Photographs Policy

From time to time, where it is useful in the treatment or management of a particular condition (most usually relating to skin disease), the treating GP may wish to take a photograph and append this to your medical record. This allows the medical team to monitor disease progression and response to treatment. The image may be passed as part of a secondary care (hospital) referral if the treatment the Surgery has given has not been successful or there is diagnostic uncertainty or concern. Video recordings are not used in this Surgery.

The use of photographs in the Surgery is subject to these safeguards:

  1. Consent will be obtained before any photograph is taken. This is not usually written/signed consent and may take the form of discussion and agreement, so called implied consent. Patients will never be put under pressure to have an image taken and can refuse consent without affecting treatment. The image should be regarded as an adjunct to the written clinical records
  2. Images will be uploaded directly to the clinical computer system Emis Web and then deleted or wiped from the camera.
  3. Emis Web is a secure and encrypted storage facility of all medical information and is backed up regularly to prevent data loss
  4. Smartphones are never used to take images.
  5. Other than as part of an agreed secondary care referral, images will never be taken off site. In particular, for the avoidance of doubt, images are never shared on any social media site, such as Facebook or YouTube.
  6. As with the rest of their medical records, patient are able to request to review the images held by the Surgery.
  7. The Surgery is involved in teaching medical students from the Royal Free and University College Hospital Medical Schools. From time to time, some images taken may form part of this teaching. In these cases, all images are fully anonymised with no patient identifiable information. Where a patient does not wish that an image taken as part of their treatment should be used in this way, they are asked to communicate this preference to the Surgery. We will then take care to follow this instruction carefully.
  8. Safeguarding. Where there are adults who lack capacity to give consent, the GP will obtain consent from someone who has legal authority to make the decision on the patient’s behalf before taking the image. Those under 16 who have the capacity and understanding to give consent for a photograph may do so. Where a child or young person is not able to understand the nature, purpose and possible consequences of the photograph, the GP will obtain consent from a person with parental responsibility.