0-18 years guidance: Principles of confidentiality
42. Respecting patient confidentiality is an essential part of good care; this applies when the patient is a child or young person as well as when the patient is an adult. Without the trust that confidentiality brings, children and young people might not seek medical care and advice, or they might not tell you all the facts needed to provide good care.
43. The same duties of confidentiality apply when using, sharing or disclosing information about children and young people as about adults. You should:
a. disclose information that identifies the patient only if this is necessary to achieve the purpose of the disclosure – in all other cases you should anonymise23 the information before disclosing it
b. inform the patient24 about the possible uses of their information, including how it could be used to provide their care and for clinical audit
c. ask for the patient’s24 consent before disclosing information that could identify them, if the information is needed for any other purpose, other than in the exceptional circumstances described in this guidance
d. keep disclosures to the minimum necessary.
For further information see GMC guidance on confidentiality.25