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Key points

  • You, and anyone you employ, must protect patient information.
  • You may disclose patient information in some circumstances where it is required by law, or where the patient or others might be at risk of serious harm.
  • You may share some limited patient information with others who provide care to your patients.
  • Disclosing any other information about a patient requires their consent.
  • You should anonymise patient information, where possible, and guard against unintentional or improper disclosures.
  • Disclosing information about a child requires their consent, or that of their parents, unless it is in the child’s best interests, or they are at risk of serious harm.
  • There are limitations on disclosing information to patients’ relatives or carers.
  • Patient information remains confidential after their death, with exceptions, for example where it is required by a court of law.
This Guidance does not change what you must do under the law.