• Question: Have you ever encountered a patient who didn't wish to disclose important information? If so, how did you manage the situation?

    Asked by Maariya on 16 Mar 2022.
    • Photo: Sarah Cousins

      Sarah Cousins answered on 16 Mar 2022:

      Yes, and patients can completely choose what they want to tell us. However I would tend to approach it by saying something like ‘it would really help me to know how to find out what is wrong with you and how to treat you if you were able to give me any information about x’.

    • Photo: Samantha Garside

      Samantha Garside answered on 16 Mar 2022:

      Yes, we have to respect the patients choice, we’re there to help, advice and provide the care and support however they may need it

    • Photo: Heather S

      Heather S answered on 16 Mar 2022:

      good question!! as Samantha and Sarah have said, we can only really go on what people tell us. but as they also say, we can explain why we need to know that info, maybe a bit more clearly or in a different way; we can reassure them it will remain confidential (unless there is a safeguarding issue); and we can also help them access any further support they might need in that info they did not wish to disclose – so even if we don’t know specifics we can point them towards others who they may feel comfortable in talking to….

    • Photo: Jamie Hynes

      Jamie Hynes answered on 16 Mar 2022: last edited 16 Mar 2022 6:02 pm

      You’re raising an issue called confidentiality Maariya. It’s a vitally important part of medicine and an essential aspect of the high levels of trust patients place in healthcare professionals. There are probably very good reasons behind why the patient would want to disclose the information and sense of exploration of this will hopefully allow that patient to build a level of confidence and trust in order to confide. Sadly there are many issues in society to contribute to the reasons why a patient may be reluctant to disclose information. Confidentiality is important but may be broken in certain circumstances where the degree of risk dictates.
      Ultimately the welfare of the patient is the primary concern.

    • Photo: Danielle Siberry

      Danielle Siberry answered on 19 Mar 2022:

      I explain why it’s important to know certain things in order to be able to help them and keep them safe.

      Ultimately its up to the patient what they choose to tell me. If I think there’s a risk of domestic violence etc I would say there are some services out here which could help you when your ready to talk about it. Give them some information. Or direct them to where they could look for help in the future.