Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment for all staff
At this practice the need for the strict confidentiality of personal information about patients is taken very seriously. This document sets out our policy for maintaining confidentiality and all members of the practice team must comply with these safeguards as part of their contract of employment.
The relationship between dentist and patient is based on the understanding that any information revealed to the dentist will not be divulged without the patient’s consent. Patients have the right to privacy and it is vital that they give the dentist full information on their state of health to ensure that treatment is carried out safely. The intensely personal nature of health information means that many patients would be reluctant to provide the dentist with information if they were not sure that it would not be passed on. If confidentiality is breached, the dentist / hygienist face investigation by the General Dental Council and possible erasure from the Dentists Register / Dental Auxiliaries Roll and may also face legal action by the patient for damages and, for dentists, prosecution for Breach of the 1998 Data Protection Act.
There are certain restricted circumstances in which a dentist may decide to disclose information to a third party or may be required to disclose by law. Responsibility for disclosure rests with the patient’s dentist and under no circumstances can any other member of staff make a decision to disclose.
There are certain circumstances when personal information can be disclosed: