Home > Topics > Ethical Practice > Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information

Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information


In this section:

All dental team members have a duty of confidentiality to their patients [1,2], and disclosure of personal health information without consent is governed by the ethical guidance of the General Dental Council [1] and the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) [3]. To provide appropriate care for patients and provide care within the NHS system, it is sometimes necessary to share personal information with others. However, disclosure of personal information requires the patient’s consent and must be on a strict ‘need-to-know’ basis; only the minimum identifiable information necessary for the purpose can be given.

Sources of Information

  1. Principle 4: Maintain and protect patients’ information. Standards for the Dental Team. General Dental Council (2013) https://standards.gdc-uk.org/pages/principle4/principle4.aspx
  2. NHS Code of Practice on Protecting Patient Confidentiality. Scottish Executive (2003) http://www.wdhscp.org.uk/media/1256/revised-code-of-confidentiality-final. (PDF)
  3. Data Protection Act 1998 (1998) www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents