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This essay will discuss the legal, ethical and professional concept of patient/client confidentiality and will identify any im

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Introduction

This essay will discuss the legal, ethical and professional concept of patient/client confidentiality and will identify any implications this may have for practice with relation to a recent clinical experience. With regards to a recent clinical placement the author has chosen to discuss a recent placement within the community with references to client care. The author feels strongly that the responsibilities on caring is to maintain the general trust of patient/clients, not only through care but also through observing certain codes of practice and adhere to legislation laid down by the government in order to preserve clients rights. These are there for a guide to follow in order to uphold the general principles regarding staff and clients. Within the nursing profession The Nursing and Midwifery council (NMC 2002) are guided by the codes of professional conduct, these are the shared values of all UK health regulatory bodies. Confidentiality is paramount to all nursing codes, in all cases the focal word is trust. As a registered Nurse. Midwife or Health visitor they are accountable for their practice and in the exercise for professional accountability must "protect all Confidential information concerning patient and clients obtained in the course of practice, and make disclosure only when consent, where required by a court or where you can justify disclosure in the wider public interest" (Hendrick 2000). ...read more.

Middle

If the Nurse had discussed the conversation with the care manger she would be breaching the professional codes of conduct also Mrs Green would have felt betrayed by the District Nurse which could have had a very negative effect on the her and could lead to compensation and disciplinary action for the District Nurse, whereby if the client is contented with the actions of the District Nurse this would give her a positive out look and aid to her recovery. Mrs Green expected the nurses to keep the information that she gave which showed that she was happy and confident with the nurse but there are occasions where the issues of being ethically bound by confidentiality for professionals within health and social care can present them with ethical conflicts. For example Mrs Green could have been extremely depressed and there may have been an issue that she could have been a suicide risk, whereby the nurses would have had to inform other agencies and even the care manager. Informed consent for example, means that confidentiality is not absolute. In cases dilemma or conflict, universal moral principles are implemented to help caring professionals deal with the problems presented. Ethical codes and the law are liable to changes and it is the duty of professionals to update themselves on these changes. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is health care professional who needs to be aware of the implications that their actions may have on the client, themselves and the trust they are employed by, be it legal or moral, As with Mrs Green she trusted the actions of the District Nurse as she felt they could help her present situation. If the client feels betrayed by the health care professional it can have a very negative effect on the client and could lead to compensation for the patient/client and disciplinary action for the health care professional, whereby if the client is contented with the actions of the health care professional this will give them a positive out look. The incident with Mrs Green made the author aware of just how easy it is to disclose information, a conversation which the author may have believed would have been in the best interest of the client could have broken the codes of professional conduct, the author is also now aware of how much legislation is in place to protect an individual and the importance of keeping up to date with it, such as Freedom of information Act 2000 which came into place on 1st January 2005 whereby the general public will be able to view the working practices and minimum standards which are already in place this means that the the NHS and staff will be will be publicly open to scrutiny. ...read more.

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