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Home > Your registration > Meeting our standards > Confidentiality


Service users expect the health and care professionals involved in their care or who have access to information about them to protect their confidentiality at all times.

This information might include details of a service user’s lifestyle, family or medical condition which they want to be kept private. Breaking confidentiality can affect the care or services you provide, as service users will be less likely to provide the information you need to care for them. Doing this may also affect the public’s confidence in all health and care professionals.

This guidance cannot cover every situation where problems or challenges about confidentiality might come up. As a guide, however, you should keep the following principles in mind when handling information.

You should:

  • take all reasonable steps to keep information about service users safe;
  • get the service user’s informed consent if you are passing on their information, and get express consent, in writing, if you are using the information for reasons which are not related to providing care or services for the service user;
  • only disclose identifiable information if it is absolutely necessary, and, when it is necessary, only disclose the minimum amount necessary;
  • tell service users when you have disclosed their information (if this is practical and possible);
  • keep appropriate records of disclosure;
  • keep up to date with relevant law and good practice;
  • if appropriate, ask for advice from colleagues, professional bodies, unions, legal professionals or us; and
  • make your own informed decisions about disclosure and be able to justify them.

For more information, please download our guidance document 'Confidentiality – guidance for registrants'

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Confidentiality – guidance for registrants

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