Doctors voice fears over reporting role Proposals to force
health professionals to notify local authorities if they become
aware of private fostering arrangements could discourage people
from accessing health care, it is feared.
A spokesperson for the British Medical Association said patient
confidentiality should be broken only when there was “sufficient
public interest” and that doctors needed to be able to assess this
case by case.#
“Patients speak to their doctors in confidence and expect that
confidentiality to be preserved,” he said. “The expectation that
doctors should be compelled to report patients to local authorities
if they suspect a private fostering arrangement could discourage
people from accessing health care for the children in their
The government proposals require teachers, health and other
professionals to notify the local authority if they find out about
a private fostering arrangement and they are “not satisfied” that
the council has been or will be notified.
A spokesperson for teachers’ union NASUWT said that, although
its members would always look out for the interests of children,
expecting them to carry out a practical function outside their
teaching responsibilities was unrealistic.
The proposals are in the draft replacement Children Act 1989
guidance on private fostering, which will come into effect in
- Enhancement of Private Fostering Notification System from www.dfes.gov.uk