Doctors voice fears over reporting role

    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
    care.”

    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
    July.

    • Enhancement of Private Fostering Notification System from www.dfes.gov.uk

     

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