"Inappropriate Information Sharing"

About: Adult mental health (Lambeth)

(as a service user),

A psychiatrist from the CMHT has shared deeply sensitive personal information about me with my GP, in a letter, in my view without my knowledge or consent.

I disclosed said information, about my personal finances and deep personal feelings, in the expectation that these were confidential.

The psychiatrist asked me in detail about my financial circumstances. Later in the appointment I was asked about my sexuality and physical health information, and my personal feelings towards this. I didn't want to discuss these but felt unable to refuse as I felt the psychiatrist has a lot of power. I didn't feel these questions were in any way relevant to my mental health, or necessary.

My actual points about my mental health status were in my opinion missed. I felt the psychiatrist was more interested in figures than how I felt about my finances and how my mental health was impacting my ability to budget (and equally, my finances affecting my mental health). I was trying to make a point about feeling emotionally numb and unaffected by anything, but this was missed.

They were also unecessarily intrusive as to the other issues, which I don't see as relevant to my mental health and didn't wish to discuss.

I felt that the psychiatrist had no right to share this information, and it was of no use whatsoever to my GP as it is completely irrelevant to their job, looking after my physical (and to some extent mental) health. I feel the information was shared for no other reason than to gossip about me. This has made me very reluctant to share information with, and trust, any mental health professionals in future. I will have to watch what I say rather than being honest. It feels like everything I say is clearly being taken down and placed on electronic records for any member of SLaM staff to access. I feel utterly violated.

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Responses

Response from Patrick Gillespie, Service Director, Psychosis Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Human Being, not just another patient

Thank you for taking the time to feedback your experience at a Lambeth CMHT. I am sorry that you have had such a poor experience and that you now feel violated. I do not know what Team that you were seen at in Lambeth but it is important that we follow up the concerns that you have expressed, so that we improve our services and learn from this. Can you please let me know?

I would be happy for you, if you would prefer, to email me directly or phone me to discuss your experience further, please contact me at Patrick.Gillespie@slam.nhs.uk or phone me on 0203 228 2344 (I am not always in the office but you can leave a message with my secretary and I will call you back).

Kind Regards

Patrick

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