Must we always disclose patient details to the police?

Some disclosures are required by law – for example, under the Terrorism Act 2000 it is an offence not to disclose information that might be of 'material assistance' in preventing an act of terrorism and in apprehending a person planning to commit an act of terrorism. The Road Traffic Act 1988 also allows the police to require information from anyone, which may lead to the identification of the driver.

The police may ask you to disclose confidential information about a patient under exceptions stated in Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when they are involved in the 'prevention or detection of crime' or 'the apprehension or prosecution of offenders'.

Disclosure is not mandatory under the Data Protection Act 2018, but you may wish to seek specific advice from the MDU.

 

This guidance was correct at publication 30/08/2018. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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