ rights to see information held on them, but reserves the right to withhold any information which might be considered harmful under the guidelines of the above Act.

 

Bronntanas is also committed to protecting personally identifiable and sensitive information relating to its members and employees and applicants for employment from unauthorised disclosure.

 

Procedure

Information sharing

  1. All Bronntanas members have a duty to ensure that personal information relating to clients is treated in a sensitive and discreet manner at all times.
  2. Confidentiality is held within the clinical team. Relevant information about a client is to be shared with the practitioner-’s supervisor and the clinical team as appropriate.
  3. Trainees on placement who may be working with Bronntanas and who are required by their training organisation to write case studies and/or tape sessions should firstly seek the written consent of the client. Steps are required to conceal the identity of the client in the material presented. Clients are to be made aware at the assessment stage that consent may be sought for case studies or taping and have the right to refuse without their therapy being affected.
  4. Requests for information about a client from outside the clinical team are not to be conceded to without the explicit consent of the client Even the fact that a person is a client at the clinic should not be disclosed or any seemingly harmless information e.g. the time of a client's appointment in response to an enquiry from a family member.
  5. Letters to third parties written at the request of the client should be agreed in advance and the client asked to sign a copy.
  6. Insensitive discussion of clients with other practitioners is unacceptable. Discussion of clients in the presence of other clients or members of the public, regardless of whether or not any identifying information is disclosed, is also unacceptable.
  7. Where Bronntanas has a statutory duty to disclose information about a client, this should be done in accordance with the Clinical and Ethical Dilemmas Procedure and, where there is a child protection issue, the Children First and Policy and Procedure for Child Protection. Under no circumstances should practitioners break client confidentiality without consulting their supervisor and/or the Clinical Director.

 

Client records

  1. Client records are to be stored securely.
  2. All Bronntanas members are to ensure that the security of the office is maintained at all times.
  3. Practitioners should never invite clients into the office where they might overhear or gain sight of confidential information relating to other clients or to practitioners. Care must be taken in the office when discussing clients to ensure that clients in the waiting room can't overhear.
  4. Where third parties external to the Bronntanas e.g. technicians, tradespersons, require access to the office, members and staff are to ensure that client confidentiality is not inadvertently compromised.
    Clients are entitled to view those written records held on them, subject to certain conditions, and should put any request in writing to the Clinical Director. Such requests will be dealt with promptly and, in any case, within the number of days specified by the Data Protection Act and subject to a number of exemptions as outlined in the Act.
  5. Practitioners are expected to be scrupulous in safeguarding any written records they keep pertaining to clients and the content of sessions:
    - Every effort should be made to avoid the recording of full names and other identifiable information where possible
    - Confidential material should be marked as such
    - Confidential material should be kept securely
    - Particular care should be taken transporting confidential material e.g. confidential material that has to be left unattended in a car should be placed in a locked boot.
  6. Individual client records held by practitioners are to be kept securely and safely destroyed after contact has ended. Any other paperwork where client names may be recorded for administrative purposes will be safely destroyed as soon as practicable.

Practitioner records

  1. Information on members of staff, practitioners, and those applying for positions at the clinic is to be stored securely.
  2. Personal or sensitive information about members of staff, practitioners or applicants is not to be disclosed to clients or other third parties external to Bronntanas without express permission.

Conflict of Interest

  1. Where a practitioner becomes aware that they have personal knowledge of or a personal or professional relationship with a person who also stands in relationship to a client, they are to consider whether this relationship might compromise their clients confidentiality or prejudice their views of their client.
  2. The matter should be discussed in supervision and/or brought to the attention of the Clinical Director. Where it is thought such a situation could be of detriment to the client, the client is to be re-referred to another practitioner.

Appendix 1

Policies and procedures to be read in conjunction with this procedure

 

- Clinical and Ethical Dilemmas Procedure

- Policy and Procedure on Child Protection

More in this category: Clinical & Ethical Dilemmas Procedure
Published in Policies