The GMC has published a helpful summary of what is new in the guidance, and outlines the duty of confidentiality that GPs have to their patients but emphasises the wider duty to protect the health of the public. There are also changes relevant to the newer working at scale care models for delivering primary care.
One of the most useful changes is the introduction of a practical flowchart that GPs can use when there is a request for disclosure of patient information. It asks several questions and directs GPs to the relevant sections of the guidance.
A useful aide-memoir is that information should only be disclosed in one of the four scenarios:
- With appropriate patient consent
- For patients lacking capacity if it is believed to be in their best interests
- If required by law
- If it is justified in the public interest