Newsflash: Updated GMC Guidance on Confidentiality 2017

On 25 April 2017, the updated GMC Guidance, Confidentiality: Good Practice in Handling Patient Information (“the Guidance”) comes into effect (available here).

The updated Guidance builds upon the core principles set out in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice and provides an updated framework for considering when to disclose patients’ personal information. It sets out the updated responsibilities of all doctors for managing and protecting patient information, including appropriate information sharing, when to rely on implied consent, informing patients of the consequences of not consenting to disclosure and having knowledge of information governance.

A decision-making framework is now included as part of the Guidance, making it much more “user-friendly”. The GMC have also published a helpful document titled What’s Changed in the Confidentiality Guidance, which highlights the key changes to the Guidance (available here).

Hempsons’ dedicated healthcare advisory team would be happy to provide you with advice in respect of any Consent, Confidentiality and Duty of Candour policies in place at your Trust or workplace which may require review in light of the new obligations contained in this Guidance.

Our commercial and employment teams can review and advise on any contracts, including employment contracts, which may contain specific clauses on confidentiality to ensure they are in line with the updated Guidance. Furthermore, our regulatory team can advise practitioners in respect of any queries they may have relating to the sharing of patient information with other agencies, including the police. Our specialist information law team will also be able to answer any questions you have about Data Protection issues.