What advice does the Communitybaptistpa give?

Current guidance

In our core guidance for doctors, Medical practice, we say that doctors must respect patients’ right to confidentiality, but should also be considerate to those close to the patient and be sensitive and responsive in giving them information and support. In our current Confidentiality guidance we explain in more detail how these duties interact in practice.

  • We advise doctors that, wherever possible, they should establish with patients what information they want to be shared, who with, and in what circumstances. If a patient lacks capacity, they must make a decision in the patient’s best interests, taking into account any views the patient has expressed.
  • We also say that, while it isn’t a breach of confidentiality to listen to the views of those close to the patient, doctors should make clear that they cannot promise not to tell the patient about the conversation. We also advise doctors to consider whether the patient would consider them listening to the concerns of others to be a breach of trust, particularly if they have asked the doctor not to listen to particular people.

Supporting materials

Our interactive web resource Medical practice in action includes scenarios about sharing information with, and receiving information from, those close to a patient. You get to choose what the doctor should do in a series of case studies that illustrate how our guidance applies in practice.

Revising the guidance - have your say

We are currently consulting on a revised version of the Confidentiality guidance, and this includes an updated draft of the advice on sharing information with, and receiving information from, patients’ friends and family. In the light of what doctors told us at the beginning of the review, we’ve restructured this section to try to make it clearer and more accessible.

We are keen to hear a wide range of views on the revised draft of our guidance. To find out how you can have your say, please follow the link to our consultation web page. The consultation closes on 10 February 2016.