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to think this was hugely inappropriate and want to complain?

(69 Posts)
HugoDarling Mon 24-Feb-14 15:41:35

I was on the bus coming home from work and there were three of us on the top deck.

A woman got on, her phone rang and she said, really loudly (I was not eavesdropping, 'oh, I'm glad you've picked up, I was worried and I needed to talk to you.'

She was a key worker and one of the people she was working with wanted to commit suicide (she went into much greater detail).

She clearly told the person on the other end the man's name, age and date of birth. She described his medical issues and mental health problems.

I was sitting there like shock

ajandjjmum Mon 24-Feb-14 15:52:12

Absolutely inappropriate. Not sure who you'd complain to though. Can you remember the details?

FederationPresidentBarryFife Mon 24-Feb-14 15:53:23

so what?

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 24-Feb-14 15:53:45

That was very inappropriate, yes. Confidentiality is not just who you talk to, but when and where. If it was such an emergency it couldn't wait till she got off, the woman should have made her call in a private place before getting on, or used something that would NOT identify her client to anyone overhearing, such as hospital or case number.

Do you know what service she worked for? That would be the first place to start with a complaint. Hopefully a description of the woman plus her client's name would be enough for them to identify the worker and give her a huge bollocking!

HugoDarling Mon 24-Feb-14 15:54:53

I can remember his name, some of his medical issues and part of his address.

I haven't a clue who I would complain to.

poubella Mon 24-Feb-14 15:55:12

That is gross misconduct and she should be sacked.

Workers in the organisation I work for have been sacked for this. Some were discussing a case over lunch in a pub, Another was on the phone. No confidential or identifying information should be discussed in public. If you know who she worked for you should report.

LaGuardia Mon 24-Feb-14 15:55:58

If she is a key worker, she gets enough shit as it is. Leave her alone. She sounds like she really cares.

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 24-Feb-14 15:56:49

federation so what? Her client wanted to commit suicide. She gave out his details on a public bus. Anyone on the bus could know the man and know that they know him due to the woman's level of detail.

They could possibly use the information against him, pushing him over the edge into suicide (thinking along the lines of high profile cases where people with special needs etc have been taunted until they take their own life).

Or even if they try to help, the man knowing that everyone has heard his life story might push him over the edge.

WorraLiberty Mon 24-Feb-14 15:58:17

God yeah, imagine being on the bus and actually knowing the person she was talking about!

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:03

I have been diagnosed with depression and will be attending counselling soon. It's hard enough knowing that I am going to have to open up to a complete stranger, without the thought that the stranger might then go and blab my private stuff all over a bus.

HugoDarling Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:11

So what- imagine I was related to him!

Of course she cares but this isn't professional at all imo.

22honey Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:21

Had an almost identical thing happen to me several months ago, a female support worker loudly discussing intimate work details on the bus whilst on the phone with a colleague.

Obviously didn't complain as I have enough on my plate already, but I did think it was very inappropriate. YANBU but just let it fly over your head, a lot of people are very unprofessional in many lines of work, I've found.

Birdsgottafly Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:38

She has broken her confidentiality policy and it would be a disciplinary offence.

I would of stopped her and reminded her that she is in a public place.

She should if made the phone call in private, unless you live in the middle of no-where and buses are hourly.

But either way there should of been someone who this could if been handed to, to make this referral.

My DD runs a MH unit and there is always someone covering until you are in an appropriate place.

The rules across Social Care and Health are clear on this.

FederationPresidentBarryFife Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:57

Oh don't complain! really, why would you be such a busybody as to do that? She should have been more discrete but PUH-LEASE does it really bother you? enough to "get her sacked" with a complaint. Honestly, she's working, it sounded like an emergency, it wasn't appropriate but this complain to whichever high authority you can think of with a hideous self righteous sense of your own bloody perfection really gets my goat. COMPLAIN!?! I ask you!!!!!

FederationPresidentBarryFife Mon 24-Feb-14 16:00:42


Birdsgottafly Mon 24-Feb-14 16:01:14

"If she is a key worker, she gets enough shit as it is. Leave her alone. She sounds like she really cares."

No she really doesn't.

Caring is holistic.

HugoDarling Mon 24-Feb-14 16:02:34

Yes, I am hideous. I want to maintain people's privacy at the worst time of their lives, and I want the people looking after them to maintain that privacy.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 24-Feb-14 16:03:04

If you were THAT concerned, why didn't you ask her for her details of some sort and then laid a complaint afterwards. What's the point now?

ErrolTheDragon Mon 24-Feb-14 16:03:31

So...she's worried about a suicidal client, needs to talk it over with a colleague, but its after work hours when her call is returned....

It does sound like she gave more details than should be done in public but perhaps the other person was in a position to be able to do something at that point but only if she had all the info?

you really think it would help anyone to report this? What it says to me is that there are people in the caring professions with too much workload.

HugoDarling Mon 24-Feb-14 16:04:36

I do realise that now Coffee. sad

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 24-Feb-14 16:04:53

If it was a first offence, I would imagine it would be a written warning rather than a sacking.

I repeat, if it was a real emergency she could have alerted her colleague in a different way. "The third client I saw this morning" (assuming the other person has a copy of her schedule) or case number would have allowed the person on the other end to know who was being talked about without everybody on the bus knowing.

olibeansmummy Mon 24-Feb-14 16:05:18

This is massively inappropriate. I can't believe some people are saying you should not complain. It's absolutely not acceptable to share such intimate details on a public bus.

LucyLasticBand Mon 24-Feb-14 16:05:41

it isnt exactly discreet is it?
but there is nothign you can do about it

nova1111 Mon 24-Feb-14 16:05:44

Maybe she felt she had to do something very urgently. I would give her the benefit of the doubt myself.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 24-Feb-14 16:07:23

What was she to do? Not take the call? Get off the bus?

I think she could have talked to him without disclosing names/details of his address or history. How did that come about? It doesn't really seem relevant?

You could complain. You could have done it at the time, tapped her on the shoulder and reminded her that she had an audience. You didn't so it obviously didn't bother you to that great an extent.

You're not hideous but quite honestly, I'd rather she took the call from one of my loved ones, address and all, rather than not being there when they needed them.

I don't have much time for 'complainers after the fact'.

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