Carers guide to confidentiality

We hope this guide will help you understand what confidentiality means for the trust, its staff, the person you care for and for you as a carer. A carer is anyone supporting their partner, friend or relative. As a carer, you play an important role and we work with you and try to make sure you have the right information you need, and have the right support

Publication date:
01 November 2018
Date range:
November 2018 - November 2019

Information sharing

We will work with the person being cared for to understand what information they are happy for us to share with you.

This will be reviewed regularly. We will ensure the person you’re caring for understands the benefits of information sharing and the possible consequences of not sharing information with you.

Where full consent is given

This means the person you are caring for has agreed to your involvement and is happy for us to share information
with you about their care and treatment. Therefore we will help you with the following:

  • to understand the person’s treatment plan and its aims
  • receive information about the person’s illness that will help you to support them
  • take an active role in care planning
  • receive a copy of the care plan, crisis plan or other relevant documentation.

Where consent is refused

This means that the person you are caring for has expressed concerns about information being shared and has refused, or is reluctant to agree to it happening.

If this happens we will explore the reasons behind this to see if we can work to agree and select information they are happy to share. If these circumstances arise, we will explain to you what kind of information may and may not be shared.

Where consent cannot be given

In some circumstances, a person may lack the capacity to understand and make decisions about the sharing of their personal information because of their illness.

In order to advocate for our patients, at that time their decision is respected with the recognition that their capacity
can fluctuate and be a temporary or intermittent impairment which may alter as they get better.

Where this is the case our staff may disclose only the most pertinent and immediately relevant information with you unless there is a lawful reason such as the presence of a registered Lasting Power of Attorney. They will however always be able to listen to your perspective and any information that you want to provide

Our staff will take into consideration any previous views or wishes the person you are caring for has made and we will work with you to decide on what would be appropriate level to share, always ensuring the care of the patient remains at the heart of any decision made.

Information sharing without consent

There may be some situations where information needs to be shared without consent or against the expressed wishes of the person you are caring for.

This may be where there is an emergency situation involving either the person or yourself; a safety concern; or where failure to share information may put someone at risk.

This will be carefully considered by our staff and only the minimum amount of information required on a “need to
know” basis will be shared. We will clearly explain to the person you are caring for the reasons why we believe this is necessary and a note will be made in the clinical record.