Legal and Ethical Implications under GDPR 2018

Task 2:

Summary of legislation or charter relating to the confidentiality in healthcare with reference to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018: (2.1)

Confidentiality can be referred as the legal right or the ethical principle under which health care providers are obliged to keep all the information related to patients, their treatment process and care delivery secret, unless receiving the consent from patients to disclose and share the information (NHS, 2018). Under NMC (2015) Code, ‘Prioritise People’ it has been mentioned that, nurses can share the healthcare information with the healthcare professionals, and healthcare agencies only when the matter of public protection and the interest of patient’s safety would override the need for maintaining confidentiality (Damgård et al. 2018).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 plays a key role in maintaining confidentiality of healthcare data. On 25th May, 2018 GDPR (2018) has come into full force (Finch et al. 2017). Under this regulation all the members of EU are obliged to follow all the principles set under GDPR (2018) in terms of maintaining the confidentiality of the personal and professional database.


Under GDPR (2018), all the healthcare providers must have the skills and expertise in handling, managing and storing the heartcare data with proper confidentiality (Linton and Koonmen, 2020). This regulation assists healthcare providers to use new technologies and online data management and storage tools in maintaining confidentiality of healthcare database while dealing with huge amount healthcare records. In this context, healthcare providers can use proper password, protection software, application program and cloud-based system to manage, store and handle large amount of healthcare data with maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

While it comes to maintain confidentiality in healthcare context, healthcare providers must follow and comply with GDPR (2018), under which they need to take proper consent from the patient or their family members (in case of when patients are not able to provide the consent) to share the data regarding the treatment to any third party (Peate, 2018). Under GDPR (2018), healthcare providers must use the best possible ways to protect each healthcare database from hacking and authorised access. In this context, the healthcare authority must ensure that, nurses are able to maintain an effective and highly organised inventory of healthcare database in which all the healthcare data are protected with proper password and protectives application software (Barton, 2019).

Under GDPR (2018), in case of any kind of discrepancies regarding maintaining the confidentiality and copying with data protection regulation, the healthcare providers must inform the Data Protection Officer (DPO) (Glasper, 2017). A DPO has the authority to know the clear information regarding the proper reason behind unauthorised access of healthcare data. Under GDPR (2018), DPO will determine whether there is any kind of errors in the process of safe handling and storage of healthcare data thereby taking protectives action in case of data leak.

GDPR (2018) promotes the client’s rights in the healthcare context to request for deletion and removal of the entire healthcare database when it is necessary (Glasper, 2017). Additionally, under this GDPR principle, any healthcare provider cannot make any kind of modification or manipulation of healthcare database. If there is any manipulation of database then this will be considered as the serious legal breach to GDPR, 2018.

Under GDPR, 2018, all the healthcare providers must not discuss the confidential healthcare and patients related information in the public place rather they need to maintain high level of secrecy and confidentiality to the healthcare information to protect client’s right to confidentiality (Burns, 2021).

Evaluating the effectiveness of methods involved in providing, receiving and storing information: (2.2)

Under NMC, 2015, healthcare providers must have enough expertise and skill in providing, receiving and storing the right amount and types of healthcare database at right time (Moore and Tierney, 2019). Under GDPR, 2018, healthcare providers must ensure that all the healthcare information must be provided to the right person who is concerned to deal with that kind of healthcare information but not with the other kind of healthcare information, for example while providing the information regarding patients’ health to a pulmonologist, the information provider must ensure that only the information regarding patient’s pulmonary system will be delivered to the pulmonologist (Burns, 2021). In addition to this the healthcare information providers must ensure that only that much information is provided to the receiver that is necessary to meet the healthcare goals. The baseless and vague healthcare information must be avoided by the information providers while providing the healthcare information to the concerned healthcare professionals.

Receiving information in healthcare is associated with collecting the authentic and highly relevant healthcare data from the appropriate person or agency (Carr and Pezzella, 2017). Under GDPR, 2018, while it comes to receive the healthcare information, the healthcare providers must follow the highly relevant and authentic tools and techniques to retrieve the appropriate healthcare database that can enable healthcare professionals to determine and meet all the health needs of patients (Glasper, 2017). Under GDPR, 2018 and NMC, 2015, receivers must choose the right sources of information from which they can get the highly useful healthcare database, such as patients, their family members, healthcare stiffs and healthcare agencies. After receiving or collecting the healthcare information the receiver must check the authenticity and relevance of each healthcare information to ensure that there must not be any kind of irrelevant data that can mislead the entire treatement process thereby can interfere with expected outcomes of the treatment (Bak et al. 2020).

Data storage is one oof the most crucial stages in maintaining the confidentiality of healthcare database. Under GDPR, 2018, healthcare providers must use the cloud-based operating system, highly protective application software and online password, to protect the soft copy of all the healthcare database (Glasper, 2017). Under NICE (2019), while storing the healthcare information healthcare providers must ensure that all the information will be stored into the official computer system in the healthcare centre. The healthcare authority must ensure that the computer system can only be accessed by the authorised healthcare professionals (Burns, 2021). Additionally, the password of the database would be shared only with the authorised healthcare professional to protect the data from unauthorised access. in case of storing the hardcopy of database healthcare providers must use the official cabinet in which all the healthcare database will be stored in files. Under NICE (2019), the cabinet is protected through proper locking system which can only be opened and operated by the authorised healthcare staffs.

Using an example to analyse an issue regarding maintaining the confidentiality in care setting: (2.3)

During my practice as a student nurse, I used to work in a multidisciplinary team which was assigned to take care of a HIV positive patient (Moore and Tierney, 2019). Here I had faced an issue in maintaining confidentiality of patient’s health related information as I was suffering from a conflict between maintaining the confidentiality and my nursing accountability as well as ethics. This is because Under NICE (2018), healthcare providers must promote their professional accountability towards promoting the health and safety of public. Under the NMC (2018) codes of conduct, while it comes to deal with contagious as well as communicable diseases, nursing professionals must share the information to the authentic people and healthcare agencies such as healthcare staffs, local healthcare authority and family members of patients to promote the safety and protection of the entire community from these contagious illnesses (Carr and Pezzella, 2017). Under the patient’s right to confidentiality (NMC, 2015 and GDPR, 2018), I need to ensure that the personal identity of patient with HIV + would not be disclosed in the society for maintaining patient’s dignity and respect in the society. In this context, I faced severe dilemmas due to the conflict arise between the patient’s rights to confidentiality and the professorial accountability of nurse towards public health.

Explain with giving an example of the personal; contribution as a nurse or midwife in promoting the anti-discriminatory practice. (3.1)

During my practice in a multidisciplinary team as a trainee nurse I was assigned to assist the members of this team to take care of a patient who suffered from dementia. The patient belonged to ethnic minority community and lived in a small village in West Midland. In the dementia ward, only this patient was from African Black community (Aubyn and Andrews, 2017).

During the care delivery I and my team members put our best effort to protect and respect the individuality and dignity of the patient through-out the care delivery. I ensured that the patient would be provided with equal and fair treatment which is highly relevant to meet all this health needs. Throughout the care delivery I and my team members ensured that while providing care to the patient, cultural sensitivity, patient’s preference and choice for treatment and autonomy must be protected. I made proper observation of physical health and the behaviour of the patient to determine whether there is any sign of abuse or harm due to discrimination (Pearson and Wallymahmed, 2020). I along with all the team members ensured that the patient would be provided with the best possible clinical assistance he needs to meet his overall health needs.

Summarising roles and responsibilities in in terms of accountability for Equality and Diversity in the hospital or community setting (3.3)

During my practice as an assistant nurse, I played crucial roles in promoting equality and diversity in hospital and community setting. I comply with the principles under Equality Act 2010, thereby ensuring that all the patients in the ward will be treated with higher quality and fair treatment and care irrespective of their race, religion and ethnicity (Damgård et al. 2018). I also respect the diverse culture, traditional values, language, perspectives and life choices of different patient and respect patient’s autonomy and right to confidentiality. I also ensured that during my practice that any patient will not receive biased treatment based on their cultural and ethnic diversity, rather the patients would be provided with high quality and compassionate care and safeguard environment in which they will be free from any kind of abuse and harassment (Finch et al. 2017).

Task 3:

Part one:

Differentiate Rosemary’s personal and legal rights: (4.1)

In the case of Rosemarry her personal rights may conflict with her legal rights. Under NHS (2018), while dealing with terminally ill people, it is obligatory for the healthcare providers to considers and respect the chokes for treatment, preferences and autonomy of patients (Linton and Koonmen, 2020). However, the self determination of death can be considered as the personal right of people but in this context may be some legal obstruction in getting the benefits to the deceased person as the self is pre-planned by the patient. In case of Rosemarry although she has the personal rights to end her life but she does not have the legal rights to do so. Because in the case the self-determined death there her daughters may not be able to get the financial help such as insurance due to the legal obligation (Peate, 2018). On the other hand, the healthcare providers also are ethically bound to provide the best possible support to terminally ill patients like Rosemarry rather than go with their choices for ending the life.

Explain the factors that can influence Rosemary’s rights: (4.2)

Different factors can affect the rights of Rosemarry such as socio-economic factors, abuse, risk and cultural factors. As Rosemarry belong to ethnic minority community she has diverse culture and tradition from the UK born white people (Barton, 2019). In this context, she can face social malpractices such as abuse, bully harassment, discrimination and racial malpractice due to her ethnicity and race. As her financial condition is not enough to effectively deal with her lung cancer, she may face the socio-economic issues (Glasper, 2017). Although the healthcare in UK is free at the point of needs, till there are additional medical and livelihood expenses such as therapies, healthcare consultation and physiotherapist, that will pose overburden of heartcare cost on Rose marry.

Part two:

Examining the factors that can influence development of identity of Rosemarry: (5.1)

Several factors can be identified in the case study that can impact on the identity-consider factors. Social perspectives towards people belonging to the ethnic minority community impact severally on ethnicity, culture and family perspectives of patient (Bak et al. 2020). In the case study, the social attitude, behaviour and perspectives that would be shown towards Rosemary will impact on the cultural belief, family support, family roles and ethnicity. On the other hand, the gender bias and racial differences due to the ethnicity would also impacts on how Rosemary will receive care, physical and psychological support and emotional assistance from the society and family (Burns, 2021). The current cultural trend in UK society will also impact on the viewpoint, decision making and the perspectives of family members of Rosemary.

During my care practices, I can support Rosemary by promoting her holistic human needs rather than only focusing on her physical health needs (Moore and Tierney, 2019). In this context, I will follow APIE (assessment, plan, implementation and evaluation) tool, under which I will first make an effective physical and psychological health assessment of Rosemary in terms of determining her physical, emotional and psychological needs (Carr and Pezzella, 2017). I will conduct an effective and empathetic communication with Rosemary for providing her with the right emotional and psychological support which will improve her decision making and problem-solving skill and develop positive thoughts and approaches in her. Additionally, I will maintain a transparent information system within the multidisciplinary team to ensure the sharing of all the valuable information regarding Rosemary’s treatment with healthcare professionals (Rajan-Brown and Mitchell, 2020). I will provide proper healthcare advice to Rosemary to improve her dietary routine, exercise plan, daily activity routines. I will also recommend her to a psychotherapist for undertake the regular counselling which will improves her psychological wellbeing. By motivating her to follow a systematic and prescribed medical regimen such as healthy foods, regular medicines, exercise nad positive thoughts, I can improve her physical and psychological wellbeing as well.

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Discuss Rosemarry’s beliefs and choices ca impact on her care: (5.3)

The personal belief and preference of patients severely impact on their care delivery. Here in the case study, the negative and impractical thoughts of Rosemary impact adversely on the way she receives care and clinical assistance from the healthcare providers (Aubyn and Andrews, 2017). As Rosemary feels depressed, frustrated and has a feeling of self-determination of death, it makes her demotivated towards receiving proper care delivery. Her preferences of ending her life can make it difficult for the healthcare providers to get proper involvement of Rosemary in her own treatment process which will then interfere with the success and outcomes of the care delivery process. On the other hand, the depression and frustration can make Rosemary to do not cooperate with the healthcare providers that can make difficulties fort care providers to get the clear information regarding Rosemary’s current health condition, her health issues and her feeling regarding her current health condition.

Reference list:

Aubyn, B.S. and Andrews, A., 2017. Advanced care planning in palliative care coordination: the NMC code and record keeping.

Bak, M.A., Hoyle, L.P., Mahoney, C. and Kyle, R.G., 2020. Strategies to promote nurses’ health: A qualitative study with student nurses. Nurse Education in Practice, 48, p.102860.

Barton, C., 2019. NMC issues new guidance on remote prescribing for aesthetic nursing. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 8(7), pp.334-334.

Burns, N., 2021. A trainee nursing associate working in the eating disorders day service. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, 15(4), pp.180-185.

Carr, S. and Pezzella, A., 2017. Sickness,'sin'and discrimination: Examining a challenge for UK mental health nursing practice with lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 24(7), pp.553-560.

Damgård, I., Kazana, T., Obremski, M., Raj, V. and Siniscalchi, L., 2018, November. Continuous NMC secure against permutations and overwrites, with applications to CCA secure commitments. In Theory of Cryptography Conference (pp. 225-254). Springer, Cham.

Finch, A., Clarence-Smith, B. and Walsh, C., 2017. Nurses’ and midwives’ revalidation preparation experiences at one NHS trust. Nursing Management, 24(5).

Glasper, A., 2017. Royal College of Nursing response to the draft standards for nurses. British Journal of Nursing, 26(20), pp.1134-1135.

Harrison, P., 2018. NMC Code updated to cover delegation and associates. Gastrointestinal Nursing, 16(9), pp.50-50.

Judd, J., Barnard, K., Clarke, S., Drozd, M., Flynn, V., Jester, R., Judd, A., Moore, P. and Mahoney, H., 2020. Updating the UK competence framework for orthopaedic and trauma nurses 2019. International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing, 39, p.100780.

Linton, M. and Koonmen, J., 2020. Self-care as an ethical obligation for nurses. Nursing ethics, 27(8), pp.1694-1702.

Moore, F. and Tierney, S., 2019. What and how… but where does the why fit in? The disconnection between practice and research evidence from the perspective of UK nurses involved in a qualitative study. Nurse education in practice, 34, pp.90-96.

Pearson, S. and Wallymahmed, M., 2020. The new NMC standards: Changes to student supervision and assessment. Journal of Diabetes Nursing, 24(3), p.136.

Peate, I., 2018. Self-regulation and the nursing associate. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, 12(2), pp.81-83.

Rajan-Brown, N. and Mitchell, A., 2020. The NMC Code and its application to the role of the midwife in antenatal care: a student perspective. British Journal of Midwifery, 28(12), pp.844-849.

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