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GMC to revise guidance on confidentiality

By Gareth Iacobucci

The GMC is launching a major consultation to review its advice to GPs on the controversial subject of patient confidentiality.

GPs and patients will be invited to answer questions about the existing guidance, with the focus on identifying the biggest challenges doctors face in balancing respect for patients' confidentiality against the benefits of information sharing.

The review looks set to spark a debate over a series of contentious issues, including the threats versus opportunities posed by electronic patient records and the secondary use of patient data for research and health service management.

It will also tackle areas such as the disclosure of confidential information for public protection, such as in cases of sex offenders or victims of child abuse,

Dr Henrietta Campbell, former chief medical officer for Northern Ireland, will chair the review.

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