1. All service users, volunteers, staff and trustees of Age UK Burton have a right to expect that information given in confidence will be used only for the purpose it was given, and will not be released to others without their consent.

  2. The duty of this confidentiality applies to all employees, volunteers and committee members.

  3. All involved in Age UK Burton should recognise the fundamental right of Service Users, to have all information about them held in private storage.

  4. If it is necessary to obtain the service user’s consent for the release of information, it is important that it is informed consent. Such consent should be constructed in a restrictive way so that it relates only to the particular instance. It is the responsibility of the person passing on the information to ensure that this is only done on the terms agreed.

  5. Only in exceptional circumstances can the duty of confidentiality be breached; for example, where there is an overriding duty to society to do so, such as where required by due legal process. However, advice should always be sought from the Chief Officer before responding to such requests.

  6. It is a condition of involvement with Age UK Burton that employees, volunteers and committee members will not disclose confidential information obtained in the course of their duties other than with the user’s permission. In addition, employees who have access to personal data saved on a computer have obligations under the Data Protection Act. Contravention of this condition may result in disciplinary action being taken which could lead to dismissal.

  7. All records maintained by employees, volunteers and committee members, at the request of Age UK Burton, would be available to authorised employees and members of the Committee on termination of association with the organisation.

  8. Confidential information given to employees and volunteers, which does not form part of the record keeping process, must remain totally confidential to the employee, volunteer or their supervisor.

  9. Within committee meetings, service users should not be referred to by name, and their personal details should not be discussed, full addresses should not be referred to.

  10. Any problems with any part of this policy should, in the first instance, be referred to the Chief Officer, and then to the management committee.