The Law Regulating Confidentiality in UK
Common law is judge made law and professional guidance such as General Medical Council (GMC) is given a lot of weight by judges. It roots in law of equity with importance ascribed to relationships, roles and conscience.
Regulation by contract law (relationship)
- usually in private healthcare;
- unlikely to be applicable in National Health Service (NHS) care setting which possesses employment contract.
Regulation by tort law (relationship)
- actions between parties where there is no formal relationship (e.g. contract) to address 'wrongs';
- negligence: e.g. ABC v St George (consent);
- tort of misuse of private information e.g. Campbell (privacy).
Regulation by criminal law (information)
- since you cannot own information (unless Intellectual Property right) so only possess theft of the medium on which the information is stored.
Regulation by human rights law (conscience)
- right to private and family life, article 8.
Regulation by statute law (information)
- Data Protection Act 1998 and upcoming Bill.
Regulation by professional guidance (role and relationship)
- GMC, nursing and midwifery councils etc.