The Department of Health have published a new piece of best practice guidance, which they hope will assist those who need to share information about individuals involved in domestic violence, for example at a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) – a local, multi agency victim-focused meeting where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic abuse between different agencies.
This is a short (12 page) guideline that has been produced jointly with the UK Council of Caldicott Guardians. It sets out the underlying ethical considerations between confidentiality and information sharing and identifies the role of the Caldicott Guardian to ‘strike the balance’ between maintaining the individuals’ confidentiality and privacy and wider considerations such as protection from harm.
Mental health professionals interested in confidentiality and information sharing should also take a look at the Rethink Carers and Confidentiality website, which aims to help professionals gain a thorough understanding of why working with family/friend carers is beneficial for improving outcomes in mental health.
“Striking the Balance” Practical Guidance on the application of Caldicott Guardian Principles to Domestic Violence and MARACs (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences) (PDF). Department of Health, 16 April 2012.