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Patient confidentiality and Access to Health Records

Patient information is generally held under legal and ethical obligations of confidentiality. Information provided in confidence should not be used or disclosed in a form that might identify a patient without his or her consent. There are a number of exceptions to this rule but it applies in most circumstances.

Patients have a right of access to health information about themselves. This is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998.  

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Using and protecting patient information

Guidelines were produced on the use and protection of patient information in November 2003. Supplementary guidance on public interest disclosures was issued in November 2010.

Using health records respectfully (opens new window)

The NHS use records about patients in ways that respect their rights and promote health and wellbeing.

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