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A guide to confidentiality in health and social care

Rules for sharing information

Organisations that handle confidential health and social care information have to ensure that it is held securely and shared appropriately.

A number of laws, principles and obligations govern how organisations should handle this information. They have grown increasingly complicated to understand and this has sometimes made it hard for staff to make clear decisions about when they should and should not share confidential information.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gave us powers to advise organisations on how to handle confidential information securely. We have produced a pdf icon guide to confidentiality in health and social care [1Mb] which explains the various rules about the use and sharing of confidential information. It has been designed to be easily accessible and to aid good decision making. It also explains the responsibility organisations have to keep confidential information secure.

The guide is supported by a pdf icon references document [698kb] which provides more detailed information for organisations and examples of good practice.Please note that this guide is currently under review by the IG Alliance and will be subsumed by a suite of guidance which will be published on the IG Alliance website when available. The guidance on this page remains accurate until then.

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