The Importance of Not Disclosing Anything about the Individual that they may Wish to be Kept Private

Personal History and Social Circumstances

People’s personal history and other personal information is something which the person being supported has the power to decide whether or not to disclose. A person’s social circumstances include where they live; information about their friends, relatives and informal carers; information about their religious and social activities and about their income, savings and finances.

Health conditions, treatment and medication

Health is a serious matter and people have a right not to inform anyone (including close relatives, spouses, friends and acquaintances) about their health conditions, health needs, treatment and medication. To disclose anything about someone’s health or medication to a third party without he person’s permission is a serious breach of trust and an abuse on the part of the person who discloses it.

Infectious and contagious illnesses

Some infectious conditions do not carry risks to others if the correct procedures are in place to prevent the spread of infection, for example, no one has any need to know if someone is HIV positive or if they have AIDS, or hepatitis as these conditions cannot be spread from person to person if the correct procedures are in place. A person can be prosecuted, however, if they engage in activities which could result in infecting another person.

Some contagious and infectious conditions, usually short term illnesses, such as food poisoning, measles, TB, rubella, chickenpox, are notifiable diseases e.g. because they can spread easily and it may be necessary to disclose these i.e. if you are working with people who are frail, in poor health, with children or someone who is pregnant.

Chronic long-term and terminal illnesses

Some people may not have an acute condition or infectious disease, but a long term (chronic) condition which they may choose not to disclose. People who have a terminal illness have a right to decide who should and should not know that they have such a condition. Family and friends do not have a right to withhold information about a person’s health condition from them, if this is occurring you will need to inform your line manager.

Sexual orientation

Some of the protected characteristics are hidden characteristics e.g. a person’s sexual orientation, religion or beliefs. People have a right not to expect others to disclose such information about them

Transgender/Gender reassignment

A person has a right to define their gender identity how they wish and services have no right to impose their own judgements.

Use to answer question 7.2c of the Care Certificate

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