Confidentiality: reporting gunshot and knife wounds



We give examples of when it might not be practicable to seek consent in paragraph 14 of Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information. You can find all of our guidance online.


The police are responsible for deciding whether an individual is fit to hold a shotgun or firearms licence. Disclosure of information to the police may be justified in the public interest to inform this decision if failure to disclose the information may expose others to a risk of death or serious harm.


See Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information, paragraphs 57 - 59, for further guidance.


See schedule 1 to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, schedule 1 of The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and section 135 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. The police can also use powers to seize evidence, such as clothing, that may help in detecting or prosecuting crime.