Confidentiality and Privacy

Information provided during psychiatric treatment will be treated as confidential.

The information collected will be used for the purpose of treatment. Personal information such as name, address and health insurance details will be used for the purpose of billing, as well as processing payments and communicating with the person receiving treatment about services and any issues affecting treatment. 

Psychiatric treatment usually follows referral by a general practitioner or specialist. In the normal course of events a letter will be forwarded to the referring doctor. Disclosure of personal details will be relevant to ongoing treatment by the referrer. The person receiving treatment may request that this report not be made and the referring doctor will be informed that this is the reason for the letter not being sent. Health information also may be disclosed to or requested from other health care professionals if it is necessary in the context of treatment, for example admission to hospital. Other than for these reasons information provided and collected during treatment will not be disclosed without the specific consent of the person receiving treatment. Information regarding previous treatment will not be sought from health care professionals or others without the specific consent of the person receiving treatment. 

To ensure best treatment and safety it may be necessary to seek information from or disclose information to the next of kin or carer or relevant others. The extent of information sought and provided will be discussed with the person receiving treatment. Persons receiving treatment may give specific instructions regarding contact of this nature.

It is sometimes necessary to provide information to others in order to manage serious risk. This may be needed to comply with the law. This will always be done in the best interests of the person receiving treatment and whenever possible that person will be informed.

Those receiving psychiatric care need to know that records made in the course of treatment may be requested by a court or judicial authority by way of subpoena without their consent. A psychiatrist cannot claim confidential privilege and refuse to give records to the court when a subpoena has been properly issued and served. This applies equally to family, civil and criminal proceedings. 

Medical history, treatment records, pathology and radiology results and any other material relevant to treatment will be kept at the practice. Persons receiving treatment may request to view their records and will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding their records. Fees and conditions may apply in relation to the types of access and information sought. If any information within the health record is considered inaccurate a request may be made to alter the records.