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Is this right - doctor-patient confidentiality?

(12 Posts)
beth12345 Sat 18-Jun-11 00:31:30

Hi, I went to see my GP yesterday about a mental health issue. I specifically went to see the GP as, for various reasons, I didn't think I could bring the issue up with my midwife.
Whilst I was with the GP I mentioned that I had not told my midwife about this issue at my booking appt. The GP just commented that it was up to me whether I tell the midwife. The GP did not say anything about them telling the midwife on my behalf.
Today I get a phone call from my midwife, saying that she would like me to go in and see her next week. Surely this is not a coincidence. I didn't realise the GP would tell the midwife anyway - is this usual? Thanks

differentnameforthis Sat 18-Jun-11 00:41:28

I would assume that as your dr wrote about it on your notes, and she has access to them, that she saw it there?

scottishmummy Sat 18-Jun-11 00:47:00

information is shared on need to know basis.gp has duty of care to liaise and share pertinent info as it impacts globally

however this should have been made clear,there are no secrets in health and social care

by all means you dont have to disclose the appt to the hv
but the gp does have professional responsibility to share

beth12345 Sat 18-Jun-11 00:54:12

Thanks. The GP uses the computer records at the surgery, and the midwives see people at the surgery once a week, but I just didn't realise that they would be accessing the same computer records (don't think they usually use the computers at all, just write in the hand held notes).

scottishmummy Sat 18-Jun-11 00:56:34

sorry i see you actually said midwife
being practical,what would help you feel more able to feel supported,or able to confide in a mw (not necessarily that mw)?

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Sat 18-Jun-11 00:58:46

I agree. As far as I knew, confidentiality can be breached under certain circumstances, but the hcp concerned is supposed to inform the patient first. It doesn't sound like your GP would have disclosed this judging by his reaction. Perhaps it is a coincidence the midwife called you, or perhaps like differentname said, she just read it in your notes? Best call the MW and just find out rather than worrying about it, If she does know, you may find it is not so bad after all and that she is quite helpful. I have found in the past when I had MH issues, it was surprising who could be quite helpful when you didn't expect them to be/didn't really want to tell them initially.

Hope things work out and you are doing ok. I assume you are pg? FWIW, because of my history I got contacted by the MH team a few times when I was pg. As it turns out I had no issue at all when I was pg, but I was always paranoid that the hormonal changes may have made me a bit vulnerable during/after pg. I get the feeling that had I had problems, I would have been very well supported.

beth12345 Sat 18-Jun-11 01:02:09

Yes I am pregnant and am struggling with a previous MH issue that appears to be coming back, perhaps due to the pregnancy - I think it is meant to be a common time for relapses (and assume this is why the midwife is so interested).
I know that being practical I probably should confide in a midwife, but it all seems a bit much when I have only just confided in my GP yesterday! Feel a bit like I am now being pounched on, and will have to talk to the midwife too....but maybe it is for the best.

scottishmummy Sat 18-Jun-11 01:02:53

no its not a "breach" of confidentiality at all.more need to know only basis
but certainly it should be clear gp consultation is not necessarily stand alone, and likely to be shared on need to know

beth12345 Sat 18-Jun-11 01:04:03

So do midwives actually have access to the computer records then? From what I have seen, I assumed community midwives were off out and about all the time, they don't seem to be based anywhere long enough to look at computer records.

scottishmummy Sat 18-Jun-11 01:05:05

see it less as a pounce,more of a what can you all do.you and the gp,and mw
hope it works out satisfactorily

Putthatbookdown Sun 19-Jun-11 07:16:18

I have been through something similar> I found out that: any medical person IN THE PRACTICE can be given your confidential info If it passed out to another Medical establishment this is different: you have the right to know why It is quite a complex issue : we now have Patient Summary things-cannot remeber the name - you should hae been asked by the NHs record people if you agree or not to this. If you have not disagreed then this summary can be sent out automatically to any hospital etc you attend.All it does it give details of any medicines you are on and BRIEF details of when/where you were last seen.

beth12345 Tue 21-Jun-11 13:30:04

Does anyone know whether I can ask the midwife to NOT record the info about my MH in my pregnancy notes that I take home?
(as they are not confidential enough for me, OH and mum and sonographers at scans etc would see the notes).
Does that sound reasonable do you think?

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