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Private and confidential?Handling personal information in the social and health services$
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Chris Clark and Janice McGhee

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349064

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349064.001.0001

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Ethical practice in joined-up working

Ethical practice in joined-up working

(p.63) four Ethical practice in joined-up working
Private and confidential?

Ian E. Thompson

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on the kind of policy and procedures that are needed to deal with issues of confidentiality and privacy in professional practice, and the practical requirements for responsible institutional management of personal information. It argues that workable and defensible practices for handling privacy and confidentiality should be developed in dialogue grounded in the real world of agencies and service practice. The chapter suggests that the mystification of ethics as an abstract discipline has hindered the development of practical ethics for agency policy and professional practice. It examines and compares two cases in which the author was directly involved as a research consultant. The first is from Western Australia, where inadvertent disclosure of personal health information in the press provoked calls for the Minister of Health to resign and necessitated the development of policy and procedures to deal with the ensuing crisis. The second relates to developing a youth justice strategy within the Integrated Children's Services Plan for the Outer Hebrides.

Keywords:   confidentiality, privacy, professional practice, personal information, ethics, agency policy

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