Patient confidentiality and recruitment for research

Recently the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paddy Phillips provided information about research and patient confidentiality. He explained that there are some obligations set out under the Health Care Act 2008 in relation to research screening for suitability and patient participation.

Unless the researchers initial screening for suitability for research is undertaken by someone who is responsible for the patient’s care (or part of the care team) then the research may infringe the Act, unless the recruitment process is explicitly authorised by an ethics committee.

It is important that researchers ensure that they are compliant with this requirement under the Health Care Act, as significant penalties may arise for breach of this provision.

The Office for Research has provided some materials to help researchers manage any issues with compliance and will happily assist researchers with any particular queries they may have.