Ground rules for confidentiality

What do we mean by confidentiality?

The main aim of the group is to encourage members to speak openly and share experiences. It is important that we feel confident that our privacy will be respected. If we talk about sensitive and personal issues, we need to know that nothing will be repeated outside the meeting unless it is agreed that the information can be shared and under what circumstances.

Divulging information to partners

We should be mindful of what we say to our partners and impress on them that they must be as careful with what we tell them as we are.

Are there any circumstances in which we can break confidentiality?

In a word, no. If anyone is concerned about information they have been given they can ask for advice, on a non-attributable basis, from one of the leaders of the group.

Maintaining confidentiality when using the telephone, writing letters, emails

Please be very careful when discussing matters raised at the meeting in conversations on the telephone, in letters or by email. Never leave notes lying around beside the family telephone, computer, etc.

Written information such as members’ details

All information held on the group members’ database – name, address, telephone number, email address, treatment details, happy to take telephone calls – is only held with the prior approval of the member. No other information will be collected.

Publicising the confidentiality policy

We shall all be given a copy of this policy, and it will be explained to all new members at the same time as they are given their copy.

Adherence to policy

All members of the group have a responsibility to ensure that the rules on confidentiality are adhered to. Members should raise any concerns that they have with one of the group leaders who can discuss the matter with the person concerned to explain why such behaviour could cause problems.

Review of the policy on confidentiality

The leaders of the group will ensure that these ground rules are reviewed at a group meeting once a year, or at the next scheduled admin meeting if specific concerns are raised