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Recording Telephone Conversations

The principles to consider if you are thinking of recording telephone calls within your practice:

The GMC has produced guidance on this matter: Making and using visual and audio recordings of patients- guidance for doctors, May 2002. 

Recordings of telephone conversations fall into a category of their own. Anyone using a telephone is subject to licence conditions under the Telecommunications Act 1984. They require you to make every reasonable effort to inform callers that their call may be recorded, and maintain a record of the means by which callers have been informed.  Given the sensitive nature of calls to medical advice lines or similar services, you should pay particular attention to ensuring that callers are aware that their call may be recorded. You must not make intentionally secret recordings of calls from particular patients.

GPs who decide to record conversations should also bear in mind that they may be expected to disclose recordings in the event of a complaint or claim. The guidance clarifies that recordings made for clinical purposes form part of the clinical record, and should be retained for the necessary period and not disclosed without specific consent.

When making video or tape recordings of patients e.g. for training, research or audit purposes, GPs are advised to:

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Updated on 02 January 2018 1383 views