Your doctors, their staff and everyone else working for the NHS have a legal duty to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality about patient information.
In some instances, you may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS. We may need to share some information about you with them, so that we can all work together for your benefit. Anyone who receives confidential information about you is also under a legal duty of confidence. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example, when the health or safety of others is at risk, we will not disclose your information to third parties without your permission.
We will only give your relatives, friends and carers information if you want us to. In certain circumstances we are required by law to report information to the appropriate authorities. This information is only provided after formal authority has been given by a qualified health professional. For example:
- notification of new births
- where we encounter infectious diseases which may endanger the safety of others (e.g. meningitis or measles, but not HIV/AIDS)
- where a formal court order has been issued
However, our guiding principle is that we hold your records in strict confidence.