Medical Records: Disclosure of Information

Department of Health written question – answered on 24th May 2016.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Conservative, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what obligations private hospitals and NHS foundation trusts have to share the medical records of patients who have used both services (a) in general and (b) when such trusts have referred patients to private hospitals.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

We expect that all of the organisations involved in providing direct care to a National Health Service patient, irrespective of whether they are an NHS provider or a private sector provider under contract to the NHS, will share information that is relevant to the safe and timely provision of treatment and care.

The only exception should be if the patient objects to information about them being shared. This approach is consistent with the Caldicott Principles which state that “the duty to share data can be as important as the duty to protect confidentiality”. The duty to share information as described in Section 251B of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

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