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Please keep it a secret

The fourth in our series examining new GMC confidentiality guidance focuses on sharing information for healthcare purposes.

Most patients who visit an independent practitioner do so for specialist investigation and treatment. However, they continue to rely on their GP for the rest of their healthcare needs and will return to the care of their GP following a procedure. Therefore effective information-sharing between independent practitioners and practices is essential – but what happens if patients object to their information being disclosed?

Dr Sissy Frank looks at how the GMC’s revamped confidentiality guidance applies.

Shhh!As healthcare needs and treatments become more complex, there is a growing need for practitioners to collaborate with other professionals to ensure that patients receive the right ongoing care.

Paragraph two of the new GMC guidance on confidentiality notes that ‘appropriate information-sharing is an essential part of the provision of safe and effective care.

Patients may be put at risk if those who are providing their care do not have access to relevant, accurate and up-to-date information about them’.