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Is a photocopy of a patient's signed medical authority sheet from a solicitor's office valid?

A photocopied consent form sent by a solicitor should be quite adequate. The exception is if there is any reason to suppose the solicitor is not acting in the patient's best interests.

In such an unlikely case you should not be sending the data without first checking directly with your patient that they have indeed provided legally valid and explicit consent.

The critical issue must be that their consent is based on a full understanding of the data to be disclosed and how it is to be used, and that consent has been given entirely voluntarily by someone who is competent to understand and assess the implications of the information they have been given on the subject of disclosure of their personal and confidential data.

Dr Christine Dewbury, Wessex LMCs

Neither Pulse nor Wessex LMCs can accept any legal liability in respect of the answers given. Readers should seek independent advice before acting on the information concerned.

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