Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information

General Medical Council, January 2017

Following consultation, this guidance on confidentiality for doctors has been revised and updated. While the principles of the current guidance remain unchanged, it now clarifies various issues including the public protection responsibilities of doctors and the importance of sharing information for direct care. It also includes a decision-making flowchart and explanatory notes to show how the new guidance applies to situations doctors may encounter and find hard to deal with, such as reporting gunshot and knife wounds or disclosing information about serious communicable diseases.

Click here to view the guidance.

Accessing and sharing health records and patient confidentiality

House of Commons, September 2015

This briefing describes how patients may request access to their records, and the circumstances in which access to the records of others may be allowed.  The briefing also describes statutory and public interest disclosures of patient information; information sharing rules for people who lack mental capacity; and access to information on hereditary conditions for relatives.

Click here for further information and to access the briefing.

Information: To share or not to share – The Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel’s report to the Secretary of State for Health

Department of Health, January 2015

This is the first annual report of the Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel, chaired by Dame Fiona Caldicott and set up by the Secretary of State for Health in November 2013.

It looks at whether health and social care organisations are sharing information wisely and preventing improper disclosure of personal data. It shows evidence of pockets of exemplary practice but the overall picture is of a need for improvement.

The IIGOP report concludes that a basic condition for building public trust is a commitment to more transparency about how data is collected, stored and used. Individuals must also be able to opt out of data sharing arrangements and be confident that their wishes are being respected consistently across the system.

Click here to download the full report.

Developing supportive design for people with dementia

The King’s Fund, October 2014

To support clinical and care staff, managers and estates colleagues, The King’s Fund has produced a range of resources to enable hospitals, care homes, primary care premises and specialist housing providers to become more dementia friendly.

Click here for further information and to download the tools.

Police chief calls for records access

E-Health Insider, 11 August 2014

Police should be given greater access to medical records without patient consent, a senior police chief has argued in an interview in which he also called for a register of vulnerable people to be set up to facilitate this…

Click here to view the full article.