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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018: What does this mean for clinicians?
  1. Bridget Francis
  1. Quality Governance, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Bridget Francis, Quality Governance, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK; bridget.francis{at}

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Do not panic this is an evolution not a revolution!

Healthcare services, such as the National Health Service (NHS), have been working with data protection legislation for many years so there is little or no difference in the way in which we handle personal confidential information. However, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)1 now provides enhanced rights for individuals.

So, what does this actually mean for you and your patients?

Everyone who uses healthcare services should be able to trust that their personal confidential data are protected. People should be assured that those involved in their care, and in running and improving services, are using such information appropriately and only when absolutely necessary. Transparency is key and your organisation should have publicly available Privacy Notices describing how you process and share personal data. Personal confidential information should only be used if there is consent particularly for purposes outside of direct care, …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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