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GMC updates Confidentiality guidance

Post date: 09/05/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

The GMC has revised its Confidentiality guidance for all doctors practising in the UK

Read this article to:

  • Understand how the GMC Confidentiality guidance has changed
  • Discover tools to help you apply the changes into your everyday practice

The GMC has expanded, updated and reorganised its Confidentiality guidance to reflect the way doctors use information.

Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information was published by the GMC in January 2017 and came into effect on 25 April 2017.

"This refreshed, revised and restructured guidance on confidentiality will help doctors better understand their responsibilities when handling patient information in their everyday practice"
Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC

Revisions have been made to the guidance, last published in 2009, following an extensive consultation exercise. While the principles of the current GMC guidance remain unchanged, it now clarifies the following:

  • The public protection responsibilities of doctors, including when to make disclosures in the public interest.
  • The importance of sharing information for direct care, recognising the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency context doctors work in.
  • The circumstances in which doctors can rely on implied consent to share patient information for direct care.
  • The significant role that those close to a patient can play in providing support and care, and the importance of acknowledging that role.

The GMC has also published a decision-making flowchart and explanatory notes to show how the revised 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.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: “This refreshed, revised and restructured guidance on confidentiality will help doctors better understand their responsibilities when handling patient information in their everyday practice.”

Read the latest guidance here

Find out more

If you require assistance or advice, please contact 0800 561 9090 or querydoc@medicalprotection.org

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