Summary of Confidentiality policy
SYEDA is committed to ensuring confidentiality within all aspects of its services. Confidentiality means not disclosing any information provided by the client, whether verbally or in writing, without the client's permission.
Information received from clients is treated as confidential within the organisation. It may be shared between team members at SYEDA where this is in the best interest of the client, for supervisory purposes, or for the purpose of training where consent has been given. When discussing confidential information within Syeda, respect and discretion will be used.
SYEDA is not a medical organisation and cannot monitor physical health. We encourage clients to have contact with their GPs to monitor physical health and we ask our clients for permission to contact their GP to inform them that they are accessing our service. We will not contact GPs without clients’ permission.
Sometimes it may be in the client’s interest to discuss issues with staff from another service. Where this is the case we will ask permission from the client first.
Reasons for Disclosure
There are some situations in which we are legally obliged to break client confidentiality:
- To prevent serious harm to the client or to another person. For example if we believe the client to be at risk from harm, such as death from suicide or serious self harm, or if we believe that the client may cause serious harm to someone else, we would be obliged to break confidence. If a client has a BMI under 17, we would automatically contact their GP as a matter of course.
- Where it is necessary to prevent a serious crime or where it is believed a serious crime has been committed.
- If there is a risk to a child (under 16) or to a vulnerable adult.
In these instances where possible we will discuss with the client before breaking confidentiality.
Confidentiality and Suicide
Syeda recognises that some clients (sufferers and carers) may consider suicide as a result of their experience of dealing with an eating disorder. In line with Syeda’s ethos to promote recovery, Syeda will not support an individual in the taking of their life.
When a client begins to discuss suicide it is the policy of Syeda to encourage the individual to access other forms of help. The client is encouraged to form a plan that will reduce the risk to themselves.
Where the risk of suicide is considered high, the worker is required to inform the client of a need to break confidentiality and contact their GP or other NHS service.
If a client makes contact having made a suicidal act it is Syeda’s policy to contact the emergency services. It is our policy to encourage the person to give permission for us to contact emergency services and support the person to take any action they feel acceptable to reduce the risk of harm from their actions.
Access to records
Legally clients have the right to see any records that are kept about them.