NHSX updates Records Management Code of Practice

NHSX has updated the Records Management Code of Practice 2020, producing a draft that is now open for wider input and feedback.

The draft Records Management Code of Practice 2020 sets out how records relating to health and care should be managed, created, maintained and disposed of appropriately.

It builds on previous versions of the document published in 2006, 2009, and 2016, aiming to provide consistency and guidance to those responsible for records management across NHS and social care records.

The document covers legal, professional, organisational and individual responsibilities when managing records.

The NHSX document stated the latest additions:

  • “The Code has been published, on behalf of the Health and Care Information Governance Panel, on the new portal for Information Governance advice.
  • We are proposing to undertake a review into the retention time for de-registered GP records. De-registered refers to when a patient is no longer on the GP practice system. It does not refer to patients who are still registered at a GP practice but have not needed to receive care. If a patient has moved to another practice the record would be sent to the new provider. However, if the reason for de-registration is unknown the electronic record is printed off and sent in paper form to NHS England. We are proposing to review the retention time for de-registered GP records to ensure that the significant costs of retaining the records for 100 years are justified by the benefits they bring. We will look for example at how many records are recalled and what the reasons are. We will aim to complete the review by the end of 2023.
  • We have tried to make the Code easier to read, more practical and given definitive actions where possible. Previous editions have not always given a steer as to what action to take in a particular situation. This edition gives those steers where necessary, but not to the point of being prescriptive and not allowing organisations the freedom to decide how they will comply with that action.
  • In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation came into force (supplemented by the Data Protection Act 2018). So references and guidance that were based on the Data Protection Act 1998 have been removed.
  • Recently, there have been a number of Public Inquiries relating to the NHS, and NHS England has received a number of queries from the wider health system relating to their effect on Records Management. Accordingly, the Code now contains a number of references and guidance in relation to Public Inquiries.”

View the draft guidance here.