NCH focus: code of conduct
Ethics Director Sue Roberts reports on changes to the NCH Code of Ethics and Performance
Our Code of Conduct, Performance and Ethics is given an annual review and this year there are two alterations to report. 1. The inclusion of a statement about disclosure of confidential information (C2) 2. The removal of the reference to the Independent Safeguarding Authority
C2: The inclusion of a statement about disclosure.
The current Code was adopted by the NCH when we became registered with the CNHC (Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council). The old NCH Code did include a statement about when it is appropriate for members to disclose confidential information. The new Code did not, however. After requests from members, we have added in a bullet point at C2 which makes it clearer that confidentiality can be breached in certain circumstances.
The inclusion (in red) reads: ‘You must treat information about patients, clients and users as confidential and use it only for the purpose for which it was given. You must not knowingly release any personal or confidential information to anyone who is not entitled to it, and you should check that people who ask for information are entitled to it. You must only use information about a patient, client or user: • To continue to care for that person; or • For purposes where that person has given you specific permission to use the information; or • for legal reasons; or • if you have good cause to believe that your client, you, or others may be harmed if you do not disclose information.’
Precise ‘legal reasons’ have not been listed, because laws change, and it is the responsibility of members to behave within the law. However, in general terms, legal reasons would be where not to do so would cause further harm to children, or where members have an obligation under the Terrorism Act, or where legal procedure demands.
The removal of the reference to the Independent Safeguarding Authority The CNHC Code, when adopted, made reference to the registration of members with the Independent Safeguarding Authority, as at the time this was to become law. This has since been dropped by the government, and so dropped from the CNHC Code, and so correspondingly we have dropped it from the NCH Code.
The Code of Conduct, Performance and Ethics on the NCH website has also been proofread and previous errors in numbering etc. have been amended. Please do review the Code on the website and if you have any comments/questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org