Photographs of patients are increasingly required for clinical or non clinical reasons. Photographic recording techniques include photographic film, digital image, video and digital film.

Whatever the context in which medical decisions are made, you must work in partnership with your patients to ensure good care. In so doing, you must:

  • Listen to patients and respect their views about their health
  • Discuss with patients what their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and care involve
  • Share with patients the information they want or need in order to make decisions
  • Maximise patients opportunities, and their ability, to make decisions for themselves
  • Respect patients’ decisions.


This Guidance is intended to assist staff in

  • involving patients in a process of consent where required
  • respecting patient privacy, dignity and confidentiality



When making or using recordings you must respect patients' privacy and dignity, and their right to make or participate in decisions that affect them. This means that you must:

  • Give patients the information they want or need about the purpose of the recording.
  • Make recordings only where you have appropriate consent or other valid authority for doing so.
  • Ensure that patients are under no pressure to give their consent for the recording to be made.
  • Where practicable, stop the recording if the patient asks you to, or if it is having an adverse effect on the consultation or treatment.
  • Anonymise or code recordings before using or disclosing them for a secondary purpose, if this is practicable and will serve the purpose.
  • Disclose or use recordings from which patients may be identifiable only with consent or other valid authority for doing so.
  • Make appropriate secure arrangements for storing recordings.
  • Be familiar with, and follow, the law and local guidance and procedures that apply where you work.


And you must not:

  • Make or participate in making recordings against a patient's wishes, or where a recording may cause the patient harm.
  • Disclose or use recordings for purposes outside the scope of the original consent without obtaining further consent (except in Images of internal organs or structures, images of pathology slides, laparoscopic and endoscopic images, recordings of organ functions, ultrasound images and x-rays).


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Esperanza Saceda Ulloa, Medical Photographer
Ratified by: Management Board
Date Ratified: August 2017
Date Issued: September 2017
Review Date: August 2020
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Esperanza Saceda Ulloa, Medical Photographer


See also:


Protecting Your Online Privacy
Protecting Your Online Privacy

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