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  • Community pharmacy care model could free up 18 million GP appointments

    Community pharmacy care model could free up 18 million GP appointments

    Wednesday, 04 July 2018 15:18
  • New CAVGP website launches highlighting general practice jobs around Cardiff

    New CAVGP website launches highlighting general practice jobs around Cardiff

    Friday, 29 June 2018 15:25
  • £10,000 ‘golden hellos’ announced to entice nursing post-grads into ‘difficult-to-recruit’ sectors

    £10,000 ‘golden hellos’ announced to entice nursing post-grads into ‘difficult-to-recruit’ sectors

    Tuesday, 15 May 2018 12:13
  • Scotland announces £6.9m investment in primary care staff training targeted at nursing

    Scotland announces £6.9m investment in primary care staff training targeted at nursing

    Wednesday, 09 May 2018 16:15

confidentialFebruary 23 2015

The Medical Protection Society is advising GPs that they should ensure staff contracts include a confidentiality clause to protect patient confidentiality.

Confidentiality is the top risk (94%) in general practice identified from 107 Clinical Risk Self Assessments (CRSAs) the MPS conducted across the UK in 2014. “The prevalence of technology in practices means it is a risk that managers and GPs need to tackle proactively.”

Julie Price, Clinical Risk Programme Manager at MPS, said: “In reviewing the top risks for 2014, issues around confidentiality, communication, and prescribing were still the most pressing, but we also noticed a growing theme where technology was contributing to the risks in these areas.

“Social media can be a useful tool in keeping patients informed about the practice and its services. However, we found that in 40% of practices we visited, confidentiality clauses for staff did not include a clause regarding the use of social media sites. Without this, what might seem like a harmless comment on a social network site could jeopardise the confidentiality of a patient.”

Ms Price is advising that all practice staff, including practice-employed cleaners, should receive and sign a copy of the confidentiality clause. “As well as ensuring a confidentiality clause is in the contract of practice staff, it is important to remind them that confidentiality should be maintained even after they no longer work at the practice. Ensure that all staff receive regular training on the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality.”

As well as social media, the advice points out that telephone calls at reception may be overhead sp steps can be taken to minimise the chances of this happening.

In addition, staff should be discouraged, unless necessary, from registering as patients themselves at the practice. “However, if this does occur, practices must do their utmost to keep the patient’s medical information confidential. Explain to any members of staff that are accepted as patients, that there is a risk other members of staff may see confidential information about them.”

Link:

MPS statement        

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