Fears about breaching confidentiality have created a barrier to the effective involvement of carers in the mental health system, says a report published yesterday.
The briefing paper by the Department of Health, Institute of Psychiatry and Rethink argues carers should be involved in services through sharing information with them.
It says a “cultural shift” is needed within the mental health system to recognise the importance of carers, with too many local policies concentrating on the negative effects of sharing information.
Professionals need training to help them understand the role of carers, who should not be involved uncritically or against the service user’s wishes, the report adds.
Sharing mental health information with carers: pointers to good practice for service providers from www.sdo.lshtm.ac.uk