Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Confidentiality is a very important right for individuals who receive care and support. It is part of the relationship of trust that individuals have with healthcare support workers and adult social care workers.

Information should always be shared on a need-to-know basis only, for example, with other workers involved in the individual’s care. You should not share information with anybody else, even the person’s family or friends, without the individual’s permission. For example, an individual may not want a friend to know about their health or if they have been unhappy. It is also essential to protect private information from accidental viewing or hearing. For example, if you met another worker and chatted about your work you should consider whether others would be able to hear or if a personal letter to an individual was left in a public place where other people could read it.

Today there are ways of keeping in touch with people, for example, ‘Facebook’ and other social media such as ‘Twitter’ where information is shared instantly. As a health or social care worker you should be careful to use this responsibly and be mindful of the confidentiality rights of all individuals including other workers. Many workers have mobile technology with them at work which means it is possible to share information about their day or individuals without enough thought and so there are increased risks of breaching confidentiality. This is just as much a breach as leaving a record out of the filing system or remaining logged in to a computer when you are not present. Breaching confidentiality through the use of social media, including taking or sharing photos or videos, maybe a disciplinary offence, and in some cases may even be a criminal offence depending on what is shared.

Overall, you have a responsibility as a health or social care worker, to safeguard an individual’s personal information. You should also treat personal information about other workers that you have access to in the same way. Your employer must have systems in place to meet the legal requirements about storing information and you must act within your employer’s agreed ways of working. Ask your employer to talk you through the system in use in your workplace to protect information