Scope of this guidance

5. This guidance covers visual and audio recordings of patients made and used in any circumstances where doctors work in a professional capacity.1  This includes recordings made:

a. on healthcare premises2  within or outside the UK, and/or

b. as part of the assessment, investigation or treatment of patients’ condition or illness, and/or

c. for purposes such as teaching, training or assessment of healthcare professionals and students, research or other health-related uses which are not designed to benefit the patient directly, described as ‘secondary purposes’ in this guidance.

6. 'Recordings' in this guidance means originals or copies of audio recordings, photographs, and other visual images of patients that may be made using any recording device, including mobile phones. It does not cover copies of written records.

Pathology Slides

7. 'Recordings' in this guidance does not include pathology slides containing human tissue (as distinct from an image of such a slide). Photographs of microscope slides may be made without consent for the purpose of care or treatment of a patient, or for a secondary purpose, provided that images are anonymised or coded3  before use for a secondary purpose, and always anonymised before they are published in the public domain. Where photographs of pathology slides are made for secondary purposes during a post-mortem examination, you should follow the advice in paragraph 51.

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