Our lobbying work about the impact new legislation could have on client confidentiality has resulted in the Government amending its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
We joined the British Psychological Society (BPS) to brief Peers ahead of a debate on the Bill, with our concerns mentioned during a House of Lords debate.
In our joint briefing, we urged the Government to amend the Bill in order to withdraw Clauses 9, 15 and 16 in Chapter 1, which would afford police the power to override the duty of medical confidentiality.
We said there’s already a system in place which allows police to access confidential information in the exceptional circumstances where this is necessary for public safety.
Strengthen our voices
As well as working with BPS on the briefing, we’ve worked closely with the British Medical Association (BMA) to coordinate our responses and strengthen our voices in recognition that this issue is bigger than counselling and psychotherapy.
Now our lobbying has resulted in the Government amending the Bill to confirm its commitment that the current rules about medical confidentiality will continue to apply where a patient is subject to police enquiries.
Matt Smith-Lilley, our Policy and Engagement Lead (Mental Health), said: "We’re delighted to see that the Government have taken our shared concerns onboard about the potentially damaging impact the Bill could have on a medical confidentiality, and made amendments to it. We’ll be continuing to monitor its passage through Parliament to check that these changes are delivered upon."