Confidentiality: disclosing information for education and training purposes



All paragraph numbers in this section refer to our guidance Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information. You can find all of our guidance online.


See our guidance Decision making and consent paragraph 13 which states that you must give patients the information they want or need about their right to refuse to take part in teaching.


You can get advice from Public Health England, Public Health Wales, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre in Northern Ireland and Health Protection Scotland.


See paragraphs 28 - 29 of Confidentiality for advice on implied consent.


Welfare attorneys, court-appointed guardians and court-appointed deputies have legal authority to make some decisions on a patient’s behalf. For disclosure in the public interest, you will be seeking their views about the patient’s preferences, rather than their consent to disclose.


Practical guides on arranging work experience have been published in Wales, Enabling work experience in the health sector in Wales (Careers Wales, 2012), and in England, More than photocopying: Work experience - a toolkit for the NHS (Health Education England Careers, 2015).


The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) provides an anonymisation code of practice.


Other potential identifiers include the patient’s initials, postcode, NHS or CHC number, local identifiers (such as hospital numbers), national insurance number, and key dates (such as birthdate, date of diagnosis or date of death). 


The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has published guidance on entering information in e-portfolios, which you can find on their website.