Tag Archives: NHS

Carers in mind: Concerning confidentiality

Confidentiality form 3Confidentiality can be a real headache for carers. Whether their loved one is being cared for by the NHS or by some other health or social care organisation they often have great difficulty in getting the information they need to care for their relative or friend as the vital part of the care team that they actually are. But does this really need to be the case?

It’s true, of course that people have the right to privacy, including those people who need care services – a fact that few carers would deny or seek to change. But patients and service-users don’t necessarily want to keep EVERYTHING private. Very often the problem arises, not because people have the right to confidentiality but because of the way that workers approach the issue when discussing confidentiality with them in the first place.

It’s important to be nuanced in matters of confidentiality. too often the question is asked…

“Do you want your family to know about your care?”

Really we ought to be far more specific. We need to differentiate more between the types of information we can disclose and that we should not. After all, there can’t be too many young men who would want their mothers to know all about their sex lives or other, equally personal details. Professional care workers need to be much more specific about the types of information to be disclosed and also about which family members or friends it will be disclosed to.

Most carers don’t want the intimate details of personal issues anyway. They do want to understand about medication regimes, care planning, symptoms and side effects, relapse profiles and plans and they need to know who to contact when things go wrong. This requires far more nuanced discussions than typically happen in over-stretched care services. So here’s my solution…

Click here to download a form that you can use to help workers determine just what information can be shared and with whom. It takes all the difficulty out of the equation for care workers by providing them with clear, unambiguous guidance about what they can and cannot disclose.

It is important that the form is completed collaboratively with a representative of the professional care team. The organisation working with the patient or service-user will have legal issues to consider and the worker may need to speak to their management about the form. Don’t ‘ambush’ them with the form. Let them know about it in advance. Ideally give them a copy to discuss with their management first. That way there should be no problems when you do sit down to complete it.

Complete this form at a time when the patient has the mental capacity to make the decision. Staff will not be able to abide by confidentiality decisions made when the patient lacks the capacity to decide.

Please feel free to get in touch, especially let me know of your experiences in using the form. It’d be great to hear from you.

 

NHS free at point of delivery?

This is appalling. As a community psychiatric nurse I know people who can’t afford enough food because of this despicable government’s policies, let alone afford to pay to see their family doctor.
image

The NHS is part of a social contract between the state and the people, paid for by National Insurance and free at the point of delivery. Many of us have warned for years that the vicious ConDems are dismantling it and this proposal to charge ill people for GP appointments is clear evidence of that. Successive cuts in healthcare and siphoning of funds to private investors created the climate where this debate, this vote is possible at all.

image

I know the argument is that we can’t afford the NHS but please remember how poor this nation was when the NHS began in 1948. We had just come out of world war 2. Rationing was still in place to ensure people had (barely) enough to eat. This country was broke but we still provided access to healthcare for those who needed it.

image

We did it then because we believed in fairness and social justice. Now…… 30 years of neoliberalism and the current coalition of cynical, nest-feathering profiteers in government have turned those values on their head. We’re becoming like America where people with means can lose everything paying for services and those without means just die unaided.

How much more can this country take?

Peter Wilby on why the NHS is healthy after all.

This is one of the most sensible articles on the NHS I’ve ever read. I encourage you to read it before this beloved institution is changed beyond all recognition.
image
Wilby has managed to put into words perfectly the ludicrous stupidity of trying to run our national health service like a commercial enterprise. He shoots down Cameron’s ‘zero tolerance’ rhetoric and still has time to remind us of the true purpose of our NHS.

Don’t let these cynical, ConDem politicians destroy our health service for their own personal gain.
image