Confidentiality is an important value within the healthcare setting for clients, their families and employees

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Introduction

Confidentiality is an important value within the healthcare setting for clients, their families and employees. Important confidentiality issues are trust and client safety. Personal and private information such as health diagnosis, feelings, emotions and financial status must be restricted to people who have an accepted need to know. NMC [online] 2002. Richards, J (2003) confirms that confidentiality is the respect for the privacy of any information about a client/patient. The Value Base ( a system of values to guide the care profession) states that confidentiality of records and information should be discussed with clients if possible, however some information can be kept from a client if it were to cause them to self harm (physically or mentally). If clients/patients know that personal details and conversations are private it will enable them to feel safe and that trust is present. Clients/patients should be told that other health professionals involved in the care of them have a need to know of some confidential issues to enable better recovery for themselves.

Middle

It sets rules for and applies to personal information, paper records and computer held records. It covers data held in the respect of any individual including financial and credit information, membership of organisation, medical, health and social services records. Nolan Y, (2001). Good record keeping helps to protect patients and clients by promoting: - High standards of clinical care and continuity of care - Better communication between health care professionals regarding information of clients/patients. - An accurate account of treatment, care planning and delivery. Chaloner, R et al (1997). Nolan, Y (2001) states that the Caldecott committee (1997) recommended a series of principles to undertake when handling any patient information, they are: - Principle 1 - Justify the purpose. - Principle 2 - Do not use the patient identifiable information unless absolutely necessary. - Principle 3 - Use the minimum necessary patient identifiable information. - Principle 4 - Access to patient identifiable information should be kept on a strict need to know basis. - Principle 5 - Everyone should be aware of their own responsibilities.

Conclusion

- The patient's family - the family would be angry that the nurse has failed in his/her duty to provide adequate care for their family member and may lose their trust and respect for nurses due to this. - Members of the health care profession - The ward where the nurse worked may now be suffering due to the bad publicity and they may be stigmatised due to their colleagues' actions. - The NHS Trust - by receiving bad publicity the effects may have consequences on the trust itself (e.g. an inquiry will be undertaken regarding this matter, therefore removing resources from the trust). The role of the NMC is to ensure that nurses and midwives provide high standards of care to enable the public to be protected. Standards are set and improved in educational, practical and professional conduct areas. The NMC provides advice to the nurses and midwives and considers allegations of misconduct or the ability to practice due to ill health. NMC [online] 2005.

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