Intimate Images for Telephone Consultations

Due to COVID-19 there has been many changes in the surgery operates. One of the main ones you may have noticed is reducing the number of patients in the building as much as possible by trying to speak to most patients over the phone.

This can sometimes be problematic, especially if the patient has an issue such as a skin problem which is difficult to diagnose without a GP looking at it. To treat effectively, where appropriate we have been asking patients to either email or text us images of the affected area.

However, in some cases this is not always appropriate, for example if the patient has a problem in an intimate area. If this is the case, the following information will be provided:

  • Why will an image help in providing appropriate care.
  • The different options available to sending a picture, e.g. is it possible for a patient to have a face to face examination with a doctor?
  • Who will see the image e.g other healthcare professionals involved in the care of the patient, administrative staff (PLEASE NOTE – all admin staff are bound by the same confidentiality rules as clinicians).
  • How the image will be used and stored. If it is necessary to keep the image, where will it be stored and for how long.

The patient will be asked if they are comfortable sharing the image. If they do not feel comfortable, information on alternative options will be provided. Refusal to share an image will not results in a patient receiving an inferior standard of care.