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Patient Confidentiality - Carers UK Forum

Patient Confidentiality

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi I am new this forum I'm hoping someone can help me.
I have been caring for my partner who has Bi Polar for the last six years we have been together for about 12 years we have an 11 year old daughter... He recently stopped taking all his medication I have had months of hell with him since Christmas 2016 his extreme mental and verbal abuse towards me and my older children who are adults.
It got to the stage where I had to leave in the middle of the night with our daughter and 2 dogs to my mothers house not an ideal situation we have been here now for 3 weeks.
My problem is I contacted his CPN at the mental health team and told her the situation and that his health had deteriorated due to not taking his meds. She has been to see my partner and has agreed that he is now in his manic phase of his illness they can be very unpleasant and unpredictable!!!!!
I have been trying to contact her all week and today she left me a voicemail telling me that she can't discuss anything with me due to his patient confidentiality? My concern is for my 11 year old daughter as he has tried to pick her up from school a couple of times, she knows he's not well and at the moment doesn't want to see him.
And I cannot guarantee that he would return her to me in his present state of mind I don't think he would harm her but he might take her somewhere away from me, it's a very distressing situation
Does his CPN have to give me a certain amount of information because I have our daughter in my care?
By the way we are not married but we have joint parental responsibility.
I'm at my wits end after caring for him for so long it's ended in this but I'm sorry I couldn't take it any more
Hi Fiona
Have you alerted your daughter's school to the inadvisability of your partner taking her away, even just after school? For example if she went running back into school and told her teacher that dad was trying to get her to go in a car and they didn't know differently, they might persuade her to go. Not everyone needs to know the full details but just a directive from the head teacher that this shouldn't happen would protect her.
I'm sure you are right in saying he would not harm her NORMALLY, but in his present state you don't know for sure so better be safe? Her safety is of paramount importance to you so don't fell disloyal to your partner by sharing your concerns with the head of year/ head teacher and form teacher. Support your daughter in her decision and make sure she understands that she is not to go anywhere with her dad. At 11 she will be able to understand that her father is not well. Best to explain as much as you feel comfortable with and talk to her so that she doesn't feel excluded and doesn't leap to any incorrect conclusions.
Hopefully your partner will stabilise again and your daughter will be able to enjoy a relationship with him. Only you know whether you can resume your own relationship, but never think that you have to or ought to.
As for patient confidentiality. I don't think. without a POA or being legally his wife/next of kin, that you can insist on being given any details, especially if he has requested that you are not told.
I would ring Social Services, because this is a child safety issue.
Hi Elaine thanks for your reply.
I have alerted the school and they know all the details of my partners illness but as he has parental responsibility if she is not on the school premises they are powerless to intervene. Obviously as its her dad she would find it difficult to say no to him if he told her to get in his car. I am furious with the mental health team I understand the need for patient confidentiality but with a case of mental illness I would say the person can't make a rational decision due his manic stage of his Bi Polar ..... I think I'm in a no win situation... It a very stressful time for me and my daughter.
Can you meet her from school yourself while he is in this possibly dangerous state? You'd be more than stressed if he disappeared with her. You know him best of course but while he isn't 'himself' is this a possibility?
It confuses me when they deploy the argument about Patient Confidentiality, because it is counter productive to the Well being of the whole family, in my experience.

How can you care for a person when you are never told what to do to help?
Doctors should still listen to concerned relatives, even if they won't divulge information.
Hi I completely understand how exasperating this is I had the same issues whilst caring for my son . However when I was at a Rethink meeting we had a talk from a barrister who specialises in mental health issues. I told him about my difficulties and he said next time someone in authority refused to keep me in the loop due to pt confidentiality he said to ask them what area of the data protection act they are referring to and ask them to confirm that as the main carer you don't meet the exclusions for this. It has worked for me on a number of occasions because under the triangle of care it is in the pts best interests. The other possibility is when the person concerned is in a good phase they can sign a consent form that says as his carer they are happy for you to kept informed. Hope this helps
Another example that I can give of when a psychiatrist possibly breached Patient Confidentiality,

was when he wanted my partner to come into hospital.

She ran out of his outpatient consulting room and ran off. I was waiting outside in the waiting room.

He came out and spoke to me in a very public place in the foyer, and told me that he wanted my partner to come into hospital. I said that I didn't think that was a good idea. Then he said that in that case she was my responsibility. He had never consulted with me previously.
Hi thank you all for your replies, its been a while since I have been on here things have been hectic :(
I wish I had known some of your suggestions before with regards to patient confidentiality.
Myself and my partners relationship has totally broken down now to the point where he has not seen his daughter since we left (her choice) I felt let down by his mental health team after me helping him through his illness for so long. My partner now chooses to blame me for everything that has happened I shouldn't be surprised really from some one with Bi Polar, But still very hurtful to me and my family :(
It is now sadly in the hands of the solicitors with regards to our daughter and the family home as he chooses not to manage his illness, which can happen in the manic phase of Bi Polar he thinks he is right about everything and everybody else is wrong !!!! he is now all alone with no family, like I said in my first post I could no longer live my life like this or wanted this life for my family :-??? very sad after a 12 year relationship that some one who you loved and cared for throws it all back in your face .........who'd be a carer ??????