greywash (greywash) wrote in little_details,

Psychotherapy in the UK: mandated reporting / confidentiality of information disclosed in therapy

Answered—thank you!

Setting: contemporary London (Sherlock fanfic).
Research done: Wikipedia article on mandated reporters (not at all helpful), Wikipedia and Google searches for various permutations of "mandated reporting uk" and "mandatory reporting uk", "psychologist mandated reporting uk", "medical mandated reporting uk", et cetera. Part of my problem is I'm not even sure that "mandated reporting" is used in the same way in the UK that it is in the US. Found this article that says doctors are required to report gunshot wounds, which is interesting but doesn't quite address my situation. Rooted around in the various psychology- and uk-law-enforcement-related tags here, too.

Basically, I'm American, and despite my kind of worrying fascination with Law & Order: UK, I don't fully understand privacy regulations / how doctor-patient confidentiality works in the UK. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out if a therapist in the UK has any legal requirement to report (or not report!) information relating to a crime but disclosed in therapy by the victim, and how that extends to the following situation. There are three people involved: A and B, who are both medical doctors, and C, who is a therapist. All of them are adults and none of them are members of what would be considered a vulnerable population. Goes like so:

  • A and B are friends.

  • A intervenes in a moment of intense emotional crisis in B's life.

  • About 24 hours later (and related to the aforementioned intense emotional crisis), B accidentally shoots A.

  • A survives, but experiences some (fairly low-grade, relatively speaking) PTSD as a result.

  • A goes to therapy with C to deal with his PTSD.
Here's what I'm not clear on: A knows perfectly well who shot him, but the police don't (Mycroft Holmes ex machina). If A wants to discuss that time his buddy shot him with his therapist--which I think is not unreasonable--if he says "oh yeah and B, who I know, who is my friend, is the person who shot me", is C obligated to tell the police? I'm assuming that A is perfectly aware of how much C is obligated to report, so this is mostly just an issue of getting my phrasing right for character A.

And, relatedly, does the fact that A was in one of those kind of... treatment grey areas with B at the time the shooting occurred affect this at all? Does intervening in a friend's emotional crisis, if you are a doctor, set up any kind of doctor-patient confidentiality between the two of them? Would it make it harder for A to disclose B's identity to his therapist? Or is it just a red herring?

I have experience with PTSD and already have all the resources in the land on that, and I'm working with a Britpicker on specific details, but this is enough of a specialized-knowledge kind of a thing that I want to check it here.

Thank you kindly!
Tags: uk (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry: ptsd
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