The CQC’s Code of Practice on Confidential Personal Information covers the sharing of personal information held by the CQC and the criteria set for deciding whether or not they need to look at medical care records during an inspection.
Examples of confidential personal information covered by the policy:
· A person’s medical or care records, or specific pieces of information about their physical or mental health, condition or treatments.
· Information about a care provider’s social or family life.
· Details of a care worker’s education, training and experience.
· Information about the sexuality, religious beliefs and racial or ethnic origin of a CQC employee.
· Information that would identify people who have shared information in confidence with the CQC, including people who use the services regulated by the CQC, ‘whistleblowers’, and people they have interviewed in private during inspections.
Earlier this year the CQC consulted on the code of practice and plans to update it. They have now published a revised code in response to feedback received.
The revised code of practice recognises the most recent changes in legislation and ensures that CQC policy aligns with codes of practices on confidential information from NHS Digital and the Department of Health. It explains more clearly than before why the CQC needs to use confidential personal information and gives specific examples to show how the code will translate into action.
The updated code of practice can be found on the CQC’s privacy page.