1. Confidentiality Statement
The Organisation which is known as Bell Farm Christian Centre, believes that principles of confidentiality must be integrated across all aspects of services and management. Bell Farm Christian Centre believes its users deserve the right to confidentiality to protect their interests and safeguard the services of Bell Farm Christian Centre.
The following will be displayed in the entrance.
Bell Farm Christian Centre offers a confidential service - nothing you tell us will be shared with any other organisation or individual without your express permission.
If you would prefer to be seen in an interview room please let us know.
2. Definition of Confidentiality.
Bell Farm Christian Centre understands confidentiality to mean that no information regarding a service user shall be given directly or indirectly to any third party which is external to the staff and volunteers, without that service user's prior expressed consent to disclose such information.
Bell Farm Christian Centre recognises that all users should be able to access Bell Farm Christian Centre’s services in confidence and that no other person should ever know that they have used the services. Bell Farm Christian Centre recognises that information may be indirectly given out through staff informally discussing cases. All staff should ensure that no discussions relating to an individual user of Bell Farm Christian Centre will take place outside Bell Farm Christian Centre’s premises, except at other premises used specifically for the work of Bell Farm Christian Centre.
Bell Farm Christian Centre recognises that users need to feel secure in using the services of Bell Farm Christian Centre in a confidential manner. Bell Farm Christian Centre will ensure all users are afforded confidential interview space (if it is required) and will ensure blinds, radios and other mechanisms are used to ensure no breach of confidentiality can occur inadvertently.
Bell Farm Christian Centre will not confirm the user's presence in the Organisation’s premises or use of the Organisation’s services, to other persons, without obtaining the user's consent. If information is given which relates to the abuse or potential abuse of a child or vulnerable adult then Bell Farm Christian Centre will be required, for the sake of the safety of the child or vulnerable adult, to disclose that information to the appropriate authorities, in accordance with the Organisation’s Child Protection Policy and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy.
If the information given relates to the potential serious harm of another individual or individuals then a breach in confidentiality may be authorised. See section 6.
3. Statistical Recording.
Bell Farm Christian Centre is committed to effective statistical recording of service users to enable Bell Farm Christian Centre to monitor take-up of service and to identify any policy issues arising from its services. It is the staff’s responsibility to ensure all statistical records given to third parties, such as to support funding applications or monitoring reports for the local authority, are produced in anonymous form, so individuals cannot be recognised.
4. Case Records.
It is the staff's responsibility to ensure all case records are kept secure. All case records must be locked away at the end of each working day. All information relating to service users will be kept secure, this includes note books, copies of correspondence, calculation sheets, computer records and any other sources of information. See the Data Protection Policy of Bell Farm Christian Centre.
5. Expressed Consent To Give Information.
It is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers to ensure that where any action is agreed to be taken by Bell Farm Christian Centre on behalf of a client, that client must firstly sign an authorisation form. This should be placed on the client's file. Staff and volunteers are responsible for checking with clients if it is acceptable to call them at home or work in relation to their case. All staff and volunteers must ensure that they make no reference to Bell Farm Christian Centre when making telephone contact with clients, if requested not to do so or when the situation is particularly sensitive. Staff and volunteers are responsible for checking with clients that it is acceptable to write to them at home or work in relation to the use of the services at Bell Farm Christian Centre.
6. Breaches of Confidentiality.
Bell Farm Christian Centre recognises that occasions may arise where individual workers feel they need to breach confidentiality. Bell Farm Christian Centre recognises, however, that any breach of confidentiality may damage the reputation of Bell Farm Christian Centre and therefore has to be treated with the most seriousness.
On occasions where a worker feels confidentiality should be breached the following steps must be taken:
1. The worker should raise the matter immediately with their line manager.
2. The worker must discuss with their Line Manager the issues involved in the case and explain why they feel confidentiality should be breached and what would be achieved by breaching confidentiality. The manager should take a written note of this discussion.
3. The Line Manager is responsible for discussing with the worker what options are available in each set of circumstances.
4. The Line Manager is responsible for making a decision on whether confidentiality should be breached. If the Line Manager decides that confidentiality is to be breached then he/she would take the following steps:
(i) The Line Manager should contact the Minister and Centre Director in the first instance. The manager should brief the Minister and Centre Director on the full facts of the case, ensuring they do not breach confidentiality in doing so. The Line Manager should seek authorisation to breach confidentiality from the Minister and Centre Director.
(ii) If the Minister and Centre Director agrees to breaching confidentiality, a full written report shall be made on the case and a record of any actions agreed. The Line Manager is responsible for carrying out the actions so agreed.
(iii) If the Minister and Centre Director does not agree to breach confidentiality then this is the final decision of the Organisation.
(iv) In no circumstances should any breach of confidentiality be discussed at this stage with any other member of the Organisation’s Management Committee. This is to ensure that any future complaints or investigations arising from breach in confidentiality can be carried out in an independent manner.
Breech of confidentiality will only be authorised when individuals are at risk of real harm and that there is a possibility of preventing that harm by informing statutory authorities of the situation. Such situations would include the real possibility of harm to others, harm to self, child abuse or act of terrorism.
7. Legislative Framework.
Bell Farm Christian Centre will monitor this policy to ensure it meets statutory and legal requirements including the Data Protection Act, Children's Act, Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and Prevention of Terrorism Act. Training on the policy will include these aspects.
8. Ensuring the effectiveness of the policy.
All Management Committee members will receive a copy of the confidentiality policy. Existing and new workers will be introduced to the confidentiality policy via induction and training.