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Health records are confidential. They should be shared only on a need-to-know basis. NHS Connecting for Health is introducing national standards so that all of its systems can protect the confidentiality of patient information and provide access to relevant information to those who need it.

This section will increasingly give detailed information on key patient confidentiality topics. These are currently:

  • Patient choices: information on some of the choices available to patients to control access to confidential information; and
  • Information Governance alerts: where we explain when specialist staff will be informed to ensure that someone viewing a confidential patient record is entitled to do so.

The Care Record Guarantee also describes how patient information will be protected and used.

'Sealed envelopes'

The following documents provide an overview of how the requirements for 'sealed envelopes' or 'patient sealing' are developing. This development is taking place with the involvement of the National Advisory Groups and other key stakeholder organisations.

Confidentiality: NHS Code of Practice

Visit NHS Codes of Practice and legal obligations for the 'Confidentiality: NHS Code of Practice'.