Coronavirus (COVID-19) - our advice for doctors

We recognise that this is a very difficult and worrying time for doctors. Our professional standards provide a framework for ethical decision making in a wide range of situations. They should be followed as far as practical in the circumstances. We're regularly updating our advice for doctors as the situation develops.

Confidentiality: responding to criticism in the media

However tempting it may be to respond if you are criticised publicly, particularly if the report is inaccurate or unfair, you mustn’t put confidential information in the public domain without your patient’s explicit consent.

This guidance looks at the principles behind this, and suggests what you may be able to say, even if you can’t disclose the details.  It applies to social media as well as print and broadcast.

This guidance came into effect 25 April 2017.