“Whatsoever things I see or hear concerning the life of men, in my attendance on the sick or even apart therefrom, which ought not to noised abroad, I will keep silence thereon, counting such things to be as sacred secrets.” – Hippocratic Oath
Medical records: Disclosing confidential clinical information
Disclosing confidential clinical information
3 thoughts on “Disclosing confidential clinical information”
Unfortunately people are not always protected by law. Sometimes the protection has to be purchased by individuals who are able to afford a solicitor or a silk who are able to win the case. The Data Protection Act is a shining example of this. The Act exists to protect the private and sensitive information of individuals. This includes medical records as laid out in the DPA. Yet organisations such as the Police Authorities continue to abuse the legislation without due challenge. One of the reasons could be attributed to culpability. If an individuals’ personal information is accessed unlawfully, then this is likely to have a far less reaching effect on the individual than if he were to lose a limb unlawfully. It is for this reason that most cases do not reach the courts and are more likely to be addressed instead by the Professional Regulatory Bodies ie, GMC, NMC etc…if they can be bothered. One can only hope that the legal experts recognise this and hopefully see the potential consequences which could be far reaching. I do hope that IOD police officers have the support of such legal experts who can see this and are willing to challenge on their behalf otherwise what is the point of having legislation if it is so easy to exploit.
The Data protection Act protects the right of access to medical records of individuals as you have made clear here. HR staff and force solicitors do not have the right to access information detailed in police officers medical records. I do not see therefore how HR staff and Force solicitors have the right to witness a Medical Appeal Board hearing during which personal and sensitive information is discussed around a table prior to a medical ‘examination’. What right does a human resource administrator or solicitor have to listen to such personal information? Many people I am afraid are reluctant to visit their GP as they realise that such personal information will be recorded in their notes, later to be scruitinised by these individuals who have no medical competence or understanding. It is a disgrace that these employees are given the right to access such personal information. How humiliating for an individual to have such personal information discussed in the presence of these minions and an ethical and legal issue worthy of further discussion perhaps?………..
What angers me is the way forces believe that they have the god given right to share personal GP notes and OHU notes with whoever they please.
Those notes that forces hold are the personal property of the named individual I,E your notes. They have to have written consent to look at them let alone share them with any Tom Dick or Harry.
Anyone who has sat in a review and seen the SMP referring to GP records needs to challenge the SMP by asking who has given them permission to look at those notes.
Forces just don’t get it they have to adhere to rules and regulations just the same as you and me. I truly believe that because they uphold the law they think they are above the law.
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