Disclosing confidential information consultation
General Optical Council eBulletin 41
April 2019

Have your say: Disclosing confidential information consultation

On 21 March we launched a consultation on draft guidance on disclosing confidential information about patients. The guidance will help registrants to decide when it is appropriate to override patient confidentiality in the public interest and provide more clarity about our expectations.

Although it is stated in our Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians that practitioners should raise concerns about their patients, if in their professional judgement, public safety might be at risk, some registrants have asked for further guidance on this matter. Recent GOC research has also shown that practitioners are not confident in what to do if a patient’s vision means they may not be fit to drive.

The draft guidance covers the general principles of disclosing confidential information, what to do when a patient may not be fit to drive as a result of their vision, other types of disclosure that may be in the public interest and disclosing information in compliance with investigations. We hope the guidance will be useful, although it’s important to remember professional judgement will still be needed when considering these kinds of decisions.

We want to hear your views on the drafting of the guidance and the potential impacts. The consultation will be open for three months and closes on 13 June 2019. To read and respond to the consultation, visit the GOC Consultation Hub.

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