HSCIC publishes confidentiality guidance

New guidance setting out 5 easy-to-remember rules to help health and care staff make sure they deal with confidential patient information safely and securely is published today.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), responsible for making sure the principles set out by Dame Fiona Caldicott in her Review will be implemented right across the health and care system, has published guidance which clarifies how data should be shared.

The HSCIC guidance sets out 5 rules of patient confidentiality:

  1. Confidential information about service users or patients should be treated confidentially and respectfully.
  2. Members of a care team should share confidential information when it is needed for the safe and effective care of individuals.
  3. Information that is shared for the benefit of the community should be anonymised.
  4. An individual’s right to object to the sharing of confidential information about them should be respected.
  5. Organisations should put policies, procedures and systems in place to ensure the confidentiality rules are followed.

Kingsley Manning, Chair of the Health and Social Care Information Centre, said:

“The HSCIC is determined that the publication of this Confidentiality Guidance marks the start of a campaign to ensure it is part of the DNA of all health and social care organisations.

“The 5 rules aim to be easy for both staff and public to absorb.  They sum up the new duty to share information in the interests of caring for the individual. 

“The HSCIC welcomes the responsibility given it by the Health Secretary to implement the Caldicott Review findings and will work closely with Dame Fiona to ensure she and her panel have proper oversight of progress.”

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