Reference 2019-438

REF:            2019-438

Subject:        Instant messaging by clinicians



  1. Does your Trust/organisation permit clinicians to communicate about patients or other clinical matters (for example, a junior doctor discussing a patient with a consultant) using an instant messaging app (for example, WhatsApp, Forward, Siilo, Medicbleep, Skype for Business, Vocera, Rainbow)?
  2. If yes, what is/are the names of the apps/devices?
  3. If applicable, do your clinicians use their personal devices, or those provided by your Trust/Trust/organisation for the purposes referenced in question 1(for example, the ASCOM ‘Myco 2’)?
  4. If such devices are provided by your Trust/organisation for use by clinicians, what is the make and model of each device?
  5. If your Trust/organisation does not use any such app or device, please state whether your Trust/organisation is considering their use, stating which apps and/or devices are being considered.
  6. Please state whether your Trust/organisation has an instant messaging, or related policy.
  7. Please attach your Trust/organisation’s instant messaging, or related policy.
  8. Please state whether your Trust/organisation has carried out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) for:
    1. Instant messaging generally for the purposes mentioned in question 1.
    2. Specific instant messaging apps/devices (each, if more than one) for the purposes mentioned in question 1.
  9. Please enclose the DPIAs referred to in question 8.
  10. If not included in your DPIA, please enclose your standard operating procedure and/or policies which specify how information is separated and, if necessary, extracted from the apps/devices where:
    1. A valid access request (e.g. patients, police etc.) is made for all patient information contained on the apps/devices.
    2. A valid access request is made for the personal data of a user of the apps/devices.
  11. Please state the number of reported incidents (categorised, if possible) concerning the devices/apps (each, if more than one).



Please find information attached.

2019-438 – FOI request – Instant messaging by clinicians [95 kb] PDF