Statement by the U.K. Association of Cancer Registries (UKACR) on the General Medical Council (GMC) Guidance on Confidentiality.

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7265.854/d (Published 7 October 2000)
Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:854.5

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2 October 2000

1. The UKACR views with considerable concern the Guidance on Confidentiality recently issued to all doctors by the GMC. Paragraph 27 of the Guidance states:

“The automatic transfer of personal information to a registry, whether by electronic or other means, before informing the patient that the information will be passed on, is unacceptable save in the most exceptional circumstances.”

2. Supply of information on cancer patients to the relevant regional cancer registry has been a mandatory requirement within the NHS since 1 July 1993. Cancer registries are registered under the Data Protection Act. They operate stringent data security and confidentiality policies. They have an unblemished record on security. Their production of public health information for government and the public is unrivalled. Their use for research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and outcome of cancer has been extraordinarily productive: the …

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