Confidentiality policy for the practice team
The need for the strict confidentiality of personal information about patients is essential. This document describes our policy for maintaining the confidentiality of all personal information and all members of the practice team are required to comply with these safeguards as part of their contract of employment or contract for services with the practice.
The importance of confidentiality
- The relationship between dentist and patient is based on the understanding that any information revealed by patient to 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 about their state of health to ensure that treatment is carried out safely. The intensely personal nature of health information means that mostly patients would be reluctant to provide the dentist with information if they believed that it would be passed on. If confidentiality is breached, the dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist or dental nurse concerned faces investigation by the General Dental Council and possible erasure from the Dentists or DCP Register. They may also face legal action by the patient for damages and, for dentists, prosecution for breach of the Data Protection Act.
General Dental Council
- All staff must follow the General Dental Council’s rules for maintaining patient confidentiality contained in its publications ‘Standard for the dental team’ (Visit: gdc-uk.org)
- If confidentiality is breached, each registered dental professional involved is responsible to the GDC for their individual conduct.