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How long do we need to keep patient records for?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules say that no-one should keep personal data for longer than necessary. You should be clear about how long you think you need to keep your records and why (e.g. a certain length of time to audit the data or allow clients to return while you to still have their notes). We don't set a specific timescale. 

If you are working in an NHS Trust or for another organisation, your service is likely to have their own guidelines for the length of time to keep notes. If you are in private practice, your insurers may have requirements too. 

Please check the ICO (Information Commissioner Office) for more guidance at www.ico.org.uk


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