Royal College of Psychiatrists policy towards allegations made during treatment
LJ Brogan made this Freedom of Information request to Royal College of Psychiatrists
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).
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Dear Royal College of Psychiatrists,
I wish to know what the policy of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) is in regards to a patient alleging to a psychiatrist, during treatment, that they have been the victim of sexual abuse or assault.
Would the psychiatrist be able to inform either the police, the patient's GP, social services or another agency of this allegation or is the psychiatrist prevented from doing so by confidentiality?
If the patient is under the age of 18 will the psychiatrist be allowed to contact the police, patient's GP, social services or another agency if the patient alleges being the victim of sexual abuse or assault?
If the patient is under the age of 18 is the psychiatrist required by duty/code of ethics to contact the police, patient's GP, social services or another agency if the patient alleges being the victim of sexual abuse or assault?
If the psychiatrist is required to report this allegation if it arose during a session can you please inform me when this policy was adopted by the RCP?
Dear LJ Brogan,
Thank you for your email sent to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I am
responding on behalf of the College. My apologies that there has been some
delay in replying to your email. This is because the College receives a
great deal of correspondence.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is generally not subject to the Freedom
of Information Act, though there may be particular circumstances where the
requirements of the FOI will apply.
However, the College wishes to be as helpful and transparent as possible
and is happy, on a voluntary basis, to make available to you the following
Please find attached College Report CR209: Good psychiatric practice:
confidentiality and information sharing (2^nd edition) which provides
guidance to good practice in confidentiality to members.
This was published in 2017. The first edition was published in 2000.
Please note that the College report is only recommended guidance for its
The General Medical Council has produced its own guidance which all
doctors, including psychiatrists, are legally required to follow:
I hope this is of help to you.
Shaun Kennedy 020 3701 2547 / Jonathan Ginn 020 3701 2520
[IMG] The Royal College of Psychiatrists
[email address] www.rcpsych.ac.uk
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Dear Info Services/Shaun
Many thanks for the information you have provided however I was wondering if the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) can provide a document regarding the RCP code of practice during the 1970s and 1980s as I am trying to determine if, hypothetically a person under the age of 18 informed their psychiatrist s/he was, or had been, sexually abused what would the psychiatrist being required to do.
I cannot imagine a psychiatrist would make a note of this alleged abuse in the patient's medical records but not disclose this information to the child's GP or another agency e.g. the police or social services. Therefore I am looking for informations regarding code of practice and ethics guide from the period mentioned above, specifically 1980.
Many thanks in advance if you are able to provide me with information regarding this amendment to my original query.
Dear Info Services,
Many thanks for the information provided however I requested clarification on 22nd April 2018 and will be very grateful if you can respond to that.
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