The history of confidentiality in health and social care.
One of the oldest documents we can find about confidentiality is the Hippocratic Oath what was written in the 4th century BC.
We all know that nurses are not taking this oath, but we are bound to the same confidentiality regulations as doctors and other health professionals including social workers. Untrained or ancillary workers should not have access to patient's records and there is no need for them to know certain confidential information.
A famous author in social work, (Biestek, 1957) has written a classic book and writes about confidentiality. He states that "confidentiality is an essential principle in a helping relationship Ã¢ÂÂ¦..and crucial to develop a trusting relationship with the clients.
Health professionals need to comply with these ethics and principals according to the law and the NMC Code. (The Code, 2008)
Legal side, Caldecott report
The following Acts and Legislation are all about our (as patients and as health professionals) right to confidentiality as stated in the NMC Advices sheet about Confidentiality.
These are just a few of a lot:
Data Protection Act, 1998.
Access to health records,1990.
Computer Misuse Act, 1990
. Human Rights Act, 1998
Health and Social Care Act, 2001: section 60.
Police and criminal evidence Act, 1984
The Caldecott Report according to the Department of Health website:
"Following the production of The Protection and Use of Patient Information in 1996, the Chief Medical Officer of England commissioned the Caldicott Committee to review the transfer of patient-identifiable information from NHS organisations to other NHS and non-NHS organisations." (DoH, 1997)
This report is to help guide health professionals to maintain maximum security of keeping, storing, using, patient's confidential information and personal data. It contains sixteen recommendations about the way of handling information safely...