How do I consent?

Where possible, the professionals looking after you will ask your permission before they look at your record. When you are not present, or if you are unable to answer a question, then your records will be accessed using the principle of ‘implied consent’ or ‘break glass’ - unless you choose to opt out. 

This page explains when you will be asked to give permission to access your electronic record, and also the circumstances when you will not be asked for permission.

The principles set out below are known as the ‘model of consent’:

  • If you are present and able to answer a question 
    You will be asked by the person involved in your care whether they have your permission to access your personal records. If you say ‘no’, then you will be treated without that person accessing your record. Saying ‘no’ when asked is not a permanent decision. It means that you are denying the person caring for you at that moment the permission to access your record. You may be asked the same question again at a later stage in your care.
  • If you are present but incapacitated or unconscious
    If you are unable to answer a question, or there is an immediate threat to life, then the people treating you can access your personal record straight away. This is known as a ‘break glass’ decision and all such events are automatically recorded.
  • If you are referred to another service
    When you are referred to another service, the professionals who will look after you are able to access your record without separately requesting your permission. They will probably not have met you before and it would be useful to know something about your history beforehand.


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