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Confidentiality - am I being paranoid?

(12 Posts)
poppypebble Wed 23-Jan-13 20:31:13

GP has referred me back to the CMHT and I asked them to ring on my mobile number as I am out at work all day. They rang my landline instead and the phone was answered by my DM who was dog-sitting for me. My DM said I was at work so the woman on the phone introduced herself, told my DM that she was from the CMHT and that they wanted to speak to me to arrange an appointment. I've now had an awful two hours trying to explain away the phone call as I have not told my DM about my illness.

Am I over-reacting to not want anything to do with them now? I feel so paranoid that they won't be able to keep anything confidential.

Crawling Wed 23-Jan-13 20:34:05

That is awful and a complete invasion of privacy but for your own sake please dont refuse help when its offered.

onepieceoflollipop Wed 23-Jan-13 20:38:09

That is a breach of confidentiality. I work in mental health and we never leave messages on landlines either with a person or on a machine unless we are 100% sure the person is happy for us to do so. We often run into slight difficulty if a relative/dh/whoever answers and demands to know who is calling. In that situation I tend to give my first name only, or if the person is definitely expecting us to call, on occasion I have said vaguely that I am ringing on behalf of the GP /surgery

In your position I would either ring them and ask them to out it on your notes not to ring the landline, better still put it in writing, raise it as a concern and ask them to write back to reassure you.

SnowyMouse Wed 23-Jan-13 20:38:55

Definitely flag that you don't want it to happen again, but don't let it put you off them as they can help.

Misty9 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:39:22

You are right to be angry - and please either write or calmly verbally tell them what has happened, otherwise the person who assesses you may not understand any hostility/holding back (not saying you'd be hostile, but I'd be pretty angry too!).
I am a hp and we are clearly told NOT to say who we are to anyone other than the client answering the phone - unless they have given express permission.

I'm sorry this is your introduction to the cmht, but as pp said, pls don't decline help because of it. But do complain. Good luck with it all

onepieceoflollipop Wed 23-Jan-13 20:39:41

And also to add this may have been an admin error/misunderstanding (but still unacceptable) but please do accept the help offered.

poppypebble Wed 23-Jan-13 20:44:41

It isn't an introduction to CMHT, I've 'been there, done that, got the t-shirt' 3 times before. They don't really help, it is just a dance we do so that my GP will keep giving me ADs and let me stay working.

I have left a message on their answering machine saying basically what I said in my OP.

flossieflower Wed 23-Jan-13 20:57:37

Have namechanged.

I had the same thing when I was seeing the eating disorders service- they rang my landline and had a nice chat with my mum abbout my appointments when I did not want her to know about my issues. I was really angry and complained about the receptionist that had done it but they didn't seem too bothered.

My GP has recently changed onto a system whereby you ring and speak to the receptionist and give your number, the GP then rings you back and decides if you need an appointment. I did this ang gave my mobile number- GP rang back on the landline, had a chat with DH and decided that I didn't need an appointment without even speaking to me!! Which given that DH didn't know why I had rung was very annoying! I complained to the practice manager who replied that the policy was that they 'tried' to contact the patient on the number given but they would also try other numbers. How exactly a person can have contact with their GP without their household finding out remains a mystery to me. It seems utterly ridiculous (domestic violence anyone? Teenager wanting contraception?).

I would make an official complaint to the data protection officer for the CMHT, they shouldn't ring other numbers or give out information without permission.

My other confidentiality problem with a medics was while I was sitting in a hospital waiting room and the people came to collect the bags on paper for shredding- all clearly marked 'confidential for secure shredding' or similar. The men used one bag to prop open the door to the records room then carried out the bags one at a time (leaving the room unsuperivsed and the door open). Then finished with them going to the loo leaving the two final bags on the waiting room floor (again unsupervised!!). I photographed it with my phone and forwarded it to all sorts of high up people in the hosital and PCT- got one letter back saying they were investigating and have heard nothing since (was three years ago).


poppypebble Wed 23-Jan-13 22:14:58

Thanks everyone.

Just really don't need to be having long-drawn out conversations about this with DM who of course is fuming with me. Feel like I could just hibernate.

PackItInNow Thu 24-Jan-13 07:52:06

Your MH problems are nothing to do with your DM, they are YOUR problems.

If that was my mum demanding to know what was going on, I'd just tell her that I'm not prepared to talk about it.

It's YOUR choice whether you explain to your mum or not. Your DM can demand to know all she wants, but you don't have to divulge any info to her.

Definitely complain about the breach of confidentiality, because it certainly sounds like the person who rang the house, needs more training.

poppypebble Thu 24-Jan-13 21:52:32

Had a phone call back from a manager at the CMHT, she said that they just 'assume' that anyone answering the phone in your house is close enough to leave messages with. She thinks that I'm catastrophising because I'm ill.

She said I can make a complaint, but would probably have to go and give a statement and it will mean that they won't see me until the outcome is decided. She seemed quite flippant about it, so maybe I was over-reacting.

AlteredState Thu 24-Jan-13 23:11:11

poppy you're definitely not over-reacting. As others above said it is appalling that cmht spoke with your dm. Unfortunately the manager's response is not surprising. Ime hcps are quick to 'blame' our responses/behaviour on our illness.

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