E1142Mental Health6 Recovery oriented services and relationships6.2 Delivering service is a recovery-oriented framework6.2.1 Gaining informed consentBefore undertaking any work with a person, support professionals need to make sure thatconsumers are able to give informed consent to any service intervention, including assessmentand the compilation of a recovery plan.Most agencies will have policies and procedures regarding their handling of informed consent,both at the beginning of service delivery as well as later on in the support process.This agreement should highlight what information can be shared with specific members of thecare network and the circumstances in which the information can be released.Signing this form means that consumers agree to certain limitations to confidentiality by allowingthe service to make contact and share information with other services on the person’s behalf. Itis essential for consumers to know which services can be contacted and what information mightbe shared in this process. Any service not specifically listed on this document cannot be contactedwithout seeking further consent from the consumer. “Release of Information” documents shouldalso include an expiry date when the arrangement becomes void and has to be reviewed. Usuallythe information about the validity of the form can be found on the document itself or in theMany services request that service users sign a “Release of Information” document at thebeginning of service delivery. “policies and procedures of the organization which stipulate the duration of such an agreement.This can also provide an opportunity to go over any organization or program requirements,including the commitment of the agency to access and equity, and limits to confidentiality.Limitations to confidentiality are usually confined to reporting risk of harm, but some agenciesmight have different guidelines in this respect, for example when needing to provide a formalreport about the work with a consumer. These aspects are usually part of the funding and accessrequirements and need to be explained to the service user before commencing any servicedelivery.Another important aspect of exploring limitations to confidentiality is for workers to be clear abouthow information about consumers is handled within the organization, including what information iscollected as part of reporting requirements for funding. Most agencies require information aboutservice users to be entered into their database and consumers have a right to know whichinformation is being collected and for what purpose.It is essential that consumers are fully aware of what it means to sign a “Release ofInformation” and workers should take time to explain this to the person. “| Topic – 2 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.[https://res.cloudinary.com/opencolleges/image/upload/v1462423844/tfopkjwcpchotxiw5slq.jpg]Limitations of confidentiality also include communication within the organisation, such as “casediscussion” at team meetings, informal contact with other staff and exploring work with asupervisor. Some organisations will have guidelines where information sharing about consumersis limited and any information about service users has to be de-identified before offered up fordiscussion.Other situations might require the identity of the consumer to be revealed in order to providecooperative support to the person. In either case, workers have to be fully aware of how thesesituations are being handled within the organization and be able to communicate this toconsumers in a clear and respectful manner. Internal sharing of information can also be part of a“Release of Information” document, but this is not the case in all agencies.Usually, it is preferable to have written consent when sharing information about a consumer butshould this not be possible, verbal consent can be obtained. Verbal consent mainly comes intoplay when needing to contact another service or person on behalf of the consumer to resolve anurgent matter which does not leave time to gain written consent. It is however still important thatthe consumer has all the necessary information to make an informed choice about giving consent.| Topic – 3 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.Consumers have a right to know what exactly they are giving consent to and why a course ofaction is deemed as beneficial for their well-being.In case of a referral, workers should provide information about what support the consumer mightbe able to get from the service and which information about the person has to be shared to makethe referral. When it comes to information-sharing, workers should stay with the idea of “less ismore” and only impart information that is absolutely necessary to achieve the desired outcomefor consumers.Step 1: Introduction Find a private, quiet place for counselling and explain the consent process to the patient/familyStep 2: Explanation Provide all relevant information:Use simple language and non-technical termsUse appropriate media to communicate/demonstrate informationConsider patient’s reading level and primary language spoken| Topic – 4 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.Step 3: Comprehension Check for understanding:Ask patient/family open-ended questionsUse teach-back methodStep 4: Q&A Allow patient/family to ask questions:Answer questionsRepeat explanation if necessary| Topic – 5 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.Step 5: Consent Obtain/Consent from patient/family:Allow patient/family time to read consent and consider optionsObtain signaturesActivity 42585The Epilepsy FoundationThe Epilepsy Foundation has a strong stance on informed consent and you can access their ‘Release of Information[https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.community.nsw.gov.au%2F__data%2Fassets%2Fword_doc%2F0008%2F320120%2Fconsent_to_release_personal_information_form.doc]‘ form online. Take a look at this example to better understand what this document can look like inpractice.‘Release of Information’ forms are not valid indefinitely. It is important to know when they need tobe reviewed.ACTIVITY 42585 TYPE ResourceSCENARIO The Epilepsy Foundation Activity 42589‘Release of Information’ documentationFor your own use, write a script about how you might explain confidentiality and the limitations toconfidentiality to consumers. Include information about ‘Release of Information’ documentation.ACTIVITY 42589 TYPE ConsumeSCENARIO “Release of Information” documentation| Topic – 6 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.
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