Confidentiality and Consent

The work of the clinical psychologist necessarily involves working with patients around distressing, sensitive and difficult issues and case material.  As practitioners, we are given the power to influence the lives of patients who may be very vulnerable.  Alongside this comes a high degree of responsibility to respect the confidentiality of what we learn through our work and to ensure that our patients give valid and informed consent to information about being used for academic work.

 Guidelines on Confidentiality and Consent

Maintaining confidentiality is a vital aspect of maintaining professional standards. Any breaches in confidentiality in any assessments will result in the assessment automatically being graded as a Major Amendment (i). Common over-sights by trainees are, the inclusion of identifying information in the appendix (e.g. name of service, identifying information of client or professionals involved), providing excessive information about client and family or geographic location. When writing, always ask yourself if you need to include that bit of information, and if so, is it possibly to anonymise it more (e.g. X lived in a rural county (rather than saying Somerset)). 

The trainee must gain the signature from their supervisor on the Consent Form for CPR. This indicates that the supervisor confirms that consent has been granted for written reports and audio/video recordings. The completed "Consent Form for CPR" must be submitted with CPR. To ensure anonymity the admin team will remove this prior to sending the CPR for marking.‌

Templates for consent forms for clients have been developed. These are for the trainee to use on placement and have the client signature. These are not to be returned to the programme as all information submitted will be anonymous. 

Template for Consent Form for Adult Client

Template for Consent Form for Child or Young Person Client

Withdrawal of consent by a client

A client is able to withdraw consent for an academic assignment (e.g. Clinical Case Report) up until the assignment is submitted. If consent is withdrawn the trainee will not be able to use this piece of work. The trainee will then be supported by their clinical and academic tutor in identifying an alternative piece of work.  Once the fully anonymised assignment has been submitted the assignment then becomes a university document and it is no longer feasible to withdraw consent.