Samaritans raises pledge issue after Sun Shipman leak

The Samaritans is to raise the public profile of its prisons programme after an inmate volunteer unwittingly broke a confidentiality pledge by relaying a conversation with murderer Harold Shipman.

The charity says that it will begin to communicate the positive effects of its work in training convicts to support other inmates in jails across the UK. The move follows a story in The Sun last month where an ex-prisoner revealed details of his conversations with Harold Shipman while working as a Samaritans 'listener'.

In a statement the charity said: "It appears that the ex-listener believed that Shipman's death released him from the confidentiality agreement that he signed at the time of becoming a listener."

It admits that the confidentiality breach was "not good news", but says it will work to ensure that listeners uphold the Samaritans' confidentiality pledge.

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