Letters: Confidentiality breached often or barrier to carers

Patient Concern participated in the GMC's consultation on confidentiality advice. We argued that confidentiality constantly conflicts with competing objectives, notably public interest, and seeking consent was proving too time-consuming or expensive.

Jane O'Brien's letter about the GMC's advice on confidentiality (GP, 5 June) proves our point. Patients rarely realise that their medical privacy is constantly violated without their permission and are rightly appalled when they find out. But if legal, that apparently makes it all right.

In contrast, confidentiality is often used as a pretext by healthcare professionals to deprive carers and family of information they need to support a patient.

Roger Goss, Co-director, Patient Concern

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