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Community Health Councils

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 30 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many complaints he has received from the medical profession of breaches of confidentiality by community health councils in connection with service committee cases; what was the number of such cases; and if he will make a statement.

Representatives of general medical practitioners have raised this matter with officers of the Department, and cited two specific cases. I am aware of a very small number of other cases where it is suggested that community health councils were concerned in breaches of confidentiality.A meeting is being arranged between representatives of the medical profession and of the community health councils, with officials of my Department also present, at which the matter will be discussed. I recognise the importance of confidentiality for both doctors and patients, and the legitimate interest of community health councils in these cases; I am confident that any problems can be resolved by co-operation between the bodies concerned.