Introduction

Christine Bradford, medico-legal adviser

Concern about patient confidentiality is one of the common reasons for members to contact us for advice and assistance. In this issue, we look at confidentiality from several different perspectives.

Knowing how to store patient information correctly is essential and doctors must also have a thorough understanding of how and when it may be appropriate to share or disclose that information. Technology and systems development underpin and assist with this but can also bring their own difficulties.

Medico-legal adviser Dr Carol Chu examines these issues – first, in relation to the care.data project and what GPs should know about sharing primary care records, and second, the implications of using smartphones and other portable devices for collecting and storing patient data.

Also in this issue, Dr Philip Zack considers what happens when the GP is the subject of the recording. Would you and should you feel threatened if a patient recorded your consultations?

Elsewhere in the issue, medico-legal adviser Dr Sanjeewa Sumathipala reflects on his previous role as a forensic practitioner. We have also included some interesting case studies, one of which emphasises the need to adhere to recognised guidelines in the clinical setting.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue and please do, as always, contact us if you would like to feed back about these articles or if you have any questions or dilemmas you would like us to consider in future editions.

Dr Christine Bradford
Interim medical editor

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This guidance was correct at publication . 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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