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Confidentiality is central to trust between doctors and patients. Without assurances about confidentiality, patients may be reluctant to seek medical attention or to give doctors the information they need in order to provide good care. But appropriate information sharing is essential to the efficient provision of safe, effective care, both for the individual patient and for the wider community of patients.

Confidentiality sets out the principles of confidentiality and respect for patients' privacy that doctors are expected to understand and follow.

There are additional case studies on the GMC's website that highlight and explore some of the principles covered in Confidentiality and its explanatory guidance.

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Mr Jessop, 72


Mr Jessop is 70 years old and has come to see Dr Williams today because he's concerned about his wife, Shirley, 72, who is also a patient of Dr Williams.

View Mr Jessop's scenario