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All NHS records are public records under the terms of the Public Records Act 1958 which confers a statutory duty on Trusts for their safekeeping and eventual disposal.

The Department of Health Records Management Code of Practice has been replaced by the Information Governance Alliance (IGA) Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016. It performs the same function, that is, a guide to the required standards of practice in the management of records for those who work within or under contract to NHS organisations in England. It clarifies legal obligations that apply to NHS records including responsibilities to ensure compliance with the following acts.

  • The Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000


Purpose and Scope of the Policy

This policy identifies the actions required to ensure that records of all types (administrative as well as medical) are properly controlled, readily accessible and available for use, and eventually archived or otherwise appropriately disposed of.

For the purposes of this policy, a record is defined as anything which contains information (in any medium) which has been created or gathered as a result of any aspect of the work of NHS employees. The definition covers all clinical and non-clinical records.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Health Records Manager
Ratified by: Information Governance Steering Group (Chair’s action)
Date Ratified: November 2017
Date Issued: March 2018
Review Date: November 2020
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Melanie Grant, Health Records Manager


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