Confidentiality, Consent and Capacity in Mental Health

Confidentiality, Consent and Capacity in Mental Health

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Dr. Shery Delfani started this petition to Secretary of State For Health and Social Care

Confidentiality, Consent and Capacity in Mental Health

The aim of this petition is to raise awareness of the current issues revolving around vulnerable patients lacking capacity to consent to the disclosure of confidential information to their relatives or carer and prevent unnecessary and avoidable deaths as a consequence of this issue.

I seek help for vulnerable people who suffer from all kinds of mental health issues. I am a Parish Councillor at West Bletchley Council, Milton Keynes with a PhD in Environmental Studies. I also have 20 years of medical and academic background as a lecturer at UK’s Universities. I work very closely with different communities and charities in the UK and am a passionate believer of a fair society, in which people are empowered to help themselves and each other, striving towards a better life.

We have all heard of suicide incidents in the UK where patients with mental health conditions, or spectrum conditions that can result in mental health issues throughout their lifetime. An example of this is in Milton Keynes recently. https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/health/mental-health-services-criticised-after-desperate-man-throws-himself-under-a-train-in-milton-keynes-1-9110293

While it is true that confidentiality is a duty of all healthcare professionals, sometimes patients are extremely vulnerable and lack the mental capacity to make an informed consent to the disclosure of information to their family or carer. Families or carers of such patients have a crucial role in decision making and care in the patient’s best interests, and therefore will not be able to carry out their role as information is not disclosed to them due to “confidentiality”. This can result in severe consequences in vulnerable patients, such as deterioration in the mental or physical condition as well as suicides. In order to avoid such unnecessary and avoidable deaths, we need to assess patient’s capacity more accurately and take into account their vulnerabilities when deciding whether to disclose patient information to families or carers.

That is to say, if the decision of not disclosing patient information to family or carer is made due to justifiable reasons, it is crucial to monitor the patients mental and physical health after discharging them into the community on their own, instead of leaving them unattended. In addition, we need primary care doctors (GPs) to routinely follow up these vulnerable patients who are both at high risk to themselves and others after being discharged from secondary care.

Please sign my petition to increase helps and supports for these patients. 

Clls. Dr. Shery Delfani

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!